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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

8 Ways to Get Clean Air in Your Home

You may not realize it, but indoor air is most likely anywhere between two and five times more polluted than outdoor air. Since we spend most of our time inside our homes and offices, you might as well make sure that the air you and your family are breathing is as clean as possible. Use these eight methods to effectively clean the air circulating in your home and keep it clean for as long as possible.

 

  1. Improve the Ventilation in Your Home

While opening the windows in your home is a good way to bring in fresh air, it’s not necessarily effective for bringing in clean air. The reason is that the air outside of your home is filled with mold, industrial pollution and dust in addition to harmful by-products created from the gas emissions expelled by vehicles. What you’ll want to do is utilize trickle ventilation, which is a screen with a series of filters that helps bring in fresh air and screen out harmful pollutants.

 

  1. Always Smoke Outside

Never allow anyone to smoke inside of your residence. Not only can smoke cling to the walls, ceiling, floor and your furniture, it’s also harmful to everyone, not just the individual who’s smoking. You might not realize it, but roughly 7,500 to 15,000 children are admitted to the hospital or become sick every year because of a respiratory tract infection. Anyone in your house who has a lung or cardiovascular illness will be at risk of further health complications.

 

  1. Install an Air Purifier with a HEPA Filter

A quality air purifier is one of the best ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality. There are air purifiers that scrub the air in a single room and larger ones that can clean the air in your entire home. It’s best that you use air purifiers that offer quiet operation rather than models that can be quite noisy, since you are more likely to use a quiet air purifier at all times of the day. There are several different types of air purifiers for you to choose from, depending on the size of the room and which harmful particulates you’d like to filter out.

You can also install HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters in your air conditioner as a way to increase clean air in your home. If you do decide to use HEPA filters, make sure that you change them regularly for maximum efficiency.

 

  1. Turn on Your Air Conditioning Unit

Running your air conditioner is also a great way to clean the air in your home in addition to cooling it down or warming it up. A majority of water pollutants are water-soluble, which means that while your air conditioner pulls water from the air inside of your home it’s also pulling pollutants out. Another advantage to using your air conditioner to improve your air quality is that it can get rid of particulate matter and pollen.

 

  1. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

It’s estimated that more than roughly 400 people die every year as the result of carbon monoxide poisoning in addition to thousands of people who either become sick or require medical assistance as a result of being exposed to carbon monoxide.

The largest issue with carbon monoxide is that you can’t smell it, which makes it harder to determine whether or not it’s present in your home. Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include flu-like symptoms. You may notice that you feel better when you’re not in your home, and there’s a chance that you may notice a difference in your pets. It’s best that you install carbon monoxide detectors close to bedrooms and that you have all of the appliances in your home that burn fuel inspected every year by a professional technician.

 

  1. Clean the Gas Jets of Your Stove

If you use a stove that uses propane or natural gas, it’s recommended that you have your gas jets cleaned and maintained at least once a year by a reputable technician in order that you can be sure the gas is burning cleanly.

Your stove gives off nitrogen dioxide, which can create ozone if it’s exposed to sunlight. The irritating gas has been known to cause wheezing in perfectly healthy individuals. In addition to having your gas jets clean, it’s a good idea to open up a window so that any nitrogen dioxide your gas stove creates can be dispersed. You can also turn on the exhaust fan to keep the gas from building up.    

 

  1. Choose Your Cleaning Products Wisely

While keeping your home clean can also improve your air quality, you can do more harm than good if you aren’t careful of the cleaning products you use. It’s best that you use products that contain either low or no VOCs, which or volatile organic compounds. You might also want to switch to cleaning products that are fragrance-free, no matter how much you might like having your home smell like a blossoming lemon tree.

Another good idea is to use liquid or paste cleaning products since they don’t spread as many particulates in the air as sprays. As you’re cleaning, keep an eye out for spots of mold since there might be spores spreading through the air of your home.

 

  1. Take Care of Leaks

Have your basement, roof and foundation checked for leaks and signs of leakage and have any problem areas repaired as soon as possible. Rain and high humidity can enter your home through leaks and lead to mildew and mold, which can lead to coughing, wheezing and other asthma symptoms. In addition to having your home inspected at least once a year for leaks, you’ll also want to make sure that rain and water runoff is channeled away from your home’s foundation as much as possible to keep runoff from seeping into your basement.

Put these methods into practice and see if your breathing and health in general don’t improve. Not only can you save your indoor air, you might also be able to save on medical bills by introducing clean air into your home.

 

Let us help you choose the correct air purifier for your needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

 

 

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Outdoor Air Pollution Linked to Increased Hypertension Risk for Pregnant Women

Hypertension, which is an increase in blood pressure, can be dangerous for pregnant women and for their developing babies.  Increased blood pressure can contribute to the development of conditions, such as preeclampsia in some mothers, and while these conditions are relatively rare, occurring in less than 10% of pregnancies, researchers are trying to understand how environmental factors may play a role in a woman’s risk of developing these conditions.  Recent research focused on outdoor air quality, particularly in the types of air pollution released from forest fires, car exhaust, power plants, and other industrial sources.  These pollutants, when found in high concentration, can cause a number of health related issues, from allergy like symptoms, to more serious heart and lung problems.  The study found that pregnant women exposed to these outdoor air pollutants had a greater risk of developing hypertensive disorders.  More research is needed to determine how great a role environmental factors have, but for now, researchers are calling for tighter air pollution controls.

It is always a good idea to limit exposure to outdoor air pollutants, not only for expectant mothers but for us all, particularly those in cities or industrial areas.  One of the easiest and best tools to use is a local air quality forecast, such as Air Now.  By monitoring air quality in your city, you can plan the best times to venture outside, and the best times to stay indoors.  At home, keep your indoor air quality pristine by keeping humidity levels low, using low VOC emitting paints and cleaners, and running an air purifier with a true HEPA filter, such as our BioGS 2.0, to filter out particle and chemical pollutants and keep air fresh and clean. 

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UC San Diego Researching Portable Air Quality Monitor

City Smog In December 2012, the University of California at San Diego discussed an exciting new advance in Air Quality monitoring. Researchers there had created a small portable device that measured air quality in real time, letting users know in the moment whether they were breathing clean air or if they had wandered into a spot of highly concentrated pollutants. This advanced technology allowed for those concerned with air quality to have more precise information about the environment around them, allowing them to make informed decisions about the air they breathed. Runners and bikers, for example, would be able to avoid areas with higher pollution, protecting their lungs as they exercised. The device could even be useful in indoor areas, as one study participant found when he realized that the air quality in his office was quite poor, prompting his company to take steps to improve the air for its employees.

We hope to see more research into this area, and look forward to the day when personal air quality monitoring is available to all. Until then, there are still steps one can take to be proactive about air quality and protected from pollutants. City-wide daily pollen and pollution counts are easily accessed on websites such as Pollen.com and AirNow.gov. These sites are great tools for learning about air pollution in your city, and can help to plan your outings during times when pollutant levels are low. When you’re in your home, you can be smart about air pollutants as well by using a HEPA air purifier such as our MinusA2 to filter out harmful pollutants and keep the air clean and fresh.

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