7 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Reduce Air Pollution at Home
Improve Indoor Air Quality and Reduce Air Pollution at Home
Vehicle emissions, coal-fueled power plants, and uncontrollable wildfires might be what you picture when thinking of air pollution, but did you know that the air inside your home can be up to a dozen times worse than the air outside?
Unlike the air outside, indoor air tends to be continuously recycled, which causes it to trap pollutants and allows them to build up within these confined spaces. Taking the initiative to improve your home’s indoor air quality can help lower your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and improve your quality of life. The team at Hilo Aire has some tips on how you can improve the indoor air quality and reduce the air pollutants in your home.
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What is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor air quality (IAQ) generally refers to the environmental characteristics inside a building that may affect human health, comfort, or work performance. Indoor air quality characteristics include pollutant concentrations in indoor air, air temperature, and humidity.
Indoor air may contain allergens like dust, mold, and pet dander. Dust and other particles are released into the air by wood-burning fires, furnaces, and candles. Humidity can lead to higher dust mite levels, and cooking sends oil and fat particulates into the air.
Clean outdoor air must replace indoor air often, or the indoor air becomes more polluted. Otherwise, allergens and other pollutants stay in your home and recirculate. Because modern, more energy-efficient homes don’t have the same gaps and cracks as older homes, there’s less air circulation.
Why is Indoor Air Quality So Important?
Home is our safe refuge, where we can wind down and enjoy time with our family. In the past years, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the air within our homes and other indoor spaces tends to be more lethal than the outdoor air in even the most industrialized cities.
Further research indicates that the average American spends approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, the health risks may be more significant due to exposure to indoor air pollution. As if that’s not enough, the people who tend to get exposed to indoor air pollutants for the most prolonged periods are often those most vulnerable to the effects of indoor air pollution. These groups include the young, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons suffering from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The good news, however, is that indoor air pollution is easier to curb than the outside version.
What You Can Do to Improve the Indoor Air in Your Home
1. Eliminate Obvious Air Pollutants
Learning about the common sources of air pollution and avoiding contaminating your home with them when you can is a simple yet highly effective way to keep indoor air clean.
Some common pollutants include:
- Radon - Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality. Constant exposure to high radon levels can cause lung cancer.
- Secondhand smoke - At least sixty cancer-causing chemicals have been identified in exhaled cigarette smoke. Thirdhand smoke, found on surfaces such as clothes and furniture that absorb it, also poses a health risk.
- Carbon monoxide - Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that gets released when something burns. It can have adverse health effects when inhaled in large amounts.
- Formaldehyde - Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound commonly found in household items such as furniture. Too much exposure to it can lead to respiratory issues, including bronchitis.
- Cleaning products - Choosing non toxic cleaning products is an excellent way to keep your home clean and safe
2. Bring In The Fresh Air
Sometimes, it may be challenging to remove sources of air pollution. The pollution source may be your pet, for instance, or an ill family member. Improving the air quality in your home may be as quick and straightforward as opening your windows for a couple of hours if the weather permits. Also, beware of other local factors such as humidity, pollution, and pollen levels.
3. Maintain a Healthy Level Of Humidity
The ideal humidity for health and comfort is between 30 and 50 percent. Maintaining an ideal level of indoor humidity helps discourage the growth and spread of mold, dust mites, and other allergens. You can use dehumidifiers or your home’s air conditioner to control the humidity level in your home.
Some of the issues with Low Humidity include:
- Dry or itchy skin
- More vulnerable to cold and infection
- Damage to hardwood floors and wooden furniture
Some of the Issues with High Humidity include:
- The growth and spread of mold
- Worsening asthma and allergy symptoms
- Trouble sleeping
- Moisture problems in your home
4. Test Your Home’s Air Quality
If you’re concerned about your home’s air quality but are unsure about the steps you should take to reduce air pollution in your home, consider testing your air quality.
While self-testing kits may allow you to DIY test your home’s indoor air quality, they don’t provide enough information to help you understand the source of your problem or how to fix it. Working with indoor air quality experts, like Hilo Aire, will likely yield more extensive results and personalized info. Professionals may also offer additional services to help you manage any sources of pollution found during the test.
5. Dry Out Damp
Dust mites, mold, and viruses love moist, warm areas, making kitchens and bathrooms ideal havens. Cover your cooking pans, turn on the extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom, and hang wet clothes outside.
Open the windows for 5-10 minutes several times a day and invest in a dehumidifier for poorly-insulated rooms with outer walls or single-glazed windows.
6. Keep Your Air Ducts Clean
Keeping air ducts clean is essential for air quality inside your home. Some signs that your air ducts need cleaning include visible dust build-up on the vents or furniture and increased allergy flare-ups.
Since this job requires complex cleaning equipment, it’s best to leave it to the experts. Quit searching for “Indoor air quality services near me” and contact Hilo Aire today. In the meantime, clean and dust all your registers and grilles.
7. Change HVAC Filters Regularly
You should clean your home’s HVAC system regularly. Scheduling AC filter replacement regularly is critical to prevent dust and other pollutants from circulating back into your indoor air. Also, ensure that you keep air vents unblocked, as placing furniture or other objects in front of air vents can disrupt air circulation, causing a room to feel stuffy.
Air Quality Solutions From Hilo Aire
The air quality should be one of the most critical concerns in your home, as it directly affects your family’s overall health and well-being. It may take a little up-front effort, but setting indoor air quality standards can go a long way in creating a healthy, comfortable living environment.
At Hilo Aire, we improve indoor air quality for homes and properties in Santa Clarita, San Fernando, and some parts of Ventura County. Our IAQ experts utilize the latest technologies to provide custom, cutting-edge solutions that will help you reduce indoor air pollution and improve the IAQ in your home.
At Hilo Aire, we can test for a wide variety of air contaminants, including the following:
- Pet dander
- Mold/microbial spores
- Carbon monoxide
- Tobacco smoke
- Rodent allergens
- Dust mites
- Common allergens
- Airborne asbestos fibers
- All types of VOCs and MVOCs
- And more!