We all want a safe and healthy home for ourselves and our loved ones. Air quality is an essential factor for a healthy environment.
Human-made pollutants include:
- Gasoline, diesel fuel, and natural gas are used in vehicles and to heat homes.
- Byproducts of manufacturing and coal-powered power plants.
- Smoke from forest fires.
A healthy home is more than ensuring your house is clean, pest-free, and energy-efficient. It also means ensuring the air inside your home is healthy and ventilated.
Many health conditions are linked to poor indoor temperature, including irritated eyes, nose, and throat. Conditions like asthma and damp indoor environments can impact people’s lives long-term, with symptoms that take months or years to develop.
Air pollutants are a complex mixture of chemical species, including ozone, nitrogen oxides, and delicate particulate matter. They are released from various sources, including automobiles, coal-burning power plants, burning fossil fuels, and industrial processes. Air pollution can cause various illnesses, from respiratory problems to cardiovascular disease. In the US, the majority of deaths related to air pollution are caused by heart and lung diseases. New York City works to reduce air pollution by reducing vehicle emissions, supporting alternative forms of transportation, and promoting energy efficiency in homes and buildings.
Humidity is the measure of water vapor present in the air. It plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy living conditions at home. If the humidity is high, it can cause breathing difficulties and create an environment that facilitates the growth of dust mites, cockroaches, and other pests. Therefore, it’s essential to keep an eye on the humidity levels in your home to ensure a healthy living environment. These pests can amplify allergy symptoms, cause itchy skin and eyes, and various respiratory issues.
Low humidity causes static electricity, damaging windows, and other surfaces in your home. This can result in expensive repairs and unhealthy indoor air quality.
Air pollution from vehicle emissions, fuel oil, and natural gas used to heat homes, the burning of fossil fuels in power plants, the combustion of chemicals at factories, and the release of hazardous gases by wildfires are among the most common human-made sources of air pollution in New York City. When combined with hot and sunny weather, pollutants form ground-level ozone, which can increase the risk of heart and lung disease, especially for those who have these diseases, and trigger asthma attacks in people with the condition.
Ventilation ensures fresh air is circulating throughout your home, preventing mold build-up and mold growth. It also helps reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels in your living spaces, such as from household chemicals and furnishings. It helps to filter out allergens and airborne particles, including pollen and pet dander, allowing people with hay fever or asthma to enjoy living in their homes.
Poor air quality is often caused by factors outside your control, such as weather conditions that speed up the formation or concentration of air pollutants and the materials used in House insulation. For example, ozone is created when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react with sunlight in the air – hot weather speeds up this process. Air pollution from cars, factories, and other sources also contributes to bad air quality. However, changing how we live – driving less, using renewable energy, and reducing our waste – can help improve both the climate and health.
Air filters wick harmful particles out of indoor environments, helping those with allergies or respiratory diseases breathe easier. Poor air quality exacerbates asthma and other afflictions, especially in babies, young children, older adults, and people with preexisting conditions.
Inhalation of fine particle pollution is linked to coughing, other respiratory irritation, and more serious long-term consequences such as lung disease and cancer. A wide range of pollutants contributes to the density of these fine particles, including car exhaust and other fossil fuel emissions, industrial activities, construction materials, cleaning products, office equipment and supplies, paint and varnishes, craft materials like glues and adhesives, photographic solutions, cigarette smoke, and cooking.
Air quality databanks process readings from governmental, crowd-sourced, and satellite-derived air quality monitors to produce aggregated AQI ratings. These ratings can be used to identify hotspots and take targeted action.