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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

Be Aware of Indoor Air Quality

Air pollution affects more than just outdoor air; dirty air can be inside every building you walk into, including your home and workplace. If there is a pollution alert outside, you might decide to stay inside to remain safe. This, unfortunately, doesn’t always help. In fact, your indoor air may be even more polluted than what you’re breathing outside.

What’s In the Air?
Outside, smog, haze, or smog hangs in the atmosphere. If there’s been a fire nearby, there might be smoke dirtying up the environment. Factories near you might be belching out all sorts of irritating pollutants and particulates. Inside your home or office, it’s likely that you’re breathing in harmful substances, too, such as:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Fire-retardants
  • Lead
  • Radon
  • Chemicals
  • Fragrances
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Asbestos

How do all these indoor pollutants enter your space? They appear in multiple ways. For example, that new pseudo-leather sofa with its odd smell is releasing chemicals as it settles in. So is the laminate flooring you just had installed in your den. If you have dogs or cats, you already know where the pet dander originated. Your cleaning products also impact your environment, as most conventional cleansers get rid of grime through chemical concoctions.

Ventilation and Other Factors
There are multiple factors that magnify the effects of poor indoor air quality, also referred to as IAQ. Some of them you have more control over than others, for example:

  • Poor ventilation
  • Remodeling dust
  • Humidity levels
  • Leaks from roofs or plumbing

A poorly ventilated building is a surefire recipe for IAQ, as the healthiest spaces are those with free-flowing outdoor air. Remodeling jobs that involve drywall or lumber generate an amazing amount of microscopic dust particles that coat every surface and are inhaled as a matter of course. Low and high humidity levels impact air quality and leaks often lead to mildew and mold.

Modern Times Are Worse for IAQ
Indoor air has become more of a problem in modern times. This is because of several factors.

  • Central Air Conditioning and Heating: Today, our homes and offices have climate control systems that require closed windows and doors.
  • Chemical Cleansers: Many of the cleaning products we buy in the store are laden with harmful chemicals. If you want a spotless carpet or shiny faucet, you usually apply a squirt or sprinkle of air contaminants to accomplish your task.
  • Interior Decorating: More furnishings and flooring products are man-made from artificial materials than in yesteryear. For example, instead of having hardwood floors, homeowners install laminate reproductions. Polyester and plastic have taken the place of cotton and wood.
  • Time Indoors: People spend much more time indoors than they did in the past. This is true of workers on the job, school children in classrooms rather than on the playground, and family life in general (kids playing video games instead of freeze-tag, parents watching TV instead of taking walks).

Health Effects
When humans spend long hours inhaling polluted air, their health is adversely impacted. Many maladies and conditions are directly linked to IAQ, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Allergies
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Cancer
  • Eye, nose, lungs, throat irritation

What Can You Do About It?
Happily, there are steps that you can take to improve the quality of your air. To start with, be more aware of what you bring into your home or office building. Here are some actions that can change the IAQ of your interior world:

  • Clean Your Vents: Cleaning the ventilation ductwork of your HVAC systems can make a substantial difference.
  • Open Your Windows and Doors: It’s a wise idea to open up your house or office building to the outside world to invite some fresh air in.
  • Use an Air Purifier: These units draw in dirty air and trap contaminates in a filter.
  • Read Labels: Take some time to read the labels on cleansers and furnishings that you bring into your home or work environment.
  • HEPA Vacuum: You can suck up allergen concentrations in your house by vacuuming with a machine that has a HEPA filter. You can even remove lead and other toxins with this type of vacuum cleaner, especially one with a rotating brush and powerful suction.
  • Mop with Water Only: After vacuuming, mop with plain water. Skip the detergents and just wash your floors with good old H2O.
  • Take Your Shoes Off: A helpful household custom is removing your shoes at the door. This keeps outdoor pollutants out of your household.

Be Mindful
Clean air is one of the things that all living beings need to live healthy lives. You don’t have to shrug your shoulders and accept poor IAQ as a phenomenon of modern existence. By making a few lifestyle changes and being mindful of what you inhale, you can help to improve your health.

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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What Can an Air Purifier Filter?

Many people may be familiar with how air cleaning devices work on a surface level. For example, users likely know that they breathe easier when their purifier is turned on, or that the smell of last night’s dinner has gone away. Digging a little deeper, you may be surprised at just how thoroughly an air purifier works, filtering out a large number of particles that could be floating around your home or business.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American is indoors nearly 90 percent of the time. What’s more, the agency reports that indoor air quality can be as much as 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. Ready to breathe easier? Check out the different contaminants an air purifier can remove.

Allergens
One of the most common reasons people purchase air filtration systems is because they work so well during peak allergy seasons: spring and fall. During these times, allergens such as mold or pollen run rampant in the air, leading to itchy eyes, a stuffy nose and headaches. Air purifiers work to filter these particles out of the air you breathe in your home. Your indoor air quality can greatly improve by putting a purifier in the rooms you frequent the most.

Harmful Toxins
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a number of ways that harmful toxins can enter your home and impact your indoor air quality. For example, the following can emit dangerous contaminants into your home:

  • Tobacco smoke
  • Mold
  • Household cleaners
  • So-called air fresheners

If you live in a particularly humid climate or your home is poorly ventilated, the effects of these particles can be drastically worse. An air purifier works to eliminate your home of these substances. It will effectively trap chemicals, volatile organic compounds and other particles, greatly reducing the amount of them that are present in the air you breathe.

Odors
Homes have a way of getting smelly from time to time. It could be that you have children or a pet that create unpleasant odors, such as diapers or wet fur. It could be a gym bag that has clothes that should have been washed last week. Even cooking dinner can lead to smells that linger much too long.

An air purifier can remove those odors from the air. Depending on your needs, you may want to position one in the kitchen or one in the room where the pet sleeps. Having that filter turned on will be a welcome change for your home.

Germs
It can be incredibly frustrating to have a family member who is sick. On top of feeling bad for the person, you may also be worried that you will catch whatever the illness is. The same goes for the workplace: A co-worker who shows up sick is often a source of worry for everyone else in the office.

Air purifiers work to trap and reduce the particles that go airborne and spread disease. These include bacteria and other items that carry viruses. Consider putting one in your home to help protect your health. You may even want to check with your supervisor to see if having a purifier in the office is allowed, as it would likely be welcome from co-workers who want to remain healthy.

When you are shopping for an air purifier, it is a good idea to look for one that specifically targets the pollutants you want eliminated. If you are not sure which one to get, contact a sales representative who can help walk you through the process. Having the right product can help you breathe a little easier and stay a little healthier.

Let us help you choose the right 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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Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

New Year Tree The holiday season is in full swing, and while we love this festive and fun time of year, we also know that colds and allergies can get worse during the winter months.  Since no one wants to miss out on quality time with family and friends because of a stuffy nose, there are ways that you can keep smart about staying healthy during the winter months.

Having visitors for the holidays can be a merry treat, but friends and family bring more than just their luggage when they come to your home – they carry in germs and bacteria as well.  Keep yourself from getting sick by washing your hands frequently and making sure that anyone with a cough or stuffy nose covers their mouth.

If you celebrate Christmas with a real pine tree, be wary of mold that may sneak in on the needles or bark, and make sure to dispose of any fallen needles right away.  If you prefer an artificial tree to keep the pollen and mold at bay, remember to clean the tree frequently, as the needles provide a lot of surface area for dust to settle and collect.

Rain and snow are great when you’re inside sipping on hot cocoa, but they also create a moist environment where mold loves to thrive.  Keep humidity levels below 50%, and make sure to plug up any leaky windows or places where moisture can seep in.  You may also want to add an air purifier, such as our MinusA2 with the Germ Defense Customized Filter, that can tackle any dust, mold, or germs that make it into the air.  With an air purifier in the home you can worry less about airborne allergens and germs, and focus on the important things – the people you love!

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