Construction

Indoor Air Quality

Are you breathing fresh air in your home? Unhygienic air in and around your home causes harm to your body and mind and may create risks to your lives.  Polluted indoor air weakens our immune system and makes us feel sick. This write up tells you various causes, sources and solutions to indoor pollution.

What causes indoor air pollution?

  • Chemicals, particulate matters or biological materials create air pollution which causes harm to human beings and other living organisms and destroys natural environment.  
  • Molds, termite, bacteria, gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, radon, volatile organic compounds, particulates, harmful particles and energy stressor induce adverse effects on health and affect indoor air quality also.  
  • High temperature and humidity levels can increase pollutants in indoor air. Therefore, indoor air is increasingly becoming health hazard as compared to outdoor air.               

Several indoor air pollutants

Major sources of indoor air pollution are the burning of wood, charcoal, dung, crop residue, heating, cooking, and smoking, use of chemicals, dampness, and improper drainage. Dust collection can create pollution in indoor air also. Certain building materials such as asbestos fibers, particle boards etc. also affect indoor air.  Some air pollutants are following.        

1. Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide, CO is colorless and odorless gas which is produced from burning of kerosene oil, coal, wood, room heater, gas water heater, fire places, generators and automobile exhausts from attached garages in the house. Burning tobacco, room heater and heating furnaces etc. also produce carbon monoxide gas.

Symptoms: Carbon monoxide causes symptoms of headache, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. High level of CO can kill people living in the house.  

2. Carbon Dioxide

CO2 is colorless gas and gives burning smell. This gas being light in weight remains at higher level than the level of oxygen. It is less harmful than carbon monoxide. The burning of wood, oils, coals and cooking, heating smoking produce carbon dioxide which has bad effects on health. When carbon monoxide generated from burning woods, oils etc mixes with oxygen, it changes into carbon dioxide. 

Symptoms: Carbon monoxide causes symptoms of headache, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue and has very bad effects on health.    

3. Radon

It is radioactive invisible atomic gas which may be found in rock formation under buildings or in some building materials. It is one of the most dangerous gases and tends to accumulate at floor level being heavy gas.  

Symptoms: Cancer, lung tissue decay, coughing, heavy breath, infections like pneumonia and bronchitis, fatigue, fever, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, depression.

4. Ozone (O3)

Ozone is odorless and colorless gas. At ground level ozone is air pollutant, commonly called smog. It is formed when nitrogen oxide from cars, power plants and industries is combined with hydro carbons. Sunlight reacts with these pollutants and forms ozone gas due to chemical reactions. Smog/ pollution levels are higher in the months from May to September.    

Symptoms: It causes irritation to throat, lungs, and tightness in chest, chest pain and difficulty in breathing and coughing. 

5. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

This gas is a chemical compound produced by volcanoes.  It is also found in various industrial processes such as manufacturing units, electricity production etc. Coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds and their combustion generates sulfur dioxide.  Oxidation of SO2 usually holds the presence of nitrogen oxide which forms H2SO4. SO2 produced from fuels is used to generate power and spoils the environment. 

Symptoms: Respiratory problems for asthmatic children and adults, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, alterations in lungs, increase in existing cardiovascular disease.

6. Asbestos Fibers

Asbestos fibers are produced from silicate minerals such as thermal insulation, fire proofing and other building materials like floor tiles, ceiling tiles, pipe wrap etc. Asbestos itself is not dangerous but affects only when asbestos fibers are released at the time of cutting, rubbing, drilling or building remodeling. The fibers enter the lings through air and have adverse effects on the health. These fiber particles are too small to visualize with necked eyes and are inhaled and accumulated in lungs.    

Symptoms: Lung cancer, respiratory problems, high risk of breathlessness and asthma.

7. Molds, Bacteria and Termite

Molds, fungus and insects can not be seen with necked eyes. Molds or bacteria and fungi can grow almost on any substance where moisture is present inside and outside the house.  Mold can grow on wet floors, leakage from roof, leaking around water pipe and improper drainage also. They grow very fast on organic substances, moisture where oxygen is present.  The presence of mold can be found on unused furniture, below carpets, behind wall papers, or paneling.         
 
Symptoms: Molds or bacteria and fungi can create health hazard to human beings potentially causing allergic reaction and respiratory problems.

8. HVAC (Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning)

The green design movement in commercial and residential HVAC industry emphasizes on indoor air quality. While designing HVAC system, it is necessary to see moisture and humidity control which optimizes the conservation of energy.

In this system outside air is forced to enter the house and the same air forces inner pollutant air and moisture to exit through vent. Don’t use this process when there is high humidity in outside air. If it is done, it is harmful and causes mold growth. Dust and other particles deposited in building create indoor air pollution. Lacquers, pesticides, some paints, lead etc. create pollution in indoor air also. 

Symptoms: Respiratory infections; asthma and allergies; skin, eye, nose and throat irritations; headaches, damage to central nervous system; and cancer.

How to improve indoor air quality?  

1. Design your house carefully

The architect must keep in mind indoor air quality to protect house from indoor air pollution. He should design the house in such a way that it is environment friendly. The following are some important tips to improve indoor environment quality.

  • Keep construction in proper direction
    The building outside the house should not be made at 90 degrees towards the direction of wind. Try to take maximum benefit of wind outside the building by constructing building ranging from 0 Degree to 30 Degree. When the wind prevails in east or west direction, keep in mind the effect of solar heat taken at the time of orientation of building.  
  • Keep adequate opening area towards the wind
    The openings in building should be located towards the direction of wind.  Keep opening area, 20 to 30% of floor area of the house. Where air or wind is quit constant, the area of opening should be 30 to 50% of the floor area. Living room window should be in open space.
  • Where there is problem of open space, provide courtyard to solve the problem of space. Where the wind flow is low, provide open space around the house to get maximum natural air and light.
  • The area of opening should be at least 20 to 30% of floor area of the house. Outlet opening/ exhaust should be located on lee ward direction (opposite to air direction). The level of outlet opening is at the ceiling level to remove pollutant air from house. Keep the sill of windows at 2 feet to 2 feet 9 inches for taking maximum benefit of air moment. The windows should be fixed at occupancy level (the level of sitting).     
  • Keep adequate slope in floors and on roof
    The roof of house has sealed corners and adequate slope to drain rain water to avoid leakage causing dampness. Especially the floors of bathroom and kitchen should have proper slope to drain out waste water.       
  • Fix chimney and keep minimum offsets        
    Chimney should be fixed on over gas stove, cooking range etc. to remove air pollutants. There should be minimum offsets inside the building to avoid dust collection.   
  • Avoid pattern ceiling by doing plaster finish
    Do plaster finish to avoid pattern ceiling (un-plastered ceiling) and face work brick wall that keeps dust.
  • Install doors, windows and exhaust fans
    Fix wire gauge door and window shutters to avoid entry of bacteria to the house.  Install exhaust fan in kitchen, toilet, bathroom, store etc. to air out polluted air.   

2. Make arrangements for proper ventilation

Proper ventilation is a primary method to improve indoor air quality in a building. It helps in reducing in the level of CO in the house. Natural and mechanical ventilation draws air inside the house and removes it out. You can enjoy proper ventilation by using following ways.   
     

  • Install low level windows to get maximum air
    Low level windows should be provided towards the flow of wind. The position of windows should be according the use of various rooms, components of building. Windows’ opening should be so arranged that they give maximum light in occupancy area (the area of sitting). Outlet openings should be at high level and be located on lee ward direction (opposite to wind direction). Maximum air flows are achieved if both inlet and outlet area are at equal level. The height of windows sill should be 2’ to 2-1/2’ from floor level to get maximum natural air. Fix two windows instead of one single into the rooms having only exposed wall. The buildings where persons are working or sitting on floor, the sill height of windows should be 1-1/2’ from floor level. 

  • Fix mechanical devices
    Mechanical devices such as exhaust fans etc. can help in removing polluted air from house. Use exhaust fan while cooking, using toilets, bathroom, washroom etc.  Also make use of air purifier to remove pollutants from the house.     
  • Install outside openings to remove polluted air
    Outdoor air enters the house through doors, windows, ventilation, openings etc. and removes polluted air out through vents in the house. The windows and openings should be at occupancy level, in the direction of flow of air. Ventilator should be at higher level towards opposite direction of air flow. 

3. Utilize hygienic building material/ goods

  • Avoid materials releasing adhesives/urea: Avoid use of porous building material. Don’t make use of particle board or medium density fiber board for kitchen cabinets etc. to avoid adhesives releasing urea formaldehyde. You can use pressed wood products (obtained from timber). Purchase quality products according to required quantity.

  • Don’t use VOC products: Avoid paints and floor finishes which have adhesive and sealants emitting unhealthy volatile organic compounds (VOC) as these organic compounds spread harmful chemicals in indoor environment. Refer to manual instruction with container of the product.  
  • Opt for hardwood flooring: Install flooring of hard material such as bamboo, wood, marble stone or concrete flooring. Avoid tiles and asbestos floors; which contain harmful fibers.  Use solid wood products such as flush door to avoid dust collection. Don’t use wall paper, paneling on walls to avoid the growth of molds. Don’t use from wall to wall carpets to avoid growth of molds. 
      
  • Use pesticide in low quantity: Try to use minimum quantity of pesticides. Remove all indoor air pollutants and if not possible keep them with proper sealant (cover).  Integrated pest management technique should be used to reduce the need of pesticides.   

4. Maintain your house properly

  • Clean your house regularly: Dust, molds/termite, bacteria and other harmful particles should be cleaned at regular interval and remove these harmful particles away from home. Chimney, flues (Gas Stoves), exhausts should be cleaned regularly. Also clean wastewater drains etc. regularly. Make use of damping or mopping rather than sweeping. Carpet must be cleaned regularly to avoid growth of molds and to prevent allergy due to dust. Get periodic inspection done by experts in treatment of cleaning/molds. 
  • Repair leakage in rain water pipes and water supply pipes
    Ensure that there is no hole in rain water pipes to avoid leakage or dampness during rain. The joints of rain water pipes are tight to avoid any leakage. Water supply pipes should also be checked to avoid leakage. Sewer line should have adequate slope to drain out waste water immediately. Plinth protection should be made around building to avoid the entry of rain water to the foundation and to prevent growth of bacteria etc.
  • Utilize household products carefully: Use domestic products as per instruction of the manufacturer. Make sure that there is plenty of fresh air while working with domestic products. Don’t keep empty containers in the house. Never mix household care products unless directed on labels. Keep out the entire pest and other cleaning agents out of reach of children.
  • Maintain burning equipment: Always make sure that burning equipments, gas appliances are maintained and adjusted properly. Keep windows, ventilators and glass shutters open during cooking time.  Utilize vented space heater instead of un-vented heater. Flue and chimney should be cleaned regularly. Always keep flue of chimney open.   

 

;
Superb craftsmanship on wood articles plays a dominant role in making your home wow. A professional carpenter is required to do this job well for your home. This article gives you some useful tips on how to hire a qualified carpenter to make your home excellent.
Rain is fun but the fun may not last if your home fails to protect itself and its occupants from the elements. This write up lists 10 things you should check before the start of the rainy season.
Do you want to increase your working efficiency and reduce energy cost too? Opt for daylighting which offers strong health and good working environment in addition to reduction in energy cost/bills up to 50 %. Let’s read this article to know more facts.
Do you know almost all individual home construction projects in India take more money to complete than what people originally plan? If planned properly, we all can save 10% or more on our home construction projects. GharExpert.com has collected a series of articles where our objective is to share with you all the tricks that you could use to save money in building your dream home!
Proper ventilation freshens our breaths and leads us a healthy life. If you design or modify the house with maximum ventilation by installing proper windows and ventilators which gives more light and fresh air in the building.
Take utmost care to avoid dust during day long activities else the dust causes asthmatic problems to your lungs.
Smoke ruins not only our stamina but limits all options to live also.
The selection of a site depends upon ones present and future spatial requirements, the envisaged available funds, one’s lifestyle.
The whole building should be constructed at one time to avoid settlement in any portion of the building.
Everyone wants to build a dream home but no-one wants the hassle that comes in day-to-day construction work. Here are the guidelines that can help you pick a good contractor and make sure the relationship stays smooth throughout the construction work.
Bacteria affect the health of the occupants of the house adversely. By adopting the following points during construction
GharExpert.com would like to thank Rajni Jhabak, Amika Rai and Love Thy Community for their contribution to GharExpert database.
The capacity of doing work by an artisan or skilled labour in the form of quantity of work per day is known as the task work or out turn of the labour. The out-turn of work per artisan varies to some extent according to the nature, size, height, situation, location, etc. In well organized work less labour is required. The following may be taken as the approximate quantity of work or out turn or task for an average artisan per day.
Not all home decorating ideas require a heavy investment of time and money. If you're looking for a few affor
Once the architect has given his design options, it becomes necessary to select one and start working on it.
Kota stone flooring is a subtle blend of grandeur and luxury giving the interior and exterior a gorgeous look.......
To get maximum ventilation and natural light in your house, make sure the building is properly oriented. Orientation of building saves energy and provides comfortable living as well. This article tells you about various factors and benefits of building orientation.
Preview some of the most impressive pictures of kitchen from GharExpert Gallery.
A solid roof on building is very important for everybody living in the house. The roof should be constructed in a way that assures you great safety. Here are given details about different types of roofing.
Frames of doors and windows are most important parts of your doors and windows. They are available in different size, height, width and shapes. Frames hold locks and hinges and support door and windows to shut and open easily. Here is what you need to know about different doors and windows frames.

indoor pools
indoor pools
Indoor plants
Indoor plants
Indoor Plant
Indoor Plant
Air Ottomons
Air Ottomons
Air Space for Flat Roof of Thermal Insulation
Air Space for Flat Roof of Thermal Insulation
Indoor pool
Indoor pool
Indoor pool
Indoor pool
Indoor Pool
Indoor Pool
Standard quality wires
Standard quality wires
Bad quality granite
Bad quality granite
Good quality granite
Good quality granite
Quality Brush Leave no Brush Strokes on Wall
Quality Brush Leave no Brush Strokes on Wall
Good Quality Wood
Good Quality Wood
Indoor Swimming Pool
Indoor Swimming Pool
Use of bad quality water in construction cause this.
Use of bad quality water in construction cause this.
Marvellous Dining Room and Living Room
Marvellous Dining Room and Living Room
bed
bed
Rose Weave Bird Bath.jpg
Rose Weave Bird Bath.jpg
Energetic ceiling.
Energetic ceiling.
Tarrace Garden
Tarrace Garden
Bedroom Decor
Bedroom Decor
Lights
Lights
Lawn Chairs
Lawn Chairs
Indoor hanging plant over the wall
Indoor hanging plant over the wall
full pop ceiling with split Air conditioner AC on the wall
full pop ceiling with split Air conditioner AC on the wall
Indoor Swimming Pool
Indoor Swimming Pool
Indoor swimming  Pool
Indoor swimming Pool
indoor waterfall 2
indoor waterfall 2
Energetic ceiling.
Energetic ceiling.
Neat and Clean Garden
Neat and Clean Garden
These too
These too
Door sized windows in the bed room bring-in good sunlight
Door sized windows in the bed room bring-in good sunlight
Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool
Indoor Plant Decoration
Indoor Plant Decoration
Clean air from Nature
Clean air from Nature
landscape
landscape
Garden
Garden
Green living with indoor plants in living room
Green living with indoor plants in living room
room
room
indoor pool seating chairs
indoor pool seating chairs
Curtain with Valance
Curtain with Valance
Wood Garden Fountain
Wood Garden Fountain
Garden bird feeder
Garden bird feeder
Colorful bathroom design
Colorful bathroom design
Concrete Garden Fountain
Concrete Garden Fountain

Copyright 2007- GharExpert.com All rights reserved.