Are you expecting? The special attention you pay to what goes into your body shouldn't stop at food choice and drinks. Along with what you eat, the indoor air can affect both your and your baby's health. Take a look at what you need to know about pregnancy, AC service, indoor air quality, and your home's HVAC system.
What Is Indoor Air Quality?
As the name implies, indoor air quality (or IAQ) is the quality of the air indoors. Even though the air in your home may look clear, barely there and microscopic contaminants such as dust, pet dander, viruses, bacteria, and mold spores can impact the IAQ.
What Are the General Health Effects of IAQ?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the health effects of poor indoor air quality include symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and eye/nose/throat irritation. The IAQ can also aggravate existing allergies or respiratory issues such as asthma.
What Are the IAQ Effects for Pregnant Women?
Like anyone else, contaminated indoor air can cause pregnant women to experience a range of symptoms—such as irritation, allergies, or headaches. Research shows air quality may have a connection to low birth weight babies and preterm birth, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
The extent of the risk depends on the type of pollutant in the air. Minor everyday contaminants, such as pet fur, aren't likely to have a major impact on a pregnant woman. But pollution from outdoor sources or chemical fume exposure may affect the mother and baby.
What Can You Do About IAQ?
Whether you have concerns about chemicals used in your home, have allergies, or just want to clear the air, you can take steps to improve IAQ. Your home's air conditioning system can help to reduce indoor air contaminants. Not only will the AC cool and de-humidify your home, this powerful system also filters the indoor air.
To improve the indoor air, discuss air conditioning services with a qualified HVAC contractor. The contractor can inspect your home's system, assess the filter, and recommend repairs or other air-improving options. A high MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) or HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can remove common contaminants from the indoor air.
Along with filter choice, the contractor can clean the system, evaluate the air ducts, and install a specialized air scrubber or filtering device. These services can reduce contaminants right now (during your pregnancy) and after your baby arrives.
For additional information, reach out to a local AC service.