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:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
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).
When humans spend long hours inhaling polluted air, their health is adversely impacted. Many maladies and conditions are directly linked to IAQ, such as:
- Inability to concentrate
- 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.
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.