When people talk about air pollution, it’s usually in the context of dirty power plants, smoke-filled highways, and gas-guzzling airplanes. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the quality of the air inside your home can be up to 5 times worse compared to the outdoors. And if you live in the city, the air quality can be worse.
The World Health Organization has declared air pollution to be the number one risk to public health. It is responsible for nearly a third of deaths from lung cancer and heart disease and $176 billion in healthcare costs. You might not see it or smell it, but your home can harbor toxic pollutants that cause serious harm.
Luckily, indoor air pollution can be avoided if taken seriously. Small steps such as air duct cleaning go a long way in ensuring good home air quality. You might also have to reexamine your lifestyle to minimize the introduction of pollutants into your home.
1. Improve ventilation
One of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to improve the air quality in your home is to improve the ventilation. It can be as easy as opening the windows to facilitate airflow.
This can be an issue during wintertime, however. Most people close their windows during winter to save money on energy bills and keep hot air from leaking outdoors. But you still need to open the windows on occasion to let fresh air in and pollutants out. The cold air can also lower indoor humidity, which keeps the pests at bay.
Always ventilate rooms when painting or using chemical cleaners.
2. Use vintage furniture
Your new couch might look great, but little did you know that it’s slowly releasing toxic chemicals into your living room. Many new materials, such as synthetic fabrics and paints, release volatile gases into their surroundings. These volatile gases, when exposed to sunlight, can transform into particulates that damage your body.
If you want to keep your home free of volatile gases, use vintage or second-hand furniture instead. The volatile gases deactivate after a few years, which means old furniture does not emit them anymore.
3. Buy an air purifier
Not all pollutants are visible. Many of them are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye. If you want to rid the air of these invisible pollutants, invest in a few air purifiers for your home.
Air purifiers work by absorbing dirty air, cleaning it, and releasing it back to the world. Depending on the model, an air purifier can remove up to 99 percent of particulates in a room. It’s also a great way to remove allergens such as pollen from the air, which is handy if you have a severe allergy.
Indoor air quality should be one of your top priorities as it directly affects the health and safety of your family. Breathing polluted air can lead to a host of health conditions such as fatigue, lethargy, and respiratory ailments. By keeping these pointers in mind, you can enjoy clean air inside your home.