The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that indoor air quality is poor in many locations and that indoor air pollution is one of the top environmental dangers facing Americans today. They recommend an active approach to the problem using a three-prong approach of source removal, air cleaning, and enhanced ventilation. They further state that indoor air pollutants are a greater damage than outdoor ones, particularly because people spend most of their time indoors.
How Does Indoor Air Pollution Occur?
Unfortunately, many home furnishings and supplies can lead to indoor air pollution. Volatile chemicals are found in furniture, carpeting, drapery, and upholstery. These pollutants continue to be emitted on a daily basis. Only proper ventilation can remove them from the home. Cleaning agents, personal care items, paints, glues, and craft solutions can also pollute your indoor air.
Is Indoor Air Pollution Really Hazardous to My Health?
If the air within your home isn’t clean, then the airborne contaminants can lead to allergy attacks and asthma, causing your symptoms and problems to increase in severity. Medical speculation also suggests that many illnesses are aggravated when by the presence of polluted air.
Ways That You Can Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Completing each of the following tasks can enhance the quality of your indoor air:
- Weekly vacuuming, including furniture and draperies
- Weekly cleaning
- Storage of volatile household cleaners, solvents, paints, and other chemicals in tightly sealed containers
- Regular laundering of bed linens and stuffed toys to control dust accumulation
- Have your home properly ventilated so that pollutants can travel to the outside
- Keeping windows closed when outdoor pollution is at a high level
- Maintain comfortable humidity levels within the home to prevent the growth of mold and mildew (humidity levels should be between 25 and 55%)
- Properly vent gas appliance
- Prohibit smoking within the home
- Avoid scented deodorizers and air fresheners
- Choose furniture that does not emit VOCs
- Maintain your HVAC system properly with an annual checkup.
Three Strategies to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
If you want to clean the air within your home, you should follow each of these strategies. First, identify the severity of the problem by arranging for an indoor air quality test. Next, improve the ventilation of your home by bringing in a specialist who can check your existing system and offer suggestions. Finally, purify your air by removing the pollutants from your home using microbiocide-treated filters, activated carbon filters, and germicidal lights. As part of this final step, you should also arrange to have your air ducts professionally cleaned.