About Kory

You'll see me writing on a variety of topics, but they all come back to two basic things: water and air. I become more of an expert as I write, and I hope that you will too! In this industry you'll see a lot of jargon. I'll do my best to filter through it to show you exactly how clean water and air impacts your life. So sit back, enjoy and thank you for visiting The Filtered Files!

How To Improve Indoor Air Quality: The Facts about Indoor Air Pollution

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Image Credit: home.howstuffworks.com

Alright, so maybe your family isn’t wearing gas/breathing masks at home. However, if you knew the problems with indoor air quality, you may be moved to take steps to protect yourself from it too. You may think you don’t need to be that worried about the air in your home, but consider this:

1. Indoor air pollution is 2 to 5 times worse than the air outdoors (an estimated 87% of American homeowners are not aware of this)

2. The EPA has ranked indoor air pollution among the top 5 environmental dangers

3. An increase in the number of children with asthma and severe allergies has been linked to increasingly poor indoor air quality

4. A recent study referenced on indoorairqualityhvac.com states that 86% of homes have high levels of particles and bioaerosols like pollen, dust, and viruses

Indoor air pollution is clearly a problem.

Fortunately it is a problem that can be managed. To do so, you have to first identify the common sources of indoor air pollution such as:

  • Cleaning and personal care products, pastes, glues
  • Building materials such as carpet, insulation, cabinetry, and more
  • Combustion products such as tobacco smoke, gas, oil, kerosene and wood stoves or fireplaces
  • Pet dander, mold, dust mites, viruses

 

To improve the air quality in your home, there are three important things you need to consider:

1. Change your HVAC filter on a regular basis. In addition to improving the efficiency of your HVAC unit (thus saving you a lot of money) it also acts as a line of defense between you and many of the air pollutants outlined above.

Tip: Your HVAC filter should be replaced every 3 months.

2. Increase ventilation. Consider opening the windows more often during warmer temperature days to increase a steady air flow through the home. Homes with poor air circulation tend to have poor air quality.

Tip: Avoid home ventilation on days with a high pollen count, as it can cause flareups for allergy sufferers.

3. Consider outside sources to improve your indoor air quality such as investing in an air purifier to help reduce dust mites, mold, pet dander and more.

Tip: Certain house plants such as the Peace Lily can help purify the air, but should never be considered as the sole source for better air quality.

With the right tools you don’t have to worry about wearing masks in your home as long as you pay attention to your air quality. Changing your air filters more regularly, buying an Indoor Air Quality Test Kit, or any other method can make your home the safe and healthy sanctuary it should be for you and your family.

How to Avoid Pollen Health Effects

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It’s that time of year when you walk outside and your car is covered by yellow dust. Also that time of year when you’re outside for 30 seconds and you start sneezing (not fun, is it?)

Pollen negatively affects human health in a variety of ways. When the pollen count is high, many experience:

  • Runny and/or stuffy nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Respiratory problems such as asthma.

These symptoms could be contributed to a pollen allergy, typically referred to as hay fever.

Weeds, grasses, trees, and some shrubs are the common culprits for pollen. Weeds have commonly been determined to be the most productive of pollen producers and are identified as the plant that causes the most allergies.

How does pollen cause my symptoms?

When pollen is inhaled through the nose and throat, the body experiences an immune response that results in hay fever, because it attaches to the cells and creates histamine. It is this releasing of histamine that causes the symptoms of pollen allergy.

How can I avoid pollen?

The most overlooked way to avoid pollen is a simple change of your home air filter. Air filters are proven to reduce many of the common airborne contaminants, such as pollen, from the air you breathe. In addition to changing your air filter on a regular basis, here are some other things you can do to avoid pollen this spring:

  1. Stay indoors, being sure to keep windows closed during high pollen counts
  2. Wash hair before going to bed at night to avoid sleeping in pollen that accumulated in the air during the day
  3. Make sure outdoor pets are bathed before coming inside. This can prohibit the distribution of pollen on furniture and carpets
  4. Consider the use of an air purifier in your home for more protection from pollen and other contaminants such as dust mites and viruses

*Tips taken from ehow.com*

This spring, you don’t have to let pollen get the best of you. By regularly replacing the air filters around the home and being more mindful of local pollen counts, you can find yourself winning the battle against pollen.