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Causes of poor indoor air quality

According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside your home may be up to five times—and maybe even 100 times—more polluted than the air outside. So where does all this pollution come from? Fact is, there are many causes of bad air in your home.

How contaminants get into your home:

Tiny particles, some too small to see, can make their way into your home's air – and into your lungs – from a wide variety of sources, some inside and some outside.

Particles like dirt, Dust and Pollen enter your home through open doors and windows, or cracks and chimneys. Often they are simply tracked in. Biological contaminants—living organisms like Mold spores, Bacteria and viruses—can also easily find their way inside your home.

Pet Dander, a common allergen, is made up of microscopic particles shed from the body of your dog or cat, even your pet parakeet. Other sources of airborne contamination include perfumes, cleaning supplies, paints, pet odors and cooking fumes.

Poor ventilation:

A common problem, especially in newer homes that are tightly sealed to conserve energy, is a lack of airflow. Fresh air can't make its way inside.

Without proper ventilation, indoor air can't circulate. It becomes stale and stagnant. Even worse, all those contaminants floating around in the air you breathe have no way to escape.

High humidity:

Too much moisture in the air is a big issue when it comes to bad air. High Humidity creates a breeding ground for dust mites, mold, mildew, viruses and bacteria, which are then released into the air—and then into your lungs.

Too little moisture inside your home can cause skin irritation, sore throat and respiratory problems,** not to mention static shocks.

Excessive humidity can also promote the release of chemicals from household materials such as the formaldehyde, which is often used in the manufacture of carpeting.