A Healthy Home is extremely important to you and your family’s health. Dr Vivek Nangia, Director of Pulmonology, New Delhi reminds all of us of this importance; “Air pollution is an invisible killer. Indoor air pollution has been found to be 10-30 times that of outdoor pollution.”
As we all know during this unprecedented time, we continue to spend so much more time in our homes. New research has indicated that we are spending approximately 90% of our time indoors. For many people, exposure to poor indoor air pollution may be of greater harm than spending time outdoors. Are we ensuring that the air in our homes is as healthy as it can be?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three categories of indoor air pollutants that have negative impact. They are: Germs, Particulates and Gases.
Germs come from bacteria, viruses, fungi or pathogens inside building or homes and make up 34% of indoor air pollution.
Particulates like dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, dust mites and mold make up 35% of indoor air pollution.
Gases from various gas molecules like Formaldehyde, VOC’s and other toxins make up the remaining 31%.
According to WHO, 2 million people a year die from exposure to household air pollution
There are several low-cost things that you can do to improve the indoor air quality in your home. Firstly, you must identify and control the sources of pollution. Secondly, you must ensure that there is adequate ventilation and finally, it is key to supplement air purification and/or filtration.
Identify and Control the Source:
1. Household cleaning products contain high levels of chemicals. Use natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and lemons instead.
2. Candles and air fresheners should be avoided altogether. They contain toluene and benzine which are toxic chemicals and will build up quickly in your home.
3. Mold, if visible, should be cleaned up within 24-48 hours so it does not become airborne. Mold is usually due to high humidity levels or water leaks. Ensure humidity levels remain between 30-40% in the winter and 40-50% in the summer. If humidity goes above 60%, moisture and mold will form.
4. Pets and pet dander can cause severe allergies. Ensure that you vacuum regularly all upholstered and carpeted areas of your home. Brushing your pet daily will help too.
5. Paints, varnishes, etc. all emit VOC’s. If you no longer need these products, dispose of them appropriately. Try not to have to store them in your home.
6. Carpets, drapery, and upholstery all hold millions of particles that are tiny and become trapped. Things like dust, dust mites, pet dander and smoke are often the worst culprit of poor indoor air quality. They can easily be reduced by proper and regular vacuuming.
7. Pests/bugs often will leave behind unwanted remnants that are often potent allergens and will become airborne distributed throughout the home. Do not use pesticides as they contain insecticides and fungicides which are highly toxic. Instead, ensure windows are properly closed/sealed and no food is left out.
Proper ventilation helps improve indoor air quality. Ventilation can control indoor humidity and airborne contaminants. For example, kitchens and bathrooms should all have exterior exhaust fans. These remove carbon monoxide and humidity out of the home.
Operable windows are important too to vent out odours and gases that can otherwise remain trapped inside. Maintain existing HVAC equipment. Furnaces, fireplaces, should be maintained regularly as these can accumulate carbon monoxide into the home if not operating optimally. Replace air filters regularly.
Ventilation helps to remove or dilute indoor airborne pollutants coming from indoor sources. This greatly reduces the level of contaminants and improves indoor air quality.
The best way to ventilate your home is by using air purifiers. Nowadays, the cost to clean and filter the air in your home does not have to break the bank. There are so many options that can help but just make sure to do your homework. Not all air cleaners and purifiers are created equal. Sometimes, it is not possible to open up a window due to poor weather or outdoor traffic or congestion that you’d rather keep outside; no one wants to get rid of a loved pet; and sometimes, there are necessary home projects that are desperately needed to upkeep and maintain our homes.
Air purification/filtration is an exceptional way to give you peace of mind that the air circulating within your home is safe. The health benefits are enormous. From reducing asthma and allergy triggers to preventing serious respiratory issues, air purification in any environment is beneficial. The goal is to clean or sanitize the air that you breathe. Dependant on what lingers in the air in your home, or what your symptoms are, ensure you are getting a unit that is specific for your needs.
For example, Carbon filters remove lint and large particles. HEPA filters remove smaller particles up to 0.3 microns.
UV lights kill bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi, and many allergens. Photo Catalytic Oxidation filters remove VOC’s. Carbon/Potassium Permanganate filters remove VOC ‘s and light gases. Not all air purification units will have all these filters.
An electronic air cleaner can also do the job. An air purification system that has all these is IDEAL. This is called a five-stage filtration system. When air passes through all of these: the air has been cleaned!
The Main Reasons that Air is more polluted indoors
In summary, one of the main reasons air is more polluted indoors is that most homes/buildings do not have much ventilation, at least not as much as the outdoors. Because of this, pollutants and dangerous gases become trapped. Air purifiers reduce, trap, and eliminate, germs, particulates, and gases. It’s these simple irritants, that when inhaled, can lead to so many health problems.
Ready to find out more?
Reach out to us today and we will gladly respond quickly and answer any of your questions on Indoor Air Quality and how our PUR Distribution Air purifiers can help you with your indoor air quality.
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