Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a colorless, odorless gas. This poisonous substance can penetrate your Duluth, Georgia, home and create a health hazard for your family. Here’s what you need to know about NO2 and its effects on indoor air quality:
Where Does Nitrogen Dioxide Come From?
In homes, NO2 is generated during the combustion process with stoves, space heaters, water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, and boilers. These appliances can all create NO2 by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, kerosene, wood and gas. NO2 can also be generated by combustion appliances that are poorly vented or improperly installed.
How Does NO2 Affect Health?
NO2 increases inflammation of the airways, worsens coughing and wheezing and reduces lung function. It irritates the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract and increases emergency room visits. High exposure can cause lung injury and pulmonary edema. Sustained exposure may cause acute chronic bronchitis. Low exposure can decrease lung function in those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. NO2 can heighten bronchial reactivity in those with asthma and increase the risk of respiratory infections.
How Does NO2 Impact Indoor Air Quality?
NO2 levels in homes are about half as high as they would be outside. However, that’s only true for homes without gas stoves, kerosene heaters, gas space heaters, and other combustion appliances. When those appliances are present and in use, indoor NO2 levels usually exceed outdoor levels.
How Can I Protect My Home From Nitrogen Dioxide?
Keep exposure levels low by venting combustion appliances to the outside. Make sure these appliances are working properly by scheduling maintenance every year. In addition, follow the guidelines below:
- Use the correct fuel in kerosene space heaters.
- Keep flues open while using wood stoves.
- Use wood stoves that are properly sized and EPA-certified.
- Make sure that all wood stove doors have a tight fit.
- Maintain gas appliances and make sure they are adjusted properly.
The indoor comfort team at Arcadia HVAC wants you to stay healthy. Annual HVAC maintenance improves air quality, and high IAQ supports good health. To learn more, give us a call at (770) 814-6220 in Duluth, Georgia.