You might not realize this, but your home is essentially a Petri dish for dust, dander, mold, and micro-organisms. Dust mites, mold, and fungi all use your living space to multiply and spread, and pollen and dander builds up by the minute. Their presence can be reduced (and sometimes even prevented) through the use of modern technology and an up-to-date maintenance plan of your air conditioning/heating equipment.
Air Quality affects quality of life - if you have a buildup of particles in your air, you can expect to lose sleep, have difficulty breathing, nasal congestion, and sometimes worse.
Humidity and other factors such as leaks in your ducts can bring in outside particles like pollen and dust, and those things add up over time. If you don't maintain your systems, the air you breathe inside your house might be filled with more pollution than the air you breathe outside! Pets have an enormous impact on your indoor air quality too - dogs, cats, birds, anything living in your house will impact your air quality.
Your dog is not intentionally trying to harm you, and your parrot probably doesn't realize it is slowly smothering you People can still have pets and have good air quality, but there is always going to be an ongoing issue with dander with most pets. Pet ownership doesn't mean you are stuck with bad air, but people with birds should be especially observant of their air quality. Birds are the worst offenders when it comes to dander, dust, and particles in the air.
Making sure your house is sealed is also very important. Do you keep your windows open at night? Are you especially fond of keeping your screen door open? Also, do you know how well your windows are insulated and your door jams sealed?
Keeping a tight seal on all the access points in your house is very important for your air quality because it reduces the potential threats from outside of your home, and allows you to sort through the possible offenders. Different people often have widely varied reactions to dander, pollen, and dust, so using the process of elimination can be a very useful tool in discovering the cause of one's particular ailment due to air quality hazards.
In addition to your pets affecting air quality, you must also be aware of the many micro-organisms that occupy our homes. Many of these organisms live out their lifespan unbeknownst to their human neighbors, and we don't even see them until they turn to dust. There are, however, less innocuous micro-organisms, species of mold and fungi whose mere presence in your home can be hazardous or even deadly.
To prevent problems, it's important to regularly check on your systems to see if they are performing how they should. Don't assume everything is okay with your system because you have cold and hot air when you want it. Indoor air quality isn't determined by air temperature.
The ducts have to be regularly inspected to ensure that they are sealed and that they are maintaining the flow of air from one room to another. The drains have to be regularly checked and cleared of any obstructions.
Everything adds up—the ducts, the air handler, the type of pets you have, how often you perform maintenance on your system, what type of equipment you use, and what steps you are taking to prevent problems.
Pets might not be intentionally trying to cause us harm by affecting our air quality, but the fact remains, they can and do affect our quality of life. If you are a pet owner, it's up to you to learn more about this topic and stay up-to-date on the latest ways you can protect your health and the health of your beloved pets.