Indoor air quality has a direct impact on our health and well-being. Poor indoor air quality can lead to various health issues such as allergies, asthma, headaches, and respiratory illnesses.
Improving indoor air quality is essential to maintain good health, especially when most of us spend most of our time indoors. Here are some tips to improve indoor air quality:
Control sources of indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution is an important risk factor for our health, especially as we spend most of our time indoors. Significant indoor pollutants may include:
- cigarette smoke
- emissions from faulty or unserviced gas heaters and fuel-burning appliances (can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning)
- emissions from stoves without extraction fans
- chemical odours from freshly applied paint, glues, cleaners or solvents
- animal fur or dander
- outdoor air pollution penetrating indoors
Source control is one of the most effective solutions to indoor air pollution. Source control refers to eliminating or reducing the sources of pollutants in the home or building. Here are some methods of source control to improve indoor air quality:
- Stop smoking indoors: Smoking is a significant source of indoor air pollution. Quitting smoking or not smoking indoors can improve indoor air quality.
- Use natural cleaning products: Many household cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can release toxic fumes into the air. Use natural cleaning products, such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice, instead.
- Control pests: Pests such as cockroaches can produce allergens and irritants that can affect indoor air quality. Use non-toxic methods, such as traps and baits, to control pests and avoid using pesticides indoors.
- Choose low-emitting products: Building materials, furnishings, and household products can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can affect indoor air quality. Choose low-emitting products or those labeled with low-VOC or no-VOC.
- Choose alternative types of heating: In colder months, Far Infrared Heaters can help reduce indoor pollution by eliminating or reducing the need for traditional heating sources that produce pollutants, such as gas heaters or wood-burning stoves.
By implementing these methods of source control, you can significantly improve indoor air quality and promote a healthier living environment.
Ventilate your home regularly to move fresh air
Inadequate ventilation is a major contributor to indoor air pollution because it allows indoor air pollutants to accumulate in the air instead of being removed or diluted. When there is not enough fresh outdoor air coming into a building, indoor air pollutants such as mold, dust, and chemicals from cleaning products, building materials, and furnishings can build up to unhealthy levels.
Additionally, inadequate ventilation can also lead to increased humidity levels in the home, which can contribute to mould growth and the release of allergens and irritants into the air. Poor ventilation can also cause carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that is a byproduct of combustion from appliances such as gas stoves and heaters, to accumulate indoors.
Proper ventilation is essential for maintaining good indoor air quality. Adequate ventilation helps to remove indoor air pollutants, control moisture levels, and maintain a healthy living environment.
There are several ways to ensure adequate ventilation to improve indoor air quality. Here are a few methods:
- Open windows and doors: One of the simplest ways to improve ventilation is by opening windows and doors. This allows fresh air to come into the building and removes stale indoor air and pollutants.
- Use exhaust fans: Exhaust fans are commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens and help to remove moisture and pollutants from the air. Make sure to use them when cooking or showering.
- Use a whole-house ventilation system: Whole-house ventilation systems provide continuous ventilation and can be an effective way to improve indoor air quality. They can be designed to bring in fresh outdoor air or to circulate and filter indoor air.
- Install trickle vents: Trickle vents are small vents that are installed in windows to provide a continuous flow of fresh air into the building. They are especially useful in buildings that are well-insulated and airtight.
- Maintain your HVAC system: Make sure to maintain your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system by replacing filters regularly and having it inspected and cleaned by a professional on a regular basis.
By implementing these methods, you can ensure adequate ventilation and significantly improve indoor air quality at home or at work.
Invest in air purifiers to filter pollutants
Air purifiers are devices that are designed to improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants from the air. They work by drawing air through a filter or a series of filters that trap particles, such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens, as well as smoke, odors, and chemicals.
Air purifiers can be particularly useful for people who suffer from allergies or asthma, as they can help reduce the amount of airborne allergens and irritants that can trigger symptoms. They can also be beneficial for people who live in areas with high levels of pollution or have pets, as they can help remove pet hair and dander from the air.
Air purifiers are available in a range of sizes and styles, from small units designed for a single room to larger units that can purify the air in an entire home or office. Some air purifiers use a combination of filters, such as HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, activated carbon filters, and pre-filters, to remove a wide range of pollutants from the air.
Read more about 5 air filters commonly used in air purifiers and their functions.
The type of air purifier you get will depend mostly on the air pollution level in your home and the size of the room. Always read the product specifications and features to find out which pollutants a specific unit is designed to filter.
- Large rooms and spaces will do well with premium air purifiers like the Ionmax+ Aire air purifier
- Medium- to large-sized rooms will benefit from medium-sized air purifiers such as the Ionmax ION430 or Ionmax Breeze Plus air purifiers.
- For smaller spaces such as cars, desks and office rooms, a compact air purifier such as the Ionmax Selah is ideal
While air purifiers can be helpful in improving indoor air quality, it is important to note that they are not a cure-all and should be used in conjunction with other methods of improving indoor air quality, such as proper ventilation, source control, and regular cleaning. It is also important to choose an air purifier that is appropriate for your needs and to maintain it properly by changing the filters regularly to ensure optimal performance.
Maintain a healthy level of humidity indoors
Maintaining a healthy level of humidity indoors is important for improving indoor air quality because excessively high or low levels of humidity can have negative effects on health and comfort.
When the humidity level is too high, it can create a breeding ground for mould and other fungi, which can release spores into the air and contribute to respiratory problems and allergies. High humidity levels can also make it more difficult for the body to cool itself, which can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. In addition, high humidity can make the air feel heavy and sticky, leading to discomfort and a sense of lethargy.
On the other hand, when the humidity level is too low, it can cause dry skin, eyes, and throat, as well as exacerbate symptoms of allergies and asthma. Low humidity can also cause static electricity, which can damage electronics and irritate skin.
Maintaining a healthy level of humidity indoors can help to prevent these negative effects and create a more comfortable and healthy living environment. The ideal indoor humidity level is generally considered to be between 30% and 50%, depending on the season and climate.
Read more on how humidity levels affect your health.
Here are some ways to maintain a healthy level of humidity indoors:
Use a humidifier: If the humidity level is too low, using a humidifier can add moisture to the air and improve indoor air quality. There are several types of humidifiers available, including ultrasonic, evaporative, and steam humidifiers.
Use a dehumidifier: If the humidity level is too high, using a dehumidifier can help remove excess moisture from the air and improve indoor air quality. Dehumidifiers work by pulling moisture from the air and collecting it in a reservoir.
Proper ventilation: Proper ventilation is important for maintaining a healthy level of humidity indoors. Opening windows and doors to allow for fresh air to circulate can help regulate humidity levels. Using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens can also help remove excess moisture from the air.
Fix leaks: Leaks or sources of moisture, such as leaking pipes or roofs, can contribute to high humidity levels indoors. Fixing these leaks can help prevent excess moisture from accumulating and improve indoor air quality.
Monitor humidity levels: Using a hygrometer, which measures the amount of moisture in the air, can help monitor humidity levels indoors. Aim for a humidity level between 30% and 50% for optimal indoor air quality.
By maintaining a healthy level of humidity indoors, you can improve indoor air quality and create a more comfortable and healthy living environment.
There are many simple and effective ways to improve indoor air quality and create a healthy and comfortable living environment. Source control, proper ventilation, reducing indoor pollutants, maintaining humidity levels, and using air purifiers, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, and far infrared heaters are all effective methods for improving indoor air quality.
By taking these steps and being mindful of indoor air quality, you can reduce the risk of respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues caused by indoor air pollution. With a few changes and additions to your home, you can create a clean and healthy indoor environment that promotes well-being and comfort for you and your family.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.