You’re exploring solutions related to improving your indoor air quality. As insulation installers, we answer a lot of homeowners’ questions regarding what causes poor indoor air quality and how better home and attic insulation can improve it. So, let’s dig into the details.
Why It’s Smart to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists several health effects connected with bad indoor air quality:
- Eyes, nose and throat irritation
- Headaches, fatigue and dizziness
- Respiratory diseases, heart disease and even cancer
Yet, we humans spend upwards of 90 percent of our time indoors, where some pollutant concentrations are up to five times higher than the outdoors. If you already have health issues, then poor indoor air quality can exacerbate them. If you don’t, air quality can be the beginning of them.
According to the EPA, the indoor air pollutants are:
- Combustion byproducts such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter and environmental tobacco smoke
- Substances of natural origin such as radon, pet dander and mold
- Biological agents, such as molds
- Pesticides, lead and asbestos
- Ozone (from some air cleaners)
- Various volatile organic compounds from a variety of products and materials
Insulation Installers Urge You to Look Beyond the HVAC System to Your Attic Insulation for a Solution
It’s logical to look at the HVAC system as the solution for improving your indoor air quality. After all, it’s the system sending warm or cool air throughout your home. It has an air filter designed to trap contaminants. But, when it comes to improving indoor air quality, it’s just the first line of defense, not the only.
While many homeowners update their home and attic insulation for the increased physical comfort and heating and cooling cost savings, insulation plays a big role in helping improve indoor air quality as well.
First of all, insulation’s purpose is to “seal” your home, keeping outdoor pollutants from entering in the first place. But, there’s far more to it than that.
Not All Attic Insulation Equally Protects or Improves Indoor Air Quality
The age and quality of your home and attic insulation matter. The older and more degraded your insulation, the less it can protect you from indoor air contaminants. Here’s why:
- Aged and degraded insulation cannot keep pollutants from entering your home. And, in many cases, it wasn’t installed adequately or properly, especially compared to today’s superior insulation options.
- Degraded insulation can result in fiberglass dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) dropping through vents and can lights, affecting air quality.
- Rodents, other vermin, water leaks and such erode insulation protection, and can send animal droppings, allergens and mold spores throughout the air.
If Not Well Trained and Certified, Your Insulation Installer Can Create More Indoor Air Quality Problems
Unsealed air leaks are opportunities for pollutants, mold and allergens to enter your home and circulate amongst the air you breathe. Sealing and ventilating your attic to prevent those irritants from entering your home can improve your indoor air quality. However, a home that is TOO air tight can create more problems by not allowing fresh outdoor air to circulate in your home, helping dissipate pollutants.
Spray foam insulation and fiberglass insulation are perfectly safe and effective unless installed incorrectly. You must have trust in your insulation installer to evaluate your home, pinpoint any problems with your current insulation, recommend the kind of insulation that will best meet your specific requirements, and correctly and properly install it.
One of the many qualities that sets A+ Insulation apart from other Kansas City area insulation installers is that our crews are well trained and certified. Our insulation installers seal the attic space entirely, using can foam around lights, stack and vents to seal cracks, then blow insulation over that for better indoor air quality, efficiency and comfort. Yet, leaving “space to breathe.”
Let our licensed and knowledgeable insulation contractors evaluate your Kansas City home’s insulation needs. Call us at (913) 281-2250 or visit insulatekansascity.com/contact to schedule a free, no obligation evaluation.