There was a time when the air outside was more polluted than indoor air. Nowadays, pollutants can be two to five times more concentrated indoors than outdoors. To compound this problem, most people spend up to 90% of their time inside.
Why indoor air quality (IAQ) matters
The air you breath has a huge impact on your wellbeing. Health issues caused by poor IAQ can be immediate or long term depending on the type and concentration of pollutants. Short term symptoms include sore throat, fatigue or headaches. Long term effects include the development of respiratory illnesses and even cancer. Here are four ways to improve your home’s IAQ:
Air cleaners and purifiers
You can clean the air throughout your house or you can deal with it room by room. Whole house air cleaners are placed in the return duct to your furnace. The air first passes through the purifier’s filters to remove allergens and pollutants before entering the furnace. Then it gets distributed throughout your home via ductwork. Alternatively, you can opt for a purifier that takes care of only one room. These units clean more air in that space but the obvious disadvantage is that the rest of the house won’t benefit.
UV light is used in air purifiers to kill bacteria and mold spores so it helps reduce allergens in the home. Depending on the technology used, it can sometimes produce high levels of ozone, which is a pollutant. If you choose to use UV light, consult the manufacturer about the potential for ozone creation.
Depending on the weather, you can use natural ventilation to introduce clean air into your home. Open the windows and doors on opposite sides of your home to allow outdoor air to flow through. Be careful if you have allergies to pollen and dust as this can introduce more allergens into your home.
To increase the amount of outdoor air in your home, exhaust fans and ventilators can give you measured flow rates so you know you’re getting the right amount of air. Whether or not you decide to go with an air purifier, you will still need proper ventilation to replace stale air with fresh air so this is fundamental to all homes. If you need help cleaning out your home’s air, give us a call and we can talk about the best options and how to implement them.