Bad Air Quality

Based on the US Air Quality Index or AQI, an index of 50 and below is a good sign, while an index above 300 indicates hazardous air quality due to pollution. Also, the AQI is categorized into 6 different color-coded levels, and each category reflects a level of concern.

Air Quality Index Categories:

  • Good – 0-50 Value – Color code: Green

The green color code indicates that the air is good to satisfactory with an index value of 0-50. At this level, the air contains zero to lesser air pollution that poses no risk to little risk to health.

  • Moderate – 51-100 Value – Color code: Yellow

The air quality at this level is relatively acceptable. However, to some people who are unusually sensitive to pollutants and particles in the air, this level is considered poor and may cause risks to health.

  • Unhealthy (to sensitive individuals) – 101-150 Value – Color code: Orange

Coded orange at 101-151 AQI, this category is unhealthy to members of sensitive groups due to bad air quality.

  • Unhealthy (to almost everyone) – 151-200 Value – Color code: Red

Almost everyone is at higher risk if the air quality is at this level. However, at an AQI value of 151-200, a more significant number of individuals may experience serious health effects. In addition, those who belong to the sensitive groups may experience the worst impact on health.

  • Very Unhealthy – 201-300 Value – Color code: Purple

The health risk is significantly increased for everyone if the air quality is at this level. Therefore, necessary precautions and protection are imposed.

  • Hazardous – 301 and Higher Value – Color code: Maroon

Hazardous air indicates terrible air quality or even worst. It is an emergency condition, and everyone is affected.

Common Indoor Air Contaminants

  • Carbon Dioxide or CO₂ – from fuel combustion and gas from furnaces and heaters
  • Carbon Monoxide or CO – from vehicle exhaust
  • Dust, gases, asbestos, fiberglass, and formaldehyde – building materials
  • Vapors, volatile organic compounds or VOC – from cleansers and disinfectants, solvents, paints, pesticides, carpets, printing machines, and more
  • Dust mites – dust from the fabric, chair cushions, and carpets
  • Microbial contaminants – include bacteria, molds, and fungi.
  • Ozone – from electrostatic air cleaners, electric motors, and photocopiers
  • Other sources of contaminants such as tobacco smoke, perfume, food odor, body odor, and more

Potential Symptoms

Bad air quality is not good for the health, but it may not affect every person with the same issues. Moreover, knowing the symptoms is safe to take the right action and professional medical attention.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Dryness/irritation of the eyes, throat, and skin
  • Sinus congestion
  • Allergic reaction
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Nausea and dizziness

Even those who claim they are physically healthy and fit can be affected by the risks and health effects of lousy air quality. Therefore, it is best to know what actions to take to improve air quality and protect yourself from the dangers. 

Does AC improve air quality?

Yes, air conditioners can improve air quality by filtering out pollutants and circulating clean air throughout a room or building. Air conditioners work by drawing in hot, humid air and running it through a cooling coil. This process not only cools the air but also removes impurities such as dust, pollen, and mold spores. The filtered air is then circulated back into the room or building, providing cleaner, healthier air for everyone to breathe.

Does a UV Air Purifier Help?

A UV air purifier can help improve the air quality of an AC unit. Using ultraviolet light kills bacteria and viruses. A UV air purifier can help reduce the number of harmful particles in the air, making it safer to breathe. UV air purifiers can also help remove odors and other contaminants from the air, making it fresher and more pleasant to breathe.

Will a HEPA Filter Improve My Air Quality?

A HEPA filter can help improve your air quality by trapping and removing harmful particles and contaminants from the air. HEPA filters are designed to remove 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger, making them an extremely effective tool for improving indoor air quality. HEPA filters can also help reduce dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and other airborne allergens that can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.

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