Air quality has dramatically improved over the years, but it’s still not up to healthy standards. Many people spend most of their time indoors, and while vents and air purifiers help keep the air clean, it’s not enough. People are often unaware of the impacts of low air quality.
Non-renewable energy sources still heat and cool most residential buildings and homes. Fossil fuels contribute to air quality, so using them to heat indoor spaces leads to unhealthy air. Burning them emits toxic pollutants, and switching to cleaner energy results in better health for humans and the environment.
Renewable energy for residential air quality is one major step in the movement toward cleaner air and a reduction in climate change pace. Clean residential air should be of the utmost importance for human health.
Importance of Air Quality
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the air quality in and around buildings, including residential structures. Though outdoor and indoor air quality are equally essential, most people spend about 90% of their time indoors.
Breathing in dust, mold, pollen and dander can all aggravate asthma, allergies and other health conditions. Heating a residential building with wood stoves or other fuel-burning appliances makes the IAQ even more detrimental. Harmful chemicals with gas and oil heating systems may release carbon monoxide and other toxins.
Short- and long-term health effects are a result of non-renewable energy sources. These could include irritation, dizziness, headaches, respiratory problems and even cancer. Renewable energy for residential air quality is critical in improving human and environmental health.
Types of Renewable Energy
Fortunately, there are other residential energy options. Climate change worsens air quality, both indoors and outdoors. By using renewable energy rather than fossil fuels for any energy need, the residential air quality enhances, diminishing harmful pollutants that aggravate health conditions.
Two of the best-known renewable energy sources are solar and wind, and they will help improve residential air quality.
Solar energy, as you likely know, is energy harnessed from the sun’s rays. The panels capture photons to convert sunlight into electricity. Solar panel installers often place arrays on rooftops to maximize their exposure to sunlight.
While these panel arrays are relatively expensive to install, the electricity they generate reduces the need to connect to the public grid. Sometimes, switching to solar energy can eliminate electricity expenses over time. Solar panel use also reduces greenhouse gases emitted by fossil-fuel-generated power, reducing air pollution in residential areas.
Though solar panel manufacturing may release some gases, this amount is small compared to the number of toxins produced by non-renewable energy sources. Solar panels are a cleaner and healthier alternative for residential building energy consumption.
Wind power is another clean, renewable energy that boosts air quality for residential areas. Whether turbines are on hilltops or offshore sites, the wind’s force powers them to generate energy. It has significantly fewer effects on the environment and air quality than fossil fuels.
In the United States alone, wind turbines accounted for over 7% of the utility-scale electricity generation in 2019, and experts predict that number will rise. With more renewable energy, climate change slows, and residential air quality improves, making homes and buildings healthy places to live and work.
The Need for Change
Non-renewable sources drive climate change and put a significant dent in residential air quality. Each time someone uses fossil fuels to power a device or heat a home, more chemicals enter the atmosphere. Clean energy protects the health of every human on the planet.
Residential air quality is one of the most critical factors contributing to our well-being. Through renewable energy, good health and a clean environment are attainable as long as you work to switch to fossil fuel alternatives.
Author bio: Jane is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co and an environmental writer covering green technology, sustainability and environmental news.