The air quality in your home may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to home maintenance, but it is important. There are many factors that go into controlling the quality of the air we breathe. Things like cleaning, HVAC, chemicals and paint are all factors that can effect what we take into our bodies each day. The air you breathe has a much greater impact than you may think. When you consider that what you inhale goes directly into your blood stream and the average adult takes 26,000 breathes each day, there is a big chance that what you are breathing is affecting you. Even if you don’t realize it.
The Air Quality Of Your Home
Because most homes are climate controlled, there is little exchange of air with the outside. This leaves it up to our filtration systems to keep the air clean. When contaminates are introduced into our home’s environment, they become difficult to remove.
While cleaning is a key factor, many times activities like dusting and vacuuming only move the contaminates around rather than removing them.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are dangerous gasses and fumes that result from chemicals that can be harmful to your respiratory system. Not only from cleaning chemicals, VOCs can be found in paint, plastics and personal hygiene and beauty products. Some paints and plastics, can continue to give off VOCs for years.
Effects Of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Many do not understand the effects of poor indoor air quality and just become used to them. Things like mood, low energy and fatigue can all be results directly tied to the quality of the air you breathe. Coughing, sneezing and headaches are also signs of contaminated air.
When these exposures are continued over years, chronic breathing issues such as asthma can also result. There are over 30 million people with undiagnosed asthma in the U.S. Many of them effected by the air they breathe.
Controlling Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
The good news is there is hope for the air in your home. Advances in air filter technology make our HVAC systems much more effective at removing contaminates. Making sure your systems air filter is changed can make a big difference as well.
Plants are also a great way to clean the air in your home. A study by NASA in the 80’s reviled a list of house plants that actually clean the air by absorbing contaminates. This came in handy in the extremely closed environments of space craft and can do the same in your home. This site has a list of the plants that NASA identified as air cleaners.
Speaking of cleaning, when you dust your home with a feather duster, you are basically re-contaminating the air you breath. It may be gone from the blinds or book shelf, but it will return in a matter of hours after it settles out of the air at a rate of 1’ per hour. That means that if you dust your 8’ tall ceiling fan with a feather duster, in 2.5 hours the dust will be right at your nose for you to breath.
Use a vacuum or microfiber cloth to remove dust rather than a feather duster. You will notice a difference in the amount of dust on surfaces almost immediately!
Air purifiers are also a good step to take to ensure your home’s air is clean. There are many different types, using several technologies. Check with your local HVAC professional. In many cases, they offer air purification systems that work with your homes heating and cooling systems. They can also give you advice on duct cleaning as this should be checked as well.
You and your family spend a lot of time in your home. Making sure the air quality of air in your home is under control and safe, can help to ensure you stay healthy and happy.
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