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Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an aspect of our home environment that often goes unnoticed, but growing research indicates that it can significantly impact our health and well-being. According to Health Canada, Canadians spend close to 90% of their time indoors, making it essential to understand indoor air quality’s role in maintaining a healthy home. Fortis Heating & Air Conditioning, a locally owned and operated HVAC company servicing the Durham Region, is committed to providing educational and helpful content to help homeowners improve their indoor air quality and overall health.

Many factors can contribute to poor indoor air quality, including inadequate ventilation, outdoor pollutants, high humidity levels, and the presence of allergens such as pet dander and dust mites. These elements can exacerbate respiratory issues such as asthma, allergies, and other health concerns. However, by proactively improving indoor air quality, you can create a healthier and more comfortable living environment for your family.

In this informative blog post, Fortis Heating & Air Conditioning will delve into the connection between indoor air quality and our health. We will provide insights into common sources of indoor air pollution, potential health effects of poor IAQ, and expert recommendations to enhance your home’s air quality. With this knowledge, Durham Region homeowners will be empowered to improve their indoor air quality and, as a result, their overall health and wellness.

In this blog post, Fortis Heating & Air Conditioning will guide you through understanding the connection between indoor air quality and health, as well as how to improve the air quality in your Durham Region home for a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

What Are the Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution? 

There are several sources of indoor air pollution, which may vary from home to home. Some of the most common sources include:

  • Combustion by-products: Appliances such as furnaces, gas stoves, and fireplaces generate contaminants like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter, negatively impacting indoor air quality.
  • Building Materials and Furnishings: Materials such as paint, carpet, and pressed wood products can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air over time, contributing to poor indoor air quality.
  • Pets and Pests: Pet dander and allergens from pests like dust mites and cockroaches are common household allergens that can affect air quality and respiratory health.
  • Mould and Mildew: High humidity levels, water leaks, and poor ventilation can lead to mould and mildew growth, releasing spores into the air and harming the air quality in your home.

By identifying and addressing these sources of indoor air pollution, you can take a proactive approach to improving your home’s air quality.

What Are the Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality? 

Poor indoor air quality can have a range of health effects on you and your family, particularly those with pre-existing respiratory issues or allergies. Some of the potential health effects include:

  • Respiratory irritation and exacerbation of asthma or allergy symptoms
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Long-term exposure to certain pollutants can increase the risk of developing chronic respiratory issues or even cancer

Improving your home’s indoor air quality can mitigate these health risks and create a safer indoor environment.

How Do Ventilation and Fresh Air Exchange Work? 

Proper ventilation is essential for maintaining good indoor air quality. Fresh air exchange helps dissipate pollutants and maintains a healthy indoor and outdoor air balance. Here are some ways to improve your home’s ventilation:

  • Open windows and doors whenever possible to allow fresh air in and promote air circulation.
  • Install and use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove moisture and airborne contaminants.
  • Consider a whole-house ventilation system, such as a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV), continuously exchanging stale indoor air with fresh, filtered outdoor air.

Effective ventilation can improve indoor air quality and promote a healthier home environment.

Why Is HVAC Maintenance and Air Filtration Important? 

Your HVAC system plays a crucial role in maintaining good indoor air quality. Regular maintenance and proper air filtration are essential to ensuring optimal performance and air purification:

  • Clean or replace your HVAC system’s air filters regularly, at least every 1 to 3 months, or as your system’s manufacturer recommends. This will help maintain air quality and improve your system’s efficiency.
  • Schedule annual maintenance with a professional HVAC service provider like Fortis Heating & Air Conditioning to clean and inspect your system, ensuring it functions optimally and maintains good indoor air quality.
  • To capture smaller pollutants and allergens more effectively, consider upgrading to a more advanced air filtration system, like a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or an electronic air cleaner.

You can significantly improve the air quality in your Durham Region home by properly caring for your HVAC system and utilizing suitable air filtration methods.


Understanding the importance of indoor air quality and its impact on our health is essential for maintaining a healthy and comfortable home. By addressing common sources of indoor air pollution, promoting effective ventilation, and keeping your HVAC system well-maintained, you can significantly improve your home’s air quality and contribute to a healthier living environment for your family.

Fortis Heating & Air Conditioning & Air Conditioning is dedicated to providing Durham Region homeowners with educational, informative, and helpful content relating to their HVAC systems and indoor air quality. With our expert advice and professional services, we can help you make informed decisions and create a more comfortable and healthier home for your family. If you want to improve your home’s indoor air quality or need assistance with your HVAC system, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our team of qualified professionals is ready to help you every step of the way through our HVAC maintenance service

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