While proper ventilation can sell itself for those who suffer from allergies, it can be a more difficult sell to the rest of the population. Many homeowners are more concerned with ensuring their HVAC system is keeping a consistent temperature than maintaining indoor air quality (IAQ). But, in recent years, more and more studies are linking health issues with indoor air pollution. By making homeowners aware of these results, you can help them make an informed decisions for proper ventilation and air quality improvements.
WHICH IS WORSE: OUTDOOR OR INDOOR POLLUTION?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), IAQ is a more serious health concern than outdoor pollution. Since many individuals spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, their health is impacted by the long-term exposure to poor IAQ. The body of evidence concerning air quality and its effects on health continues to grow.
In a recent medical study published in Translational Psychiatry, researchers found a connection between airborne soot and dementia. In this nationwide study, over 3,600 women between 65 and 79 were studied. They concluded that, for individuals who live in locations with fine particulate matter that exceeds the EPA’s standards, the hazard for global cognitive decline increased by at least 85 percent and all-cause dementia increased by at least 68 percent. While this study does not show a direct cause and effect, there is at least a correlation between poor IAQ and cognitive problems.
IMPORTANCE OF IMPROVING IAQ
As you work with homeowners, consider sending them links and printouts on the relevant research on IAQ; one such resource is the EPA’s Guide to Indoor Air Quality.
This is not fearmongering; rather, you are helping a homeowner have all the facts about their home’s air quality, even if the effects are not evident in sneezing, troubled breathing, or allergies.
Once a homeowner sees the importance for improving their home’s air, they will be ready and more motivated to invest in a quality HVAC system that properly filters pollutants, or to schedule a cleaning of their system’s ductwork. By creating a more informed customer, we are helping families find the right solution, so they can breathe a little easier.
Publication date: 4/19/2017