Thursday, January 05, 2012

Keep your indoor air clean this winter

Keep an eye on the state of your home for best IAQ.
Poor indoor air quality can cause a range of physical and psychological symptoms – it has been linked to headaches, itchy eyes, nose and throat, respiratory issues and disease, heart disease and even cancer, to name a few complications.

But there are many simple things homeowners can do to avoid a heavy buildup of indoor air pollutants, which can be two to five times worse than outdoor air pollution, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Keep your floors clean
Take off your shoes in the garage or right after entering the home, but first wipe them on mats outside. If you can, remove carpets from the home (they are difficult to keep clean) and instead rely on hardwood or ceramic floors, which can be cleaned easily. Use natural cleaning products, and wet mop regularly.

Keep dust on furniture and windows to a minimum
When cleaning a home, these areas are often forgotten, but they harbor dust and particles just as much as other surfaces. Wipe leather or vinyl furniture as well as blinds regularly and vacuum upholstered furniture – or better yet, use slip covers and wash them regularly along with curtains.

Clean the air with air purifiers
Indoor air pollution can arise from many factors, including dust and tiny particles, chemicals and gaseous pollutants (odors), mold, bacteria and viruses and more. A good air purifier should be able to tackle these main categories of pollutants, but they need different filters for that. Most department store air purifiers rely heavily on HEPA filters to remove dust and particles, allergens and other small particles. Insist on an air purifier with HEPA, PLUS a deep bed of activated carbon for the removal of gaseous pollutants and odors and possibly UV germicidal filtration, which can neutralize contaminants such as mold, bacteria and viruses.

Use the best technology
This is a no-brainer. For vacuuming, use a unit with a HEPA filter (and other filters, if possible, my new one also has thin activated carbon filter, which won’t do much but can’t hurt when vacuuming). For air cleaning, invest in a high-quality, personalized air purifier that will actually help reduce indoor air pollution, not add dangerous toxins.

Check your HVAC system
The existing heating and ventilation system is an important tool in maintaining healthy indoor air. Regular check-ups, filter changes and other measures may be in order to make sure it functions properly.

Air out the home (even for short periods)
In many parts of the world, it gets really cold in winter, causing people to seal up their homes and keep all the air inside. While airtight homes do conserve energy, indoor air pollutants can also build up with no way to escape. Short bursts of fresh air by opening windows or doors can help move the air around and ventilate the home.

AllerAir Industries is committed to raise awareness about indoor air pollutants and helping people achieve a cleaner, healthier home with customized, multistage air purifiers that feature activated carbon + HEPA + optional UV air filters. Contact AllerAir for more information.