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Do Ceiling Fans Escalate Air Pollutants?

Ceiling fan is rotating at the ceiling of the room. Electric climate
Do Ceiling Fans Escalate Air Pollutants?

Ceiling fans exist to circulate stagnant, stuffy air around a room and to aid in cooling the temperature of a room’s inhabitants–a necessary fixture in these Tennessee summers. If you’re struggling with the heat, ceiling fans can also assist in regulating the temperature in your home as opposed to spending an arm and a leg replacing all of your thermostats. It is also well-known that ceiling fans can quickly accumulate dust and debris. Does this mean that they can actually make air quality worse in your home? Are they just stirring up air pollutants? Do you need air purifiers to combat what ceiling fans are doing? Let’s bust the myth.

Air Pollutants

Air pollutants include particulate matter like bacteria, pet hair, dirt, debris, mold, mildew, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and other chemical vapors. Typically, the air filtration system in your air conditioning unit should do its job of siphoning out toxins and other undesirable breathing matter. The short answer to the age-old question concerning ceiling fans and air pollution is that while fans can collect dust, as you keep them clean, they will certainly not add pollutants to your home’s air. If you allow your ceiling fan to accumulate a thick layer of debris, of course, you will experience a decrease in air purity when these particles begin to fall off.

Problems Caused by Air Pollutants

Air pollutants, including but not limited to allergens, asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead, and mold, are not only an annoyance and uncomfortable to breathe but can pose serious health risks in the short and long term. Health challenges caused by long-term exposure to poor indoor air quality include but are not limited to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. Short-term health effects that show up within hours of a single exposure or persist chronically due to repeated exposures include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. The good news is that most of these short-term exposure symptoms are treatable. Sometimes, this is as simple as eliminating opportunities for exposure. The likelihood of immediate or severe reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on factors such as age and pre-existing medical conditions like asthma. Sensitivity varies widely overall from person to person. As mentioned before, individuals who suffer from asthma may be at higher risk of encountering irritants in indoor environments that lack air purifiers or other air purifying methods.

Air Purification

That being said, ceiling fans do not purify the air that they circulate. They can, however, prevent mold and mildew from developing by constantly circulating air, encouraging evaporation of moisture rather than allowing the accumulation of water particles. Ceiling fans may even have the potential to improve air quality slightly if they are moving fresh air from outdoors throughout a stale indoor environment. 

If you are looking for true air purification, we recommend investing in a quality air purifier. Precision Air’s preferred air purifiers utilize ultraviolet technology. The UV rays are emitted directly into your home’s ductwork, killing off any microscopic organisms before they can come into the interior of your home. Additionally, a good air filter and regular HVAC maintenance are useful tools to cleanse the air circulated by your ceiling fans. 

It is worth noting that certain houseplants can also function as natural air purifiers. Precision Air professionals encourage homeowners to have aloe plants, snake plants, English ivy, or heartleaf philodendrons to help keep the air in your home healthy and clean.

The Ceiling Fan Verdict

The notion that ceiling fans are contributors to indoor air pollution is certainly a stretch. The reality is that your home’s air quality is more related to your cleaning habits, the outdoor environment near you, the state of your HVAC system’s air filter, and the presence of any additional air purification technology. At Precision Air, we believe in creating the healthiest, cleanest environment possible in all the homes that we service. Call Precision Air’s experienced technicians today to find out more about our air filtration methods and the air purifiers we offer for installation.

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