We tend to think of air pollution as something outside -smog, ozone, or haze hanging in the air, especially in summer. But the truth is, the air inside homes, offices, and other buildings can be more polluted than the air outside. In addition, people who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for the longest periods of time are often those most susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution. Such groups include the young, the elderly, and the chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease.
Where do domestic pollutants come from?
Furniture, cigarettes, household appliances, cooking and even textiles can spread harmful gasses that pollute indoors air. Among the most widespread pollutants, we find formaldehyde-a derivative of formalin coming from insulation sprays, flooring glue, and certain flooring treatments. Household cleaning products also cause a great deal of interior pollution, with the worst offenders being ammonia and acetaldehyde.
What can you do about it?
1. Ventilate Your Home
Open your doors and windows to encourage ventilation and prevent crystallization of pollutants preferably in the morning every day as the air inside a house doesn’t renew itself. Even when it’s chilly outside, you should open a window for at least five minutes a day to significantly decrease the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home. Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house and making essential to open windows /doors to encourage fresh air.
2. Keep it Clean
A clean house may be a healthier house, because good indoor hygiene can greatly cut down on dust and animal dander. Vacuuming the carpets and area rugs at least once or twice a week with a vacuum cleaner can go a long way in reducing dust and allergens. Opting for hard-surface flooring instead of wall-to-wall carpeting may also cut down on allergens in the home. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends washing in water that is at least 130° F. Also consider using dust mite–proof covers on pillows, as well as mattresses and box springs, whenever possible.
3. Invest in a Good Quality Air Purifier
An air purifier or air cleaner is a device which removes contaminants from the air in a room. It can help create a cleaner, healthier indoor air for your home or office, which can prevent health conditions related to air quality. When selecting an air purifier, first think about your indoor air quality needs. If you have allergy problems, you should go for an air purifier specifically designed for allergy relief, something like Blueair Classic 203 or the Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover
If you suffer from asthma or if your symptoms are triggered by odor and chemical pollutants, you’ll want to consider an asthma air purifier or an odor and chemical air purifier. These air purifiers contain added odor and chemical filtration as well as HEPA filters for allergen particle removal.
4. Essential oils
What should you do when it’s too cold to open the windows? Many essential oils and mixes have been created and tested to improve ambient air quality. In addition to diffusing a pleasant and soothing or stimulating odor, these oils have antiviral, antifungal, and anti-stress properties and can even help boost your immune system.
5. Keep a healthy level of humidity at home
Keeping humidity around 30%-50%, helps keep dust mites, mold and other allergens under control. A good dehumidifier helps reduce moisture in indoor air and effectively controls allergens.