Well, you might be thinking – How can the air inside my home be polluted? According to Environmental Protection Agency, 96 percent of homes are victim to at least one type of indoor air quality (IAQ) issue.
We all like to consider our homes the safest place for ourselves and our loved ones, but do you know, the air within your home can be more polluted than the outdoor air? We always think that traveling in cars and flights, performing recreational activities and exposing to environmental pollution can be a risk to the health. But indoor air quality can be even more dangerous.
The indoor air quality of your home is the biggest contributing factor towards the health and comfort of your home. A research indicates that people spend around 90% of their time indoors. Therefore, the health risks are greater due to exposure to indoor air than outdoors.
With this in mind, it’s time to evaluate the air quality inside your home and take the necessary steps to improve it.
Find out how…
Be Aware Of The Pollutants Inside Your Home
According to Environmental Protection Agency indoor pollutants are classified into 3 categories, all of which can cause serious health issues with sufficient exposure:
- Combustion Pollutants:
Particles or gases coming from burning substances, such as wooden and gas stoves, space heaters, water heaters, fireplaces, and dryers that ventilate improperly or do not ventilate at all. Amounts and types of these pollutants will vary depending on the installation, maintenance, and ventilation of the appliance, as well as the kind of fuel used. Nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide are a few combustion pollutants most of us are familiar with and both of which are odorless and colorless gases.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (“VOCs”):
VOCs are organic chemicals released as gases from numerous solids and liquids. These chemicals are mostly used in various household products, such as paints and lacquers, building materials, pesticides, furnishings, cleaners and disinfectants, craft materials like adhesives, glues, and air fresheners. Some of the common VOCs are Benzene, Acetone, Ethylene glycol, Methylene chloride, Formaldehyde, and Perchloroethylene.
- Chronic Health Triggers:
Some of the common health triggers are dust mites, mold, secondhand smoke, pollen, and pet dander. After a certain time, mold can grow on shower curtains, dust mites in soft fabrics like quilts, pillows, or stuffed toys on the floor.
Once you know the reasons for indoor air pollution, minimize them with a few simple practices:
- Keep the windows open whenever possible, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Stay up to date with all the filters in your home. Clean or change them regularly when needed, specifically those for your furnace or heater, air purifier, air conditioner, and vacuum. For better maintenance and safety, choose regular furnace and air conditioning repair services.
- Adjust the humidity levels with humidity or moisture gauge accordingly, which is available at most of the hardware stores. The ideal humidity level inside the home is 45%. Humidity Level over 50% is too high or under 30% is too dry and can also cause the mold growth. You can use a humidifier or vaporizer to increase humidity. To decrease it, open the windows, turn on the air conditioner or a fan, or use a dehumidifier.
- Avoid using synthetic air fresheners and wax candles made with petroleum. Use the homemade air fresheners, simmering pots, and all-natural candles instead, which won’t release any harmful chemicals.
- While using an air purifier, make sure that it eliminates VOCs produced from furniture, paint, and cleaning chemicals and doesn’t produce ozone.
- Always use non-toxic adhesive, varnishes, and finishes where possible. Also, use the low or no VOC paints. Stay updated about the different substances that go into a piece of furniture.
Using The Right Air Quality Monitor
While the above practices may save you from the adverse effects of indoor air pollution, using an air quality monitor can be the best choice to prevent its causes.
Indoor air monitors are specially designed to detect the levels of dangerous pollutants found indoor and provide recommendations for reducing their effects and achieve a healthy indoor environment.
But wait! You need to choose the right air quality monitor for your home.
When you purchase an air quality monitor, you should decide exactly what you are looking for and what functionalities you wish it to have. Many families are only concerned with the correct levels of carbon monoxide in their homes. Thus, they can pick one with a low-end budget. However, some individuals may be concerned about allergies or asthma, so they can invest in a model offering detection of VOCs and tiny dust particles.
Importance Of Indoor Air Quality Monitoring
There are a variety of reasons for monitoring the quality of air. Using an air quality monitor will help you know the time you need to change your air filters. If you have an allergy issue, this monitor will indicate when to close the windows. Moreover, if you run an organization, you can take care of your employees’ health, reducing their sick days. Overall, we all could benefit by paying attention to the quality of air from time to time. For those with a chronic health issue or even those who want to stay more alert about the manageable health factors, an air quality monitor is a perfect way to identify what we can’t see with our naked eyes.
It’s not irrational to think that in the near future, the indoor air quality will be the biggest concern for us. So everyone will be taking precautionary measures and carry these monitors, showing us a better picture of the quality of the air we inhale than ever before.