The modern world is a very polluted place. We have to worry about all the waste not being disposed of properly, the scarcity of reliable recycling centers, and of course, the one pollution that we’ll never be able to avoid: air pollution.
In fact, there is a common misconception that air pollution is only found outside. Unfortunately for us, it can be found indoors as well. There are even buildings that have worse air pollution indoors than outdoors. But don’t worry, in this article, we are going to talk all about indoor air quality, what it is, what causes it, how to improve your home’s air quality, and more. We certainly have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
So, what causes air pollution anyway? There are a number of factors:
- Inadequate Ventilation. If water can get stagnant, air does too! This happens when there’s no adequate ventilation and air contaminants just build up. We’re going to talk more about these substances next. But moving on, the ideal ventilation would be having exhausts or being able to open windows to let outside air in and dilute indoor air.
- Contaminants. The most common is dust, but there are other contaminants out there such as asbestos (a construction material phased out decades ago due to its health hazard) and animal dander.
- Chemicals. Asbestos is not the only component present in your home that can contaminate the air. So is formaldehyde (also phased-out and banned already, but may still be present in some sealants, paints, and pesticides). Cleaning agents have harsh chemicals too, that can even choke you if you’re not careful. You’ll be able to smell it in the air.
- Odd Smell. Speaking of smell, the weird odor can contaminate your air as well. This includes artificial scents (from strong perfume, smoking, and cleaning solutions) and organic ones (such as those coming from spoiled food and body odor).
Of course, there are still a lot of components that can contaminate our air, but the ones that we have listed above are the most common.
Why Indoor Air Quality Is So Important?
Maintaining indoor air quality is crucial for everyone’s health. At the very least, it can cause the common cold and trigger certain allergies (which explains why some of us only have the sniffles when at work and get better at home, or vice versa). Unfortunately, it may even cause serious health issues like heart and respiratory disease!
Aside from that, air quality may also affect the value of a property. Hence, it’s something important to consider when buying or selling a home. If you can’t figure out why a property is cheaper than the rest without any visible clues, you might want to check on the invisible ones and get the air quality checked. Speaking of which, that’s what we are going to talk about next.
How to Test Air Quality in Your Home?
There are different ways to test a home’s air quality, but the methods may be categorized into two:
- DIY. There are different testing kits that you can purchase online. These contain everything you need, including detailed instructions on how to get a sample of your home’s air. You may then send the specimen back to the facility to be tested.
- Professional. The other method is to simply get a professional to handle it. the results are more accurate but the test is, of course, significantly more expensive.
While it’s important to know the status of your home’s air, we believe the more important question is how to improve it.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality?
Here are some tried-and-tested tips:
- Ventilate your home. Make sure that windows get opened every once in a while and that all exhausts and air filters are clean to let fresh air through.
- Control your home’s humidity. Another big culprit behind poor indoor quality is mold. It makes a really unpleasant smell, but what should concern you more are the chemicals that cause it. They are released by the mold as it grows and can be very dangerous if inhaled. In fact, uncontrolled mold development can even threaten the structural integrity of your home. Hence, you can invest in commercial dehumidifiers to prevent mold in the first place.
- Get an air scrubber. Finally, what do you do with all the other particles present in the air? That’s easy. You can get an air scrubber. It is a machine designed to filter harmful substances from the air. These include dust, odors, gases, chemicals, and more.
There is no doubt that outdoor air is already terribly polluted, but that’s no reason to ignore indoor air. It can significantly affect our health and quality of life. Fortunately, it’s easy to get our indoor air tested and it’s even easier to improve its quality with the proper techniques and tools. Good luck!