Most Common Indoor Air Pollutants


Your indoor air quality directly impacts your health. According to the EPA, indoor air is five times more contaminated than outside air—yet we spend 90% of our time indoors. Poor indoor air quality contributes to more severe eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory illness, heart disease, and even cancer. To keep your family safe, you need to understand these indoor pollutants.

Woman using a tissue on her nose

Excess Moisture

Moisture is the least recognized indoor air pollutant, but it’s incredibly common and can also be extremely harmful to your health and to the structure and integrity of your home. There are many possible sources of excessive moisture, including basement leaks, humidifiers, foundation cracks, indoor plants, running water in kitchens and bathrooms, and the list goes on. When excess moisture settles on any surface in your home, it creates the perfect environment for mildew and dust mites to thrive. Mildew and dust mites trigger asthma attacks and other allergic reactions. High moisture levels inside your home are also physically uncomfortable, creating a humid, swampy, and stagnant atmosphere.

You may have symptoms of excess moisture in your home. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Condensation on windows during the winter
  • Mildew in the bathroom
  • Mold growing on interior surfaces
  • Interior or exterior paint that is peeling, cracking or blistering
  • Asthma attacks and allergic reactions from dust mites and mildew

You must first identify and remove the source to control a moisture problem. If that’s not possible, you can still remove excess moisture with ventilation or dehumidification. Here are the most effective ways to reduce moisture levels in your home:

  • Remove water sources (humidifiers, excessive bathing, kitchen activities).
  • Repair or install exhaust fans in high-moisture rooms like kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Ventilate your space by opening windows.
  • Seal openings that might allow rain and outside moisture to enter.
  • Consider professional dehumidifier installation.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emanate as gases from liquids or solids. A wide range of products emit VOCs and may have short-term and long-term health effects. The concentration of VOCs is higher indoors than outdoors. Paints, aerosol sprays, disinfectants, and pesticides are the primary sources of VOCs. Once exposed to VOCs, you will suffer from nausea, eye and nose irritation, headaches, and kidney and liver damage. To prevent VOC exposure, increase ventilation in your home, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions

  • Carbon Monoxide: The combustion of fuels produces an odorless gas called carbon monoxide. When inhaled by a person, carbon monoxide dangerously reduces the body’s oxygen levels, causing nausea, dizziness, headaches, rapid heart rate, and even death. Always ensure that your home is well-ventilated, your gas appliances aren’t leaking, and you have a properly functioning carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Radon: Radon is a VOC linked to causing lung cancer for people exposed to it. You can’t see or smell radon. You can only detect and measure it through specific testing. You can purchase a screening kit to check the radon levels in your home. Still, it’s best to hire a qualified professional to quickly and effectively remedy high radon levels.

Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

A whole-house air purifier is undoubtedly worth the investment for people with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. The HVAC-ready air purification systems help remove antagonistic air pollutants, resulting in less frequent and less intense respiratory symptoms for those in the home.

A leading HVAC air purification system among Chancey & Reynolds customers is the Plasma Air unit. This air purifier is silent, filterless, and self-cleaning. The Plasma Air purification system fits seamlessly into your home’s existing HVAC system for continuous, whole-home purification. Plasma Air products use bipolar ionization technology, which produces oxygenion molecules, essentially nature’s cleaning process. These oxygenions are circulated throughout the home via the ductwork system, inactivating and reducing airborne pathogens and pollutants and even killing viruses.

Indoor Air Quality Services in Knoxville

You can breathe easy with Chancey & Reynolds. We ensure healthy, high-quality, comfortable indoor air for your home and business. We provide quick and efficient air purification system installation and repair throughout the greater Knoxville area, ensuring your indoor quality is always clean and consistent. Air purification system installation is just one of Chancey & Reynolds’ many indoor air quality services. Our comprehensive offering includes installation, maintenance, and repairs for air filters, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers.

Your Partner in Heating and Cooling

Chancey & Reynolds has been installing, maintaining, and repairing HVAC systems in greater Knoxville since 1978. Our NATE-certified technicians determine precisely what your heating unit needs to ensure optimal performance. HVAC users across Knoxville and Lenoir City trust our team of air specialists to keep their homes comfortable all year long. Contact us today to get started!