In the hot months of summer, using air conditioning systems is extremely common inside homes, offices, and leisure destinations like restaurants, gyms and shopping malls.
Turning on the A/C might be a necessity as temperatures soar, but it is important to understand the impact it has on your indoor environment. There are also particular changes to the IAQ through the suffocating China summers, as windows are kept closed more and people cool down inside with fans and air conditioners, keeping the windows closed. This can mean a reduced supply of fresh air.
How does using A/C affect IAQ?
When you run the A/C in summer, shutting windows and doors can help to prevent energy waste, but it also traps in chemical vapours and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These compounds are released from many common household and cleaning products, including furniture, building materials, carpets and textiles, and are potentially very harmful to human health.
Warm air also holds more moisture, so the summer air is more humid and can create an environment where mold, mildew and dust mites flourish. This combines to degrade the quality of your indoor air and create problems for your indoor environment.
During the hot summer months, your A/C is also working overtime to keep your home cool. It is important to change your filters regularly and keep the system clean; otherwise, congested air filters can just push clean air through collected grime, which is blown back into your home.
In offices, increased use of an HVAC system that hasn’t been properly maintained can spread dust and dirty air throughout the central air vents into the working environment.
Which other pollutants are common in summer?
Some pollutants are much more prevalent in the summer. For example, in the warmer weather tree, grass, and weed pollen can get inside your home and adversely affect your air quality, causing allergy symptoms like nasal congestion, itchy, watering eyes, and sneezing. Pets will also shed fur and hair when it’s hot, which can also get trapped, particularly inside a space with no fresh air supply, and cause more allergic reactions.
Aside from helping avoid allergies, having access to a healthy fresh air supply throughout the summer can also help relieve stress on your lungs, chest, heart, and entire respiratory system, as well as improving your sleep quality.
Running air conditioners can also cause increase pollution levels outdoors, which can also have an impact if outdoor air filters to indoor environments. One analysis in the US of 27 states found that, on average, summer emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) went up by thousands of metric tons per degree Celsius increase.
What can I do to keep my indoor environment healthy in summer?
Adding a source of filtration and ventilation to continuously expel polluted indoor air and draw in fresher air from outdoors is the best way to keep your home or office healthy. Using exhaust fans to ventilate areas prone to moisture, like the kitchen and bathroom, can also help, as can using a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels under control.
PureLiving offers a range of indoor assessments and solutions designed for your specific indoor needs, including options to tackle excess moisture and mold and install fresh air and filtration systems, which can keep your home and workplace supplied with fresh, healthy air all year round.
Get in touch today to find out how PureLiving can help you understand and improve your indoor environment and stay healthy through the summer months!