What impacts indoor air quality?
As many of us are spending more time indoors these days, it is important to consider our air quality. The air within the home can be polluted, just as the air outside the home can be. Multiple sources can contribute to this pollution; the Consumer Safety Product Commission mentions these causes:
- Pressed wood or other building materials
- Household cleaners, paints, other chemicals
- Heating and cooling systems
- Some commercial air fresheners
- Dry-cleaned clothing
Some of these are continuous factors, and others happen intermittently. In colder climates, there can also be a lack of ventilation due to weather.
The effects of bad indoor air quality
The effects of this pollution can happen immediately or after repeated exposures – it depends on your sensitivity. Consequences can be irritation of the eyes, the nose, and the throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, or long-term effects such as asthma or other respiratory diseases.
So how to combat indoor air pollution and preserve good health? The EPA suggests removing the source of pollutants (particles or gases) and ventilating with clean outdoor air.
Filtration can be useful in a specific area or room. Choose an air cleaner that is well suited to and the right size for the room you need to use it for – as well as for the type of pollution you wish to remove.
The EPA suggests you choose a portable air cleaner that has a clean air delivery rate large enough for the room it will be used in to filter particles. For gases, an activated carbon filter is best, and if you are filtering Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), you will need a large amount of material used in the filter. Higher fan speeds and longer run times will increase the amount of air filtered.
Some air purifiers will have a noise rating; keep in mind that around 50 decibels is about the same as a refrigerator.
Fixing leaks to prevent mold and mildew and using paints that have low VOC’s are two other strategies that can be helpful. It is also important to clean up, sweep up, and wipe up after any furry pets.
Sources and references
- Environmental Product Commission
- Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Everything you need to know about keeping your home’s air clean – Good Housekeeping
Please stop by our stores in Manhattan, NY, or Portsmouth, NH, to talk about air cleaners, or call 212-764-3232 for more information.