According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution can be up to five times higher than outdoor air. Poor indoor air quality can cause or worsen respiratory problems, allergies, headaches, fatigue, and other symptoms.
Ensuring clean and healthy indoor air is crucial for maintaining a safe and comfortable living or working environment, and several effective strategies can be implemented to achieve this goal. This article will explore five of the most effective clean air strategies for promoting healthy indoor spaces.
Implementing clean air strategies, such as upgrading to a new AC unit, can provide numerous benefits for you and the environment, including:
- Reduced risk of respiratory illnesses and diseases
- Increased productivity and performance in the workplace
- Increased energy efficiency and cost savings in buildings and transportation
- Improved air quality and visibility in urban areas
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions and mitigated climate change effects
- Particulate matter (PM): These are tiny particles of solid or liquid matter that can be suspended in the air. It can come from cooking, smoking, burning candles or incense, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, etc.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gaseous chemicals that evaporate easily at room temperature. It can come from cleaning products, paints, solvents, pesticides, cosmetics, perfumes, air fresheners, furniture, and carpets.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas with no color or smell. It is made when fuels like gas, oil, coal, wood, and others are burned too quickly.
- Radon: This radioactive gas is naturally present in some soils and rocks. It can seep into buildings through cracks and gaps in the foundation or walls.
Indoor air quality can significantly impact your well-being, and implementing effective clean air strategies is essential for promoting a healthy environment. Let’s explore some of the best strategies for achieving clean air in indoor spaces.
Vacuuming carpets and rugs at least once or twice a week with a HEPA filter can remove dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, and other particles that can trigger allergic reactions.
Regularly wash your bedding, curtains, and other fabrics in hot water to kill dust, mites, and bacteria. Additionally, you should clear clutter and dispose of garbage properly to prevent dust accumulation and odors.
Residential misting systems can help improve indoor air quality by reducing the amount of dust, pollen, and other allergens in the air.
Smoking is one of the worst sources of indoor air pollution, as it releases harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and benzene into the air. These chemicals can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, increasing your risk of cancer and heart disease.
If you are a smoker or live with one, you should avoid smoking indoors or use a designated area with good ventilation.
Many household products such as cleaners, paints, solvents, pesticides, and personal care products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can evaporate into the air and cause health problems such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and respiratory irritation.
Some VOCs are also carcinogenic or endocrine disruptors. Stay away from these chemicals as much as possible and use natural or eco-friendly alternatives when possible. You should also store these products in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources and children and pets.
Another way to stop indoor air pollution is to correctly store food, medicine, cosmetics, and electronics. These products can spoil, expire, or leak over time, releasing unpleasant or harmful odors and gases into the air.
To avoid this, you should check the expiration dates of your products regularly and dispose of them safely if they are past their shelf life. You should also store them in sealed containers or bags and avoid direct sunlight and moisture.
Materials like carpets, upholstery, plywood, particleboard, and synthetic fabrics can emit VOCs or harbor allergens like dust mites and mold spores.
To minimize potential health risks, choosing hard-surface flooring over wall-to-wall carpeting is advisable. Prioritize natural fibers like cotton, wool, or hemp over synthetic ones, and opt for low-VOC paints or wallpapers rather than conventional options. Additionally, you should select solid wood furniture instead of composite wood and consider using plants or other natural decorations instead of artificial ones.
Following these clean indoor air strategies can create a healthier and more comfortable environment for yourself, your family, and your coworkers. You will also benefit from improved mood, productivity, sleep quality, and overall wellness.