How to Keep Your Indoor Air Quality in Check
Outdoor air pollution is rightfully a major cause of concern for many people, but fewer realize that air quality indoors also needs to be addressed. Contaminants outside are better known, and easier to see when they come in the form of exhaust from cars and factories. However, pollutants exist inside as well, even in the cleanest of homes. In fact, the air inside the average home may be up to five times more dangerous than air outside.
What Makes Indoor Air So Dirty?
One of the main reasons that contaminants can be so dangerous indoors is that they often have nowhere to go. Especially in colder climates, where windows and doors are likely to be shut tight, pollutants can be trapped circulating throughout a home in higher concentrations than they would be found in outside. Even in a well-ventilated home, the sheer number of sources of particles and places for them to get caught means that there are likely to be some air quality issues.
Unfortunately, keeping indoor air contaminants from entering your house is likely out of the question. Potentially harmful particles can be released by stoves, pets, common products such as glue and shower curtains, and organisms like mites that are too small to see. The only option is to try to eliminate as many of them as possible.
Using an air purifier is a great way to passively reduce the amount of harmful particles in the air of your home. No device on the market can remove everything that might be a hazard, but those with HEPA filters could scrub up to 99.97 percent of particles from your home.
Beyond that, you'll have to roll up your sleeves and remove the sources of air pollutants. Routine cleaning is your best defense on this front. Not only will keeping your home clean lower the chance that it'll be invaded by critters that could spread dander and other hazards, but it could keep mold and mildew in check. However, be sure to dry surfaces thoroughly after you clean them and keep humidity below 60 percent, or you may be inviting them right back.
Many synthetic chemicals can cause problems such as nausea or headaches, and it's best to limit your use of products containing them. Paint, pesticides and even scented candles may release particles that can hurt your health. Make sure to use them only when needed and keep your house well-ventilated when they're around.