Monday, August 27, 2012

What is your home’s air quality?

Poor indoor air quality can affect
your health and well-being.
Indoor air pollution is becoming a major concern for health professionals, and the facts are frightening even for those who are familiar with them:
  • Indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Breathing polluted air can cause or aggravate health conditions, including respiratory diseases such as asthma and allergies
  • Indoor air pollution can be caused by a wide range of factors, including building materials, cleaning products, furniture, fabrics, renovations, electronic equipment, personal care products, air fresheners, pets, pesticides, and more

A home’s air quality can best be determined by a personal assessment of the home and each individual room, looking at the materials and furniture as well as housekeeping practices.

Some general statements apply universally. For example, a home with lots of carpeting may have more indoor air pollutants than a home with smooth flooring such as hardwood and ceramic tiles. Newer carpets often release volatile organic compounds, including formaldehyde, while older carpets often teem with dust particles, mold, bacteria and other contaminants.

Smoking is one of the biggest sources of indoor air pollution in the home and should be relegated to outside areas.

Air quality in the bedroom
The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the home to keep clean and healthy, since we spend so much time in it. Replacing carpet with hardwood floors (and a few small area rugs for comfort) will cut down on pollutants, as will the following tips:
  • Keep clutter to a minimum. The less there is to clean and distract in the bedroom, the better.
  • Don’t allow animals in the bedroom. Household pets can leave hair, dander, feathers or skin particles behind that can cause or aggravate allergic reactions.
  • No more moth balls. Moth balls can contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, a pesticide. Try natural alternatives such as lavender.
  • Air out dry-cleaned clothes before bringing them in. The chemicals used in the cleaning process can be irritating and harmful to health.
  • Be mindful of peeling paint. If the house was built before 1978, the paint on the walls probably contained lead, which can lead to particle pollution when peeling off.

IAQ tips for the living room
The living room area is typically a popular hangout for members of the family, but there are many sources of possible IAQ contaminants:
  • Assess the furniture. Sofas and armchairs can contain foam with flame retardants, and lighter fabrics are often treated with a stain-resistant product, which can off-gas fumes. Cover furniture in untreated, natural fabrics that can be washed and opt for the least toxic materials possible.
  • Be wary of pressed-wood furniture and cabinets. These often release formaldehyde and other VOCs.
  • Switch draperies and curtains with natural blinds or shutters. Curtain fabrics often attract dust and particles, and if they are treated, they can also release harmful chemicals and gases.

Tips for better IAQ in the home
Bathroom air quality tips
In the bathroom, it is recommended to run the vent to avoid high humidity levels and mold growth. Personal care products and air fresheners can expose household members to VOCs.

In the kitchen
Kitchen odors can affect indoor air quality, so using a stovetop range, keeping the kitchen clean with non-toxic cleaning agents such as vinegar and baking soda and keeping up impeccable household practices will help keep indoor air pollution to a minimum.

Basement and garage
The two areas in the home need extra attention because they are often used as storage areas. Keep these spaces as organized as possible, dispose of hazardous products properly and make sure there is proper ventilation. In the garage, be mindful of pesticides, fertilizers, stored fuels, old cans of paint and automotive products that can emit dangerous chemical fumes.

Need better indoor air? Make it happen with a carbon air purifier

Unusual or noticeable odors, stale air, excessive humidity and health reactions are all signs of indoor air quality problems that need to be addressed.

AllerAir has developed some of the best general purpose air purifiers on the market that feature a complete air filtration system with activated carbon and HEPA as well as optional UV to remove the widest range of contaminants.

AllerAir’s specialized air purifiers can handle concerns such as

Contact AllerAir for more information.
Follow this blog to show your support for a greener and healthier living environment.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Thanks sharing your knowledge and ideas regarding household air quality. As a homeowner it's been a great healthy tips to maintain indoor air quality as well as to have a good impression of ourselves to our visitors.I heard about some company air quality sites like Toronto Air Quality Testing to spire more ideas, But after reading your blog, I think I'm gonna bookmarked it.