There are countless airborne pollutants found in our households. In fact, the levels of air pollutants s are two to five times higher in homes and offices than outdoors. Add to this the fact that most of us spent 90% of our lives inside our homes and you can easily understand why indoor air quality ranks among the top five environmental health risks. The good news is that we can do something to control air pollutants in our homes. Follow these tips to significantly boost your home’s indoor climate as well as your indoor air quality.
Allow air to circulate in your living space
To reduce energy consumption, homes with HVAC systems must be tightly sealed. Unfortunately, when we trap air, we also trap harmful air pollutants. And to get rid of these pollutants, proper ventilation must be observed. This can be done by occasionally opening windows and doors. You can also promote ventilation by installing a mechanical vent system which allows general and zonal ventilation in the house.
Diminish radon exposure in your home
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas from uranium decay which originates from underground and seeps through the soil and into the buildings. Exposure to this pollutant can be fatal to humans. Hence, it is important to protect yourself from this killer.
First you must test if your house has radon problems. Radon testing kits are available in the market. If you find high levels of radon in your home (4 pCi/L or more) consider installing a radon mitigation system. The task of this unit is to vent the gas directly from the ground to the air outside.
Maintain good indoor climate
Indoors must not be too dry or humid. Dry indoor climate may cause cough and cold while high levels of humidity promote growth of mold and mildew which are notorious allergens. You want humidity levels to stay between 30% and 50%. Buy a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels or a dehumidifier to reduce level of humidity.
Don’t smoke indoors
There are two types of smoke that you must eliminate in your home: second hand smoke and third hand smoke. Second hand smoke refers to the smoke directly coming from a lit cigarette. Conversely, third hand smoke refers to the residues that stick to wall and draperies. There is no way we can eliminate second and third hand smoke inside the home but to completely avoid smoking indoors.
Keep your HVAC system in tiptop shape
Arrange an annual inspection of your HVAC system to ensure they are working properly. Also have the ducts inspected for mold growth or dust build up. This can significantly enhance indoor climate at the same time.
Spend time outdoors
Aside from benefiting your lungs, time spent outdoors has proved to be effective in reducing stress, boosting mood and improving a person’s quality of sleep. Even if studies show that 90% of our lives are spent indoors, you don’t really have to stand by this fact. Go out and relax once in awhile. Enjoy some fresh air and soak in some sunlight for a healthier, happier life.