We often think of air pollution as something that takes place only in the busy city streets, but rarely do we consider the quality of air where we spend the most time – at home.
Your home’s air quality can be negatively impacted by a mixture of pollutants generated both inside the house, from furniture and furnishings to varnishes and cleaning products, and outside the house through industrial processes and traffic emissions that come in through windows or other ventilation sources.
The Most Common Causes:
- Ventilation: Lack of fresh outdoor air or contaminated air entering the home
- Upkeep: Poor upkeep of ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems
- Moisture: Dampness due to leaks, flooding or high humidity
- Activity: Occupant activities such as construction or remodeling
- Contamination: Indoor or outdoor contaminated air entering the building
Indoor air quality affects your health and wellbeing, and reducing indoor allergens can curb a host of issues such as respiratory problems and fatigue.
What Can You Do?
There are several changes you can make to your home to improve the quality of air you and your family breathe daily.
Purchase An Air Quality Monitor
Indoor air quality monitors are electronic devices that test and report the pollution levels in your home, and are surefire the best way to consistently check your indoor air quality. Exactly what they test depends on the device you choose, but most will offer insight into your particulate matter levels (this includes pollen and dust), chemical pollutants and humidity – all key contributors to poor indoor air quality. These insights will help you identify what areas you need to improve at home.
A clean household has lower levels of mold, dust, allergens and contaminants that could spread through the air. Using eco-friendly cleaning products that do not release harsh chemical compounds can help to target these problems without introducing adverse side-effects.
Change HVAC Filters
Changing your HVAC filters regularly prevents dust and other pollutants from circulating back to your indoor air, as clogged filters can interrupt air flow and increase the speed of pollutant buildup. This negatively impacts your indoor air quality and can lead to expensive repairs down the road. Changing the filters to other appliances in the home, such as your vacuum cleaner and clothes dryer, is another way to ensure dust is not making its way back into the air you breathe.
You can learn more about indoor air quality in Camden Council’s guide here.