Are you concerned about the quality of air your family is breathing inside your home? According to a recent study by the World Health Organization, air pollution is responsible for 1 in 8 deaths worldwide. As a result, air quality has become a central focus for many nations, schools, homes, and individuals. Maria Neira, Director of the World Health Organization’s Public Health and the Environment Department stated, “Evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe.”
Few people realize that indoor air can be just as dangerous as outdoor air. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. Some of the sources of indoor air pollution include household cleaning products, building materials, pesticides, dampness or leaky faucets, and personal care products.Because Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, it is important to be aware of the factors affecting indoor air quality.
NASA has discovered that some indoor plants, such as a fern or aloe vera plant, act as a living air purifier. The foliage and roots absorb chemical pollutants released by cleaning products and other materials, thereby making indoor air cleaner. So consider buying some plants!
Causes of Indoor Air Pollution
- Paint and Building Materials
- Improperly Vented Appliances
Indoor Air Quality Tips
1.) Be Proactive- One of the simplest, most surefire ways to protect indoor air quality is to make sure that no one smokes indoors. Here are a few other suggestions:
- Test for radon gas. The odorless, colorful gas is a dangerous substance that can substantially increase the risk of lung cancer. Be sure to either buy a radon gas testing kit, or hire a professional to inspect your home.
- Make sure your home is properly ventilated.
- Open windows to freshen indoor air.
2.) Check Indoor Humidity- According to WebMD, keeping indoor humidity around 30-50% reduces allergens, keeps mold from growing, and reduces the amount of indoor pollen. Here are a few tips for how to dehumidify your home:
- Make sure that the vent for your dryer funnels outside.
- Fix leaky plumbing.
- Consider using a dehumidifier.
- Use an exhaust fan when you are cooking, bathing, or using the dishwasher.
3) Maintain a Proper Air Filtration System
- Use high efficiency air filters for your heating and cooling system.
- Change air filters every 90 days to guarantee that they are operating at maximum efficiency.
- Get heating and cooling system ducts cleaned when necessary
- Make certain appliances are vented properly.