Why do you feel more comfortable hanging out in bars or hotels after working hours? Do you find your home to be uncomfortable in the evenings – do you get headaches, brain fog, or nausea with no obvious cause? The answers to these questions may elude you and they may have a connection to the quality of the air in your apartment or home.
This article discusses ways to improve the quality of air within your home or office space.
The Meaning of “Indoor Air Quality”
It can refer to the purity of the air that one can feel within a specified place. Air is the gift of nature we can neither see nor touch, but the air quality depends on variables such as dust, gas, flying particles, and other pollutants present. All of these can be detrimental to the health of those who inhale them.
It is essential to improve the quality of indoor air in the home. We’ll also introduce helpful guidelines for cleaning homes to promote good indoor quality.
Maintaining indoor air quality at home or in the office goes beyond cleaning carpets, rugs, or ceilings. It includes every action that suppresses the release of contaminants, diluting them with proper ventilation and deodorizing them.
Cleaning homes for indoor air quality is also necessary considering traffic. It refers to smokers, pets, children, and other household members within the residence.
There are many strategies for improving indoor air quality. Below are three common ways of achieve this:
- Controlling the source
- Improving ventilation
- Air purification
Controlling the Source
This approach of improving air quality is quite common and has proven to be effective over time. It addresses the main sources of emission whenever there is pollution in the air. For instance, adjusting your kerosene or gas kitchen burners to minimize the quantity of emissions offers better air.
Fixing cracked asbestos ceiling tiles can also help people to avoid inhaling harmful asbestos fibers suspended in the air. Because source control is a relatively cheap method, it is more popular than other methods and has wider adoption.
Source control only needs one pair of hands, and there’s no need for sophisticated machines, which could be expensive.
Allowing adequate outdoor airflow into your homes is another effective method to resolve indoor air pollution problems. Most indoor air pollution happens due to poor ventilation in the home or office. Therefore, it’s necessary to lower the concentration of air pollutants in your home. This is possible by creating outlets enabling sufficient natural air to flow indoors. Alternatively, air exchangers are capable of exchanging stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air.
You may have the luxury of living in homes with hi-tech cooling and heating systems yet struggle to feel the presence of fresh air. The reason is that those mechanical appliances only produce artificial air.
The simple and quick way to usher in fresh air is by opening windows and doors.
Several other activities contribute to contaminating the quality of air in homes. Some of these activities include burning waste, cooking with kerosene/gas stoves, constant frying and welding, smoking cigarettes, wood stoves, using hair spray products, using paints/varnishes. Performing some of these activities should be done outdoors to avoid polluting indoor air quality.
Those thinking of building a new home should think about the infrastructure while improving the indoor air quality. A modern home usually requires the installation of air exchangers during construction. These energy-efficient mechanical systems help usher in quality outdoor air into homes.
Furthermore, you can improve the comfort of your indoor air in your home through natural ventilation. When air conditioning systems are not available (probably due to power outages), the room inevitably becomes too hot. In this case, moderate the temperature of the indoor air through natural ventilation. It also removes pollutants that alter the air quality.
In a nutshell, while ventilation removes or dilutes indoor airborne pollutants, it also helps to control indoor temperatures.
Using Air Purifiers
There are many types and sizes of air cleaners, and they are all affordable. Generally, air cleaners differ in their capacity to capture pollutants from indoor air.
It’s less effective when using an air cleaner with an efficient collector but a low air-circulation rate. The same applies to air cleaners with a high air-circulation rate but an inefficient collector.
The durability and assurance of long-term performance are dependent on regular maintenance.
The strength of the pollutant source is another way of ascertaining how good an air cleaner is. Table-top air cleaners may not have the capacity to remove a sufficient amount of pollutants from a strong source, but concerted effort works when different air cleaners work together to produce a satisfactory result.
Tips to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
There are several ways to improve the quality of air within a home. Let’s explore them.
Replacing Worn Out AC Filters
We should always prioritize the maintenance of air conditioning devices in our homes. Machines need care to help them work better and last longer.
Air conditioners are primarily used for disseminating cool air after extracting the heat; however, they malfunction if you have a full air filter in the furnace. A faulty air filter wears down the system and affects indoor air quality. A proactive solution is to avoid costly repairs down the road by regularly changing filters.
Another viable option is to subscribe to an air conditioning service plan. Professionals would clean and maintain the A coil and change the filter as part of the package.
Using Other Air Filters
Relying on furnace filters alone does not entirely improve the indoor air quality for your home. Some other household appliances, like exhaust fans, heat registers, dryers, and air purifiers also come with air filters that you may leverage for cleaner room air. All of these appliances should undergo regular maintenance to ensure optimal efficiency.
Checking Air Ducts
In order to maintain a habitable climate in your living room, it’s essential to check air ducts. Contaminants can quickly float from one room to the other due to poor installation or maintenance of air ducts.
Dust, dander, pollen, and mold spores are other elements that may adversely impact indoor air quality. These things may accumulate in air ducts. An affordable expert can help check for this periodically.
The kitchen is one of the most prominent sources of indoor air pollution. When using gas stoves, always remember you’re releasing toxic chemicals such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) into the air. Though at lower levels, electric cookers do the same.
Other unwanted particles remain suspended in the air and can be absorbed into your bloodstream when you inhale them. Overall, this is detrimental to your health, so it’s advisable to always turn on your cooking vents to ensure their extraction. Also, it makes sense to leave kitchen windows open when cooking vents are absent.
Using Plants To Freshen Air
Man-made devices may not completely solve indoor air pollution problems, and that’s why nature’s solutions to human challenges are always welcome. Some indoor plants can help to improve the air quality in your home.
Plants such as lilies and ferns don’t just capture air contaminants but also help beautify homes. One cannot emphasize the merits of employing this method of air freshening enough. Hence, plants serve the dual function of purifying air and aesthetic purposes.
It’s essential to improve indoor air quality in the home. Adhering to the measures in this article will help to decrease air pollution in every home. It’s advisable to implement these practices as soon as possible to start breathing cleaner, healthier air.
The cleaner the home is, the better the indoor air quality, and occupants will experience fewer health problems.