What You Need to Know About Indoor Air Quality
One of the major takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic is that clean air is essential for survival. We are masking up because we don’t want to inhale droplets or aerosol particles containing the coronavirus.
Besides the coronavirus, the problem of pollution can affect the quality of the air we breathe. poor air quality isn’t an exclusive concern among those who travel or move about outdoors, as you also have to watch out for indoor air quality in buildings such as schools, offices, and even homes.
If air pollutants surround your condo and have contaminated the indoor air you breathe, health conditions may develop and pose problems in your quality of life.
Indeed, knowing the basics about indoor air quality matters—especially during these times when you’re spending more time at home—for your health, safety, and comfort. In this post, we’ll discuss facts about indoor air quality and share best practices in maintaining it.
What are the common contaminants in indoor air?
Poor indoor air quality due to contaminants can cause health problems. Here’s what you need to know about air pollutants, including the adverse health effects of immediate and long-term exposure to these harmful substances.
- Particulate Matter (PM)
Particulate matter is a mixture of solid and liquid particles suspended in the air. Besides dust and water, PM also includes carbon, sulfates, nitrates, and similar chemicals. These particles can be as small as 10 micrometers—that’s slightly bigger than the diameter of a human hair!Since PMs are so small, you may not be aware that you’re inhaling them, and when that happens, they can reach deep into your lungs or, worse, your bloodstream. From simple irritations to heart and lung diseases, the consequences of inhaling them can be detrimental to your health
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals used as ingredients in household products like paint, varnish, and cleaning products. Since their concentrations can be ten times higher indoors than outdoors, VOC exposure can lead to a wide array of symptoms such as headaches, allergic skin reactions, and respiratory problems, among others.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas present in tobacco smoke, car exhaust, gas stoves, and other gas-powered equipment, such as generators. Depending on your level of exposure, CO can pose health issues ranging from mild and severe to fatal.
Sources of indoor air pollution
Did you know that using common household products and doing some activities generate air pollutants? That makes it vital to know how these factors contribute to indoor air pollution.
- Combustion. Activities like cooking and smoking release particulate matter and carbon monoxide, which can get trapped inside your unit or building. They may remain suspended in the air if the air circulation is weak.
- Cleaning solutions, paints, and other household products. These commonly used household products release toxic chemicals into the air that you inhale while you’re indoors.
- Molds and mildew. Microorganisms like molds and fungi can settle in moist areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry area. Their spores can contaminate your home’s indoor air.
How can you improve indoor air quality?
Here are effective ways with tips to better manage the air quality and minimize air pollution in your condo.
- Do general cleaning regularly
Regular and thorough cleaning gets rid of dust, mildew, allergens, and other aerosol particles, preventing them from accumulating inside your home. If you’re a pet parent, see to it that you sweep or vacuum their hair and skin sheddings to prevent allergies in your household.
- Check your AC filter
Air conditioners are among the most heavily used home appliances, making it crucial that you properly maintain them by cleaning their filters.
AC filters have an important role in improving indoor air quality since they trap common pollutants and prevent them from circulating in the air. Ideally, you should clean the filters every month, but you can do it more often if you use the AC constantly, have house pets, or deal with dusty conditions.
- Use a range hood while cooking
You must turn on your home’s exhaust system to clean the air of any contaminants released by your stove. Even if you’re using electric burners, turning the range hood on or simply opening a window can reduce the pollutants that linger after cooking.
- Control indoor humidity levels
Moisture and humidity encourage the growth of molds, but you can address this problem by using dehumidifiers in damp areas to help keep the humidity levels to an ideal range.
- Keep air purifying plants
Besides adding color to the home, there’s another reason that more and more people are into indoor plants: plants are nature’s gift when it comes to filtering the contaminants from the air. There’s a wide selection of low-maintenance plants you can fit into your condo space while reaping the health benefits of clean, fresh air.
- Invest in an air purifier
An air purifier can be a worthy addition to your home’s indoor air essentials. Air purifiers are best placed in the busiest locations of your condo, such as the living room, dining area, and even the bedroom, especially if you sleep with your furry friend around.
Clear the Air
Indoor air quality deserves more of your attention. In doing so, you also enhance your quality of life since you can be healthy and comfortable inside your home.
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