Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA says that the quality within our homes can be more polluted than the air outdoors even if we are in the most industrial cities. If the windows are closed most of the time, the contaminants present in the air are trapped within the premises and can linger for a while. These air pollutants can be a threat to our health especially to children.
Odors, second hand smoke, particles emit by different appliances such as cooking stove are also air contaminants. The good thing is that there are many ways to improve indoor air quality to transform your home into a healthier place or best air purifier for smoke will protect to your family.
There are three categories of indoor contaminants according to EPA. All these can cause serious illnesses if exposed for a long even short period of time.
- Combustion Pollutants – these are the gases or particles from burning materials such as gas stoves, fireplaces, woodstoves, space heaters, water heaters, dryers and others. The amounts of contaminants it can produce depend on how the appliances are maintained, installed and vented. The type of fuel it uses can also have a great effect. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are some of the combustion pollutants which are odorless and colorless in nature.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) –these are organic chemicals that are emitted as gases from liquids or solids. These are found in many household products such as cleaning products, disinfecting products, pesticides, glues, markers, cosmetics and air fresheners. Some of VOCs are acetone, formaldehyde, perchloroethylene, ethylene glycol and more.
- Allergy and Asthma Triggers –Dust mites, mold, pollen and pet dander may have grown somewhere in the house like shower curtain, blankets, stuffed toys and more.
Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Once you have known the main causes of air contaminants, you can already take steps to improve the quality of air in your home.
- Do not forget to open the windows from time to time just to ventilate the house. This can change the atmosphere within your home.
- Avoid the use synthetic air fresheners or petroleum-based wax candles.
- Use a HEPA air purifier. It is important to make sure that the air purifier is not releasing ozone and does not eliminate VOCs.
- Place some green plants around your home as well as inside to improve the air quality.
- Do not forget to groom your pet This can keep them fresh and healthy as well. Mites can also be avoided.
- Use vaporizer or humidifier and adjust it accordingly. It can also keep your skin moisturized.
- Clean with non-toxic cleaners or with eco-friendly products. You can also buy nontoxic or less toxic formulated cleaning products at many stores. You can also make your own cleaners.
- Get a good vacuum with rotating brushes, strong suction and HEPA filter to trap smaller allergens and particles that normal vacuums miss.
- Use high quality dust-mite proof pillow, mattress and box spring covers. Wash the blankets and sheets regularly.
- When painting, use no or low VOC paint. Buy non-toxic varnishes and adhesive. These can help you reduce the amount of contaminants released into your house’s indoor air.
- Reduce the amount of carpets and always keep it clean and dry. Carpets absorb water as well as trap particles or contaminants. Do not use carpets in the bathroom, kitchen, basement and other parts of the house that is highly exposed to moisture.
Portable and Single Room or Whole-House Air Purifiers
Single room purifiers are designed to handle a specific room, such as the nursery room or eliminating cigarette smoke in the den. Whole-house air purifiers filter or process all air circulated around your home. To consider buying whole-house cleaner for your home and family, your home must be served by a forced-air heating system. Whole-house cleaners work efficiently and silently. They can clean a great deal of air.
There are many air purifiers available in the market. Make sure that you know exactly what you are getting. They have usually a fan and HEPA filters with many controls. However, some have no capability to deal with dangerous contaminants such as viruses, bacteria and gases. Higher-priced devices can sometimes add token technology to justify their prices but do not be fooled by their descriptions. Make a lot of research before buying an air purifier.