Indoor Air Gets Polluted Too
If you live in a densely crowded area, air quality may be a top concern when on that morning jog. What about when you get home from jogging, take a deep breath, and start getting ready for the day?
You may not realize it, but there are multiple factors involved in affecting indoor air quality. Knowing and understanding each one of them will help you improve air quality conditions, giving you better quality of life when it comes to nasal infections, allergies, and more. After all, while you can’t control your city’s air quality report, you can take initiative by improving what gets into your home.
What can I do to improve my home’s air quality?
The main concern you probably have is the outside air quality coming into your house through the ventilation. After all, as much as you’d like to believe it, a house is not an impenetrable fortress. The air you’re breathing inside all came from the same outside source: your polluted neighborhood. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to combat external pollutants without undergoing a major renovation.
- Air filters are a quick and easy thing to replace. A typical suburban house with no pets should have new filters every 90 days, but if you have multiple pets or experience severe seasonal allergies, your replacement window should move up to the 30-45 day mark.
- Furnace filters also need to be changed regularly — once a year should do it. Clogged filters can cause your furnace to work overtime in pushing hot air out, making it much less efficient and prone to damage.
- Buy a new vacuum with a HEPA approved air filter. Again, this is important if you are sensitive to allergies or have a lot of pets. Picking up the dirt that tracks through the house will improve the air circulated through the house.
- Speaking of tracking in dirt, consider implementing a shoes-off policy in the house to cut down on the pollutants that are tracked in on shoes.
- Give your HVAC compressor space. Routinely check around the compressor to make sure nothing is blocking the flow of air.
- Insulate your attic. Most are left bare, so make sure your attic is insulated to allow for proper and efficient airflow.
- Control humidity. If you live in a humid environment, make sure the humidity inside stays below 50% to avoid mold growth. A dehumidifier fits easily in a room and won’t add too much noise.
- Invest in an air purification system. They can be attached to your existing HVAC or be bought separately for use in individual rooms.
What other factors cause indoor air pollution?
Pollutants of indoor air have other means of access than just your vents. They will need to be dealt with as well in order to maintain healthy indoor air quality.
- Asbestos. While banned today, the cancer-causing asbestos used to be in many building materials in the past, such as paints, ceiling and floor tiles. If your home was built more than 20 years ago, stay up-to-date on home inspections for mold, radon, or any other harmful chemicals
- Radon. Found in various types of bedrock and other building materials, it is another possible source of indoor air pollution. As the second leading cause of lung cancer outside of tobacco, is a serious concern, and a good filtration system will weed it out.
- Carbon monoxide. While often associated with major pipe leaks, this silent-but-deadly killer can be sourced back to wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and fireplaces. Upgrade to a Nest for smarter carbon monoxide tracking and alerts
The air you breathe inside is perhaps the most important air you breathe throughout the day, so monitoring and curbing indoor pollution will not only improve your overall health, it will reduce the strain on operating costs for your home.