With your own home gym, you can exercise any time without having to drive anywhere or wait for equipment. Home gyms also provide you with more privacy. However, you might be shocked to learn about the common indoor air quality problems plaguing many home gyms. Here are some of the causes behind and solutions for indoor air problems in home gyms.
Formaldehyde is a preservative. It becomes a gas at room temperature. In your home gym, there could be formaldehyde off-gassing from your pressed-wood products, foam insulation, foam floor mats, synthetic fibers on your equipment or exercise clothes, or personal care products. It can also come from fireplaces, wood stoves, and auto exhaust. If your home gym is near your garage, auto exhaust could get into the room. When you breathe in formaldehyde, it may cause health problems including dizziness, headaches, coughing and eye, nose, or throat irritation.
As you move about your home gym, you will stir up dust. Dust is a combination of shed skin and hair cells from any people or pets in your home. Also, in the mixture are little fibers from carpets, upholstery, and clothing. If you jump rope, run, or do other rapid-movement exercises in your home gym, you will stir up dust. Installing a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your HVAC system or a whole-house air purifier with an electrostatic filter could reduce the amount of dust.
Many people set up their home gym in their basement. Basements usually have a lot of space and a sturdy concrete floor, which makes them a good option for heavy home gym equipment. However, basements are also prone to humidity problems. High humidity and a lack of adequate ventilation could lead to mold growth in your home gym. Mold releases spores, which float in the air until they land on a surface. After landing, they can grow a new mold colony and repeat the cycle. Breathing in mold spores is a trigger for allergies and asthma. Mold exposure can also cause ear, nose, throat and skin irritation, nasal and sinus congestion, and itchy eyes and skin.
Particulates are another cause of indoor air quality problems in home gyms. They come from several sources, including combustion. If you have a gas furnace in your basement, it can release particulates. The particles also include pet dander from furry pets. If you open the windows for ventilation, pollen could be included in the particulates of your home’s air. Particulates can also come from the wear and tear on your home gym equipment. Friction from regular use grinds away a little bit of the plastic, carbon fibers, and metals in weights, ropes, and bands and exercise equipment.
Radon is a radioactive element. It occurs naturally in rocks, soil, and groundwater all over the United States. Some areas have especially high concentrations of radon. West Missouri is known for particularly high radon levels, including Liberty, Kansas City, and the surrounding areas. The radon gas seeps into your home through openings in the foundation, sump pumps, crawl spaces, and gaps around openings for plumbing, ventilation and electrical wiring. Because it’s heavier than air, radon settles into the lower level of your home. This could affect home gyms in basements. Have your home tested for radon and install an abatement system if levels are high.
Solvents also harm the indoor air quality in your home gym. They often come from cleaning solutions, such as the products you use to wipe down your equipment after use. They can also come from lubricants and degreasers that you use for home gym maintenance. New carpeting releases solvents for a few weeks after installation. Solvents may also be in particle board furniture and in adhesives that hold inexpensive chairs or tables together. An air purifier that uses ozone, electrostatic or HEPA filters removes most solvents from the air.
At Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling, we employ NATE-certified technicians who can identify the sources of air pollution in your home gym and the rest of your living space. You can also count on us to provide affordable heating and cooling repair, replacement, and installation services. Our HVAC maintenance plans provide you with peace of mind and consistent year-round comfort. To learn more about indoor air quality problems in home gyms, contact us at Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling.