Pollution is one of the biggest problems that plague our planet today. Smoke and pollutants have become part of every city’s outdoor environment. Natural forms of allergy-inducing organisms like pollen, microbes and other airborne particles have been on the rise and more of us are looking for ways to improve air quality at home.
Indoor air quality is growing of importance as more and more people spend time working, playing and living indoors. It is estimated that indoor air pollutants are up to five times higher than outdoor pollution in some areas.
The air quality in a home can, therefore, have a drastic effect on the health of a family. Not only will children or parents with asthma feel the effects of poor air in their home, but family members may start to suffer from allergies and lung diseases because of the particles in the air, which makes indoor air pollution real health risk.
It is estimated that an increase in perennial allergic rhinitis, or year-long allergies, can be attributed in part to the increased amount of dust mites and mold that people breathe in every day indoors.
Did you know that you could control the indoor air quality of your home? Your air quality is the result of a variety of factors, including the quality of the air that comes into your home from the outside, the number of pets and smokers in your home, and the effectiveness of your air filtration and ventilation systems as well as the paints and furniture that may release toxic gases.
By taking steps to improve air quality in your home, you can make sensible changes that will improve the quality of the air inside your bedroom and the rest of your home, and improve your breathing and overall health.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes comes from sources that release gases and particles into the air.
Pets, pet urine, mattresses, paint, smoking and cooking all contribute to the quality of the air we breathe indoors. Also, insufficient ventilation can increase pollutant levels by not bringing enough fresh outdoor air inside to dilute gasses or particulate emissions.
The quality of the air inside your home is very important to the health of you and your family. Poor quality indoor air can result in many negative health effects, including breathing disorders, sleeping problems and more. Improving the indoor air quality in the home can help all of the members of the family breathe easier. Follow our tips to improve indoor air:
Improve Ventilation in the Home – A great method used to improve indoor air quality is improving the ventilation of the home so that contaminated air is removed and replaced with fresh air on a routine basis. Many types of home heating and cooling systems simply recycle the air that is inside the home without adding fresh air from outside the home, allowing levels of contaminants to build up until they reach levels that can be harmful to your health. Opening windows in the home during nice weather and operating window or attic fans can improve ventilation in the home by a significant amount and improve indoor air quality.
Convenient Electronic Air Cleaners – Electronic air cleaners work like a magnet. They attract the different pollutants that you find in the air on a normal basis. You will be able to remove all of the different particles which can cause you to cough and wheeze. Best of all, you’ll be able to see the difference by the number of particles that you will wash off of the cleaner. An air purifier is very handy in making sure that not only is the air easier to breathe. The cleaner the air is, the easier it is to heat and cool the air.
Control Sources of Air Pollution – One of the most efficient ways to improve the quality of the air inside the home is to maintain control of any air pollution sources that could contaminate the interior air. Control methods include the elimination of harmful contaminants (such as asbestos, toxic paints and fittings), reducing emission levels by cutting the usage of combustion sources (such as wood-burning fireplaces, gas-fueled stoves, or smoking tobacco products) within the home, and using high quality air filters near emission sources to quickly remove pollutants from the air. Controlling sources of air pollution is viewed as one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain good indoor air quality because it rarely increases energy costs.
Ionization – Ionic air filtration systems pass the air over an ionization unit which gives an electrical charge to the particles. This, in turn, causes the charged particles to stick to a collection plate in the filtration unit. Charged particles not captured in the collection plates are more likely to stick to the surfaces in a room rather than float in the air. Regular dusting can then remove them from the environment. One byproduct of the ionization process is ozone. In sufficient quantities, ozone is a lung irritant. So, it is important that the ozone output of the unit does not overpower the room.
Filtration Using HEPA Filters – High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) is a kind of filtering technique that is capable of holding off micro-level particles. Fans are used to force airborne particles like dust, mold, pollen, volatile organic compounds and other indoor air pollutants and allergy triggers into the filter. This may prove to be a bit pricey, but it has a high level of efficiency and effectiveness in improving air quality. You can check my review of the best air purifiers for your bedroom here.
Apart from good ventilation and air purifiers, you should pay attention to the products you buy for your home. Replacing potentially toxic furniture and paints with low VOC products is a great way to improve your indoor air, boost your respiratory health and eliminate possible allergy triggers from your home:
Organic Mattress – Organic mattresses are beneficial to both, the environment and you. They help protect you from various allergens and mites. These mattresses contain organic wool and cotton that absorb the moisture being released from your body and then circulate this moisture back into the air. Organic mattresses are free from toxic chemicals which means that they don’t go through the process of off-gassing. Non-organic mattresses release toxins into the air for weeks and months after being unpacked.
After all, sound sleep is vital for good health and keeps you going through the day like a cakewalk. With the use of the organic queen mattress, you are ensured that your eight-hour sleep is safe from toxic waste or materials that can trigger a reaction.
An organic mattress is much better than its synthetic counterparts not only when you take into consideration the comfort level, but also as far as adding quality to the home and improving air quality in your bedroom. You can check my review of the best organic latex mattresses here.
Non-Toxic Candles – Did you know that non-organic scented candles are bad for your health? They emit harmful toxins every time you light them. Have you ever noticed the black soot that rims your candle jars from the scented candles you bought at the local discount store? That black soot is the toxins that you’re breathing in while you think you’re adding a fragrance to your home. Organic scented candles wax is made from 100% natural vegetable wax or beeswax and is eco-friendly. They contain no petroleum and are biodegradable. Now you and your family can enjoy a fragrant home without having to worry about what harmful chemicals are being absorbed through every pore of your body. Beeswax candles are an eco-friendly and non-toxic way to make your home cozier.
Find low or non-toxic furniture – You can save the earth and your bedroom by getting non-toxic products. Look for the products that have Greenguard certification. This is the most earth-friendly and healthy product that you can consider. Since toxins cannot escape easily in the insulated home, you should find the products that do not go through the process of toxic off-gassing. You can find my article about non-toxic furniture here.
Organic Paint – Non-organic paint is made with volatile organic compounds which include ‘human-made’ and naturally occurring chemical compounds. Human-made compounds are synthetic or petrochemical-based. It’s these different combinations that create the VOC’s that create odors that emanate from house paint and make for an unhealthy breathing environment. These gases carry chemical compounds into the air and cause a long list of common side effects for people, from the eye and respiratory irritation to an increased risk of asthma. If you want to increase the air quality in your bedroom, you have to consider a healthier choice by using organic house paint with zero VOC’s.
Organic cleaning products – Harmful chemicals and toxins are the main elements of most cleaning agents that you probably are using at home to do your daily chores. However, instead of helping you clean, these solutions are putting your family’s health at risk. In addition to that, they could also damage the items you intend to clean as well as the environment.
Going green is a common term nowadays. Time goes by and more people are changing lanes from their usual cleaning agents to organic cleaning products. Because they are organic, they contain fewer toxins or even none in comparison to those commercialized cleaning solutions.
Green cleaning products not only give you the kind of cleaning that you require but also guarantee you a toxin-free home. This is one of the best things about organic cleaning products. Because they contain natural ingredients, they can be easily disposed of without the risk of contaminating the water supply or the environment.
A number of factors contribute to poor indoor air quality. Some are natural and some man-made. Dust, pollen, mold and other airborne irritants can aggravate allergies and other sensitivities to reduce your quality of life.
Soot, ash, and other man-made pollutants also play a factor. Healthier indoor air is critical – especially for those who are susceptible to respiratory ailments, colds, viruses, and bacteria.
Now, thanks to innovative and green technology, it’s easier to improve air quality and remove offensive odors and pollutants in a way that is safe, clean and effective. Also, eliminating sources of pollutants is becoming easier by day as there are more and more brands specializing in low VOC products for home, such as non-toxic furniture and organic mattresses.