You might come across news headlines concerning air pollution and its effects on public health on a regular basis. But how often do you consider the quality of the air inside your home?
While outside air pollution is clearly a worry, it is easy to overlook the importance of the quality of air you breathe at home.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air pollution levels indoors may not only be up to 100 times higher than outdoor air pollutants, but they may also have a bigger impact on your health.
The health effects of indoor air pollution vary depending on the kind of pollutant present, however they might include:
- Allergic reactions
- Heart disease
- Low birth weight
People with respiratory or cardiac diseases, as well as small children and the elderly, may be at a higher risk of acquiring several health issues associated with poor indoor air quality.
Unexplained respiratory issues may indicate that it is time to inspect the air quality in your home. However, even contaminants with the potential to cause harm might go unnoticed for years.
Taking actions to enhance your indoor air quality can help you reduce your chance of developing health problems and possibly improve your quality of life. We’ve got 4 pointers to help you get started.
1. Check the air quality in your home.
If you’re concerned about the air quality in your house but aren’t sure what modifications might be most beneficial, testing your air quality is a smart place to start.
You have the option of doing it yourself or hiring a professional.
The approach you select will be determined by your requirements. While doing it yourself is typically less expensive, engaging with a professional will most likely result in more comprehensive findings and tailored information.
Homemade air quality testing
Online, you may purchase a range of air quality test kits. Some kits enable you to test for numerous contaminants, whereas others, such as radon, only test for one.
Because many at-home test kits aren’t comprehensive, at-home testing may make more sense if you’re simply interested in screening for one or two specific contaminants. Working with a pro may be more efficient in the long run if you want a full panel of outcomes.
Comprehensive at-home testing can cost up to $200, but you may need to spend more if you want to test for other contaminants.
Air quality testing performed by professionals
Hiring a professional will almost certainly cost more than utilizing a test kit, but many specialists provide extra services to assist you in managing any pollution sources discovered during the test. Pros who do air quality testing, for example, may also specialize in mold prevention and eradication.
2. Make use of an air purifier.
Bringing an air purifier into your house is one of the most efficient ways to keep your air pure. You should choose an air purifier with a high efficiency particulate absorption (HEPA) filter since they perform the greatest job of eliminating hazardous particles from the air.
HEPA filters, in fact, can remove up to 99 percent of dangerous particles from the air.
Because air purifiers cannot remove all forms of pollution, you should consider purchasing an air filter if you wish to reduce:
VOCs ,smoke, mold spores, excess carbon dioxide, and allergies such as pet dander.
An air purifier with a HEPA filter can also assist in the removal of flu virus particles from the air.
3. Increase ventilation
Keeping the air circulating in your house is a simple (and possibly cost-free) approach to enhance the quality of your air. Opening windows and doors to allow some outside air in is one method to do this, as long as the outside air is clean or low in pollen.
However, air enters your home through vents as well as weak points such as tiny gaps around doors. While there isn’t much you can do about the air that enters through these holes, making sure that the air streaming into your living area through vents isn’t adding to the problem could assist.
That is to say:
- Replace any filters in your home’s heating and cooling systems on a regular basis.
- Ensuring that any air ducts in your house are clean and unobstructed, since dust can accumulate over time.
- Checking and replacing the filters in air-bringing appliances in your house according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
4. Inspect your heating systems.
Certain heating systems can also have a significant influence on air quality.
Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces may emit large volumes of hazardous particles into your home’s air, thereby increasing your chance of developing long-term health problems such as lung cancer.
Heating systems with outdated furnaces and gas-fueled heating equipment are two more potentially risky heating solutions.
Chemical-powered heating systems have the potential to emit more carbon monoxide into the air, an odorless gas that can cause choking and death. Some experts advise installing direct vent gas appliances, which prevent the gas from contaminating your interior air.
A number of things can have an impact on the air quality in your home, and they can all contribute to a variety of short- and long-term health repercussions.
If you’re concerned about indoor air pollution, testing your indoor air quality might provide some relief. Taking efforts to prevent and eliminate specific issue pollutants can therefore help you enhance the quality of air in your home while minimizing any related health concerns.