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.