Reasons You Should Be Mindful of the Air Quality in your Home
In a world where air pollution is an everyday fact of life, we are already at a stage where we have basically accepted that, short of a total ban on cars, factories, and other major polluters, cleaning up the outside air is an uphill climb that just gets steeper by the day.
Those who live in urban areas bear the brunt of the harm being caused by air pollution, but those who live away from them aren’t exempted from the worsening quality of outside air.
Bleak as things may look though, there is still something we can do about the air inside our homes, and we’re not just talking about installing a new AC unit system. We must do everything we can to improve indoor air quality due to the following reasons:
We spend most of our time indoors
Much as we harp about the ever-deteriorating quality of outside air, we are more exposed to the air indoors as we spend about 90% of our time inside our homes, classrooms, offices, malls, and other buildings with four walls and a roof. In other words, it’s imperative for the air that we breathe indoors to be as fresh and clean as we can make it.
However, there is something about indoor air that most of us don’t realize.
Indoor air is more polluted
If you think the air outside is bad, then you might be in for a shock, because according to some scientific studies, the pollution levels indoors may even be worse. Then again, if we think about the things we do inside our homes, it wouldn’t be that shocking.
For one, our homes have furnaces, stoves, ovens, and water heaters, all of which burn fuel, which produces deadly carbon monoxide. For another, we use products that emit volatile organic compounds or VOCs as gases. Cleansers, disinfectants, aerosol sprays, air fresheners, moth repellents, paint, varnish, carpets, and even dry-cleaned clothing are sources of VOCs.
Then there’s the kind of pollution that comes from smokers in the household. Aside from the widely-known effects of smoking on one’s health, tobacco products also stink up any place and push the quality of indoor air further down.
If you have pets, then the air inside your home will also be filled with pet dander, which affects air quality indoors as well.
The adverse effects poor indoor air quality on health
The most important reason why you should be mindful of the air quality inside your home is the fact that it will, without a doubt, impact the health of every single member of the household.
According to the American Heart Association, there is a link between poor air quality and heart disease. The American Lung Association has made the same association between poor air quality and lung cancer as well.
Poor indoor air quality can also trigger asthma, as well as give rise to symptoms such as eyes, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, allergies, dizziness, and nausea.
Ways to boost air quality inside your home
Outdoor air is bad, and so is indoor air. While we can make an effort to help make the air outside cleaner through gestures such as cutting back on our car use or by not smoking in public, any attempt on our part to enhance indoor air quality has a much better chance of yielding faster and more significant results.
We can improve the air inside our home by doing any or all of the following:
- Impose a smoking ban – A single cigarette, when burned, produces thousands of chemicals whose effects on one’s health don’t need any elaboration. If you can’t get the smokers among your loved ones to quit, at least make the house a no-smoking zone for the sake of everyone else.
- Open a window or door every so often – We understand that you keep all windows and doors closed because of air conditioning, but you need to shut them down periodically to let in the outside air. Sure, outside air may be polluted too, but at least a good breeze can take some of that stale indoor air out with it.
- Put up houseplants – Some houseplants are good at filtering air. The best ones include spider plant, aloe vera, bamboo palm, peace lily, and Boston fern. These air-filtering plants are so good at their jobs that even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) swears by them.
- Don’t use aerosols – Using air fresheners, hairspray, deodorants, or any product contained in aerosol cans only worsens the quality of the air inside your home with all the chemicals they expel.
- Use only green cleaning products – We live in an age where house cleaning products that are non-toxic and generally friendlier to the environment are readily available. Use them to keep your house clean.
All of us deserve to breathe fresh and clean air. If we can’t get that outside, then we all should do our best to make sure our homes fare better when it comes to air quality.
About The Author
Stephanie Gordon is a content marketing specialist of New AC Unit. Aside from creating online content on energy-efficiency, Stephanie enjoys running and biking with her family and friends to stay fit.