Take a Deep Breath: Three Essential Steps to Healthy Indoor Air

Indoor air quality is not something that everyone will feel that they need to pay much attention to, but that would be a mistake and could eventually even prove to be detrimental to their health.

Air quality can be affected by a number of factors and pollution comes in many shapes and forms, so it would be certainly be beneficial to have an understanding of what affects the air that you breathe and how you can ensure that is remains healthy in your home.

Vapor intrusion

Volatile Organic Compounds, pesticides, biological pollutants, Radon and Carbon Monoxide are just some of the potential sources of vapor intrusion that can have a detrimental effect on your air quality.

 

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency is one of several Environmental Data Resources where you can get a comprehensive list of pollutants and sources of indoor air pollution and there are essentially, three basic strategies to adopt in order to improve your indoor air quality.

Control the source

Your primary objective is source control, by locating and then eliminating any individual sources of pollution and reducing their emissions.

How you apply these controls depends on the type of material or hazard that you are dealing with, a substance like asbestos can be sealed or enclosed whereas emissions from a gas stove has to be adjusted in order to decrease the level of emissions.

Source control is a very cost-effective preventative measure in many cases, as increasing ventilation can increase your energy costs. It is best to take advice from a professional as to what action is required to control the source in the most effective way, with cost being a secondary consideration over safety.

Improving ventilation

In order to achieve a lowering of the concentration of indoor air pollutants within your home environment, you can take a look at the level of outdoor air that is able to come indoors.

Ventilation is the key to improving air quality and you should remember that most heating and cooling systems do not mechanically bring fresh air into your property as part of their functionality. Consider installing some fans within your bathroom and kitchen areas so that any fumes generated within these areas can be exhausted directly outside and remove any potential contaminants.

Using air cleaners

Air cleaners can be very effective at particle removal but the problem is that there are so many different models and system to choose from that their performance attributes can vary quite dramatically.

How much you pay for your air cleaner may give you some indication of its effectiveness but the main point to bear in mind when you are shopping around for a suitable model, is that the efficiency of an air cleaner in collecting pollutants is often expressed as a percentage rate in the specification details and you should also pay attention to how much air it draws through the cleaning or filtering element, which is expressed in cubic feet per minute.

If you gather this data for several air cleaner models that you are interested in, you will soon be able to draw a comparison and see which one is most likely to keep your air quality as high as possible.

Healthy indoor air is not only highly desirable, it also helps to protect you from potentially harmful pollutants.

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