Mold, dust, dander, and gases all affect the air quality in your home. Harmful gases can enter the home from outside or be produced by appliances. High levels of normally harmless gases in your home can cause health problems. If you suspect your heating and cooling equipment is a source of gas pollution in your house, you should hire a professional contractor to inspect the equipment.
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Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas produced when fuels like gas or kerosene is burned. It is colorless, tasteless and odorless, making it difficult to detect. Malfunctioning appliances and HVAC equipment can produce dangerous levels of the gas, causing severe headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea. Death can occur with prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide or intake of very high levels of the gas for even a short period of time.
Radon is a radioactive gas occurring naturally due to the breakdown of uranium. Igneous rock and soil are major producers of radon. Radon is denser than many other gasses and can travel through materials used for constructing homes, including concrete, wood, and many types of insulation. In addition to inhalation, radon can be ingested when drinking water is contaminated. Radon causes cancer but does not usually present significant short-term effects, making it difficult to detect unless you're testing for it.
Carbon dioxide is expelled when you breathe and released during combustion, such as occurs in a furnace. It is normally harmless, but excessive levels of carbon dioxide are lethal. Carbon dioxide and other gases caused by combustion are normally vented out of the home by the heating and cooling system, but poor ventilation can lead to gas buildup.
Indoor Air Quality
The primary method for controlling air quality in the home is ventilation. These systems are designed to force old air out of your home and bring in fresh air. If air isn't leaving the home, naturally occurring gases are more likely to build up. When appliances are malfunctioning, gas pollution can be produced faster than your ventilation system can eliminate it. Excess air pollution is important to address. Gas-phase air cleaners provide temporary relief from indoor gases, but filters have a relatively short lifespan, so they are not as cost-effective as a permanent solution.