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The 4 Major Indoor Air Pollutants

man holding an AC filter

Indoor air quality is vital for a healthy atmosphere at home or work. Indoor air pollution causes the air you breathe to become uncomfortable or even unsafe. At ACS, we take indoor air quality very seriously and it’s important to know what might be causing pollution inside your home or building. The Environmental Protection Agency touches on many causes of indoor air pollution, and we’re highlighting four common ones below. Watch out for these popular (or, rather, infamous) pollutants to stay healthy and safe. 

Excess Moisture

Excess moisture is one of the least recognized indoor air pollutants and one of the most harmful to your health and the health of the building. Moisture often arises when moist air meets a cool surface. Mildew and dust mites gather, triggering asthma and allergic reactions and creating discomfort. They also lead to rust and destroyed wood applications, which can be dangerous or at least decrease the structure’s value. A dehumidifier will help mitigate the unnecessary moisture in the air. 

Volatile Organic Compound

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, have a high indoor concentration and usually result from paints, aerosol sprays, disinfectants, and pesticides. Some VOCs, like formaldehyde, are dangerous to your health. VOC exposure can cause nausea, eye and nose irritation, headaches, and kidney and liver damage. Increase ventilation and be careful to follow product instructions to prevent VOCs. 

Carbon Monoxide:

You have probably heard of carbon monoxide—or carbon monoxide poisoning—before. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced from fluid combustion. It reduces the amount of oxygen in the body, causing nausea, dizziness, headaches, a fast heart rate, and, in high doses, death. Ensure proper ventilation, install all electrical appliances correctly, and get a carbon monoxide monitor to check for this sneaky gas. 


Like carbon monoxide, you can neither see nor smell radon, a radioactive gas generated naturally in soil that enters the home from the ground. It is a leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is concentrated more heavily in some regions. A radon screening kit will help you test the levels of radon gas, and when they are too high, it’s time to call in the professionals to take care of it.

While these are four common indoor air pollutants, they aren’t the only ones. Any pollutant can be dangerous to your health or reduce the quality of your real estate. Other pollutants to watch out for include the following (to name a few): 

  • Asbestos
  • Biological pollutants
  • Lead 
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Tobacco smoke/wood smoke

Many different monitors and tests can help ensure that your air is breathable and clean. However, the best thing you can do to monitor and get rid of indoor air pollutants is to hire a trained professional to test and take care of your indoor air quality. At ACS, we install and replace air ducts, filters, and purification systems and perform duct cleaning services. If you’re unsure about what services you need or if your air is healthy, reach out today to get started.