Your Guide to Common Indoor Contaminants and Their Effects

The air quality in your home impacts way more than your comfort. Poor air quality can weaken your immune system, make you more susceptible to allergies, and even cause long-term damage to your health. 

Every year, 4.3 million people die of complications from poor air quality in the home. 60% of those deaths are from heart problems, and 40% are from lung problems. This health crisis is scary, but it can be avoided. Here’s a guide to the most common indoor contaminants, how they attack the body, and how to deal with them.


Dead skin cells, carpet fiber, and dirt accumulate around the house and cause dust. When a homeowner doesn’t change their HVAC filters on a regular basis, dust can build up and infiltrate the air, causing allergies and dust mites. 


When moisture builds up in your home, problems like mold, mildew, and dust mites can arise and cause lung problems and allergies. Moisture can build up from leaking pipes, high humidity, and inefficient air conditioning. 

VOCs and Combustion Products

VOCs are synthetic material byproducts that can be released during construction work. Most of these are harmless, but chemicals like pesticides, formaldehyde, and other substances can evaporate into the air. If these chemicals are too concentrated in your air, they can cause nausea, headaches, and even permanent damage to the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system. 

Gas-powered appliances like dryers, water heaters, and stovetops can cause a toxic buildup of CO2 when they’re not properly ventilated. It’s important to make sure your home is well-ventilated with a strong HVAC system to avoid a buildup of combustible CO2. 


Some homes have a buildup of radioactive radon gas in the soil beneath the foundation, and this gas can percolate up through the soil and foundation without anyone in the home noticing. Taking preventative measures is important to avoid permanent damage as a result of this radon. 

How to Prevent Harm From Indoor Contaminants

These problems sound scary, but the good news is they can be prevented in a few easy steps. First, keep your home on a regular HVAC maintenance schedule and change your air filters regularly. If your HVAC isn’t running properly, it won’t be able to filter contaminants and ventilate the home properly. 

When using combustion products, make sure they’re running properly and keep the area around these products well-ventilated. 

Lastly, purchase a radon detector for your home. These detectors, along with preventative products, are very easy to purchase and install, and they’ll be extremely helpful in keeping you and your family safe from radon poisoning. 

Poor Air Quality? Ellis AC can Help

If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, contact Ellis AC today. Our skilled HVAC technicians will do everything they can to improve your home’s air quality, and we’re happy to discuss your concerns and tell you what you can do to help. If you need HVAC inspections, maintenance, or repairs, call or visit our website for a free quote on our services today!

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