Ever since I started working at AllerAir, renovations at our place just haven’t been the same. And as the team here begins to research topics and content for our December newsletter, we discover that indeed, winter is prime time for renovations… while meanwhile, at home, we are knee-deep in paint, jip rock and… is that mold?
We are renovating a bedroom for our 4-year-old son, and there is a lot of work to be done. As my husband rips out a great chunk of waterlogged jip rock, I hover above him, inspecting the wood behind it, asking… Is that mold? What’s that? Is that normal?
Once assured that we are mold-free, we jip rock, plaster and sand, and there are dust particles everywhere. The next day the paint comes out, and while we have invested in some low VOC paint for the walls, we use remnants of some regular white paint to do the trim and the ceiling.
And it stinks. Does it stink more than the million other times we’ve painted rooms, or is just me? Karen Hand, one of our Indoor Air Quality Experts here at AllerAir, recommends we do not turn on our air purifier during the actual renovations because the amount of toxins being released are overwhelming, even for the most sophisticated technology and activated carbon. Instead, she says, open the windows, and wait between 2-5 days before turning on your air purifier. So we open our windows and the cold Montreal December air blows in, and away we paint with our mittens, hats and coats.
I am now frightfully aware of what these renovations do to my indoor air quality in my home. Research shows that air quality is worse in the winter, and that one definite contributor is renovations. People also stay indoors more often in the winter with windows sealed tight, and fresh air kept to a minimum. And with nowhere to go, air pollutants quickly gain presence, slowly but surely diminishing your air quality.
We recommend air purifiers in every home, all season long, but winter is an especially good time to invest in cleaner air, especially if you know you’re going to be doing renovations, refurnishing or working with toxic chemicals.
General Purpose Home and Office AllerAir Air Purifiers:
5000 Exec: General Purpose
6000 DX Vocarb: Odors & Chemicals
5000 DS: Ideal for homes effected by cigarette smoke, and wood burning & fireplace smoke
In addition to your air purifier, here are 5 other tips that will help you keep your indoor air quality as high as possible, especially during the winter:
1. Air Out your Home when Weather Allows
Depending where you are, it can get pretty cold in wintertime. Air out your homes on warmer days, especially in mid-afternoon when the sun is hot! This allows fresh air in, and gives the opportunity for accumulated chemicals and particles to escape.
2. Control DampnessControl dampness to minimize the growth of mould and fungi. House dust mites, the source of one of the most powerful biological allergens, thrive in damp, warm environments.
3. Plants Love Chemicals!
Though chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide are toxic to human health, plants thrive on them, while also removing them from the air. Ideal plants include the peace lily, bamboo palm, English ivy, mums, and gerbera daisies, all of which are easy to find and easy to care for, so even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still have a green home or office.
4. Choose Products with Low Pollutant Emissions
Whether you’re buying household cleaners, paints for renovations, or anything else, make sure to choose products with little or no particle emissions. Choose all-natural cleaners instead of ones with chemicals, rugs instead of carpets and plant or mineral based paints that are low in VOC’s.
5. Choose Friendly Furniture!
Avoid furniture that is marketed as stain-resistant, and do not apply stain-resistant treatments onto fabrics. Avoid products that contain PVC, such as inflatable furniture, artificial leather, PVC-coated fabrics, and vinyl furniture covers. Choose products that do not contain toxic flame retardants (PBDEs), which are often used in furniture upholstery and foam.
For more information on air purifiers, visit www.allerair.com or call 888.852.8247 to speak to one of AllerAir's Indoor Air Quality Experts.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful winter!