Indoor Air Quality is Not Regulated
Like most states, Kentucky does not regulate indoor air quality (IAQ). There are no federal standards for permissible exposure limits to indoor pollutants such as mold, wood smoke, dust, or other contaminants. This page is intended to provide background information on potential indoor air quality problems and solutions.
The Division for Air Quality does not conduct indoor air quality testing or remediation, but there are many private companies that do. The Kentucky Indoor Air Quality Consultants List provides a listing of contractors who handle mold, radon, and many other indoor air quality issues. For more information on indoor air quality and choosing an IAQ remediation consultant, see the American Industrial Hygiene Association's IAQ page.
What Causes Indoor Air Problems?
Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.
There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home:
- Combustion sources and tobacco products
- Building materials and furnishings
- Products for household cleaning, personal care, or hobbies
- Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
- Mold growth caused by excess moisture, humidity or water leaks
Amount of Ventilation
If too little outdoor air enters a home, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems. Unless they are built with special mechanical means of ventilation, homes that are designed and constructed to minimize the amount of outdoor air that can "leak" into and out of the home may have higher pollutant levels than other homes. However, because some weather conditions can drastically reduce the amount of outdoor air that enters a home, pollutants can build up even in homes that are normally considered "leaky."
If you suspect you have an indoor air quality problem in your home, the first step is controlling sources of pollution.
- Ventilate: Increasing the amount of fresh air indoors helps reduce pollutant concentrations inside.
- Change filters regularly: Central heating and air conditioning systems have filters to trap dust and other pollutants in the air. Change or clean these filters regularly.
- Maintain proper humidity: The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent. Higher humidity can increase the likelihood of mold.
- Find more tips at EPA's Indoor Air Quality page .