When we talk about air pollution here in the Tri-State area, we tend to rail on about vehicle emissions, smog, ozone depletion, and so on. You know, that the problem is confined to outdoors. But did you know that the air quality inside your home or office can be far worse – 2 – 10 times more polluted than outdoor air, on average?
There are several causes of indoor air pollution. Homes are being built “tighter” now than they were 30 years ago, mainly for greater energy efficiency. The downside is that tightly sealed homes don’t allow indoor air pollutants to escape. Pollutants such as dust, radon, formaldehyde, lead, and countless others are being trapped indoors and then circulated from room to room by the air blowing from your ducts, radiators, and baseboard units.
While there are several professional air cleaning solutions worth delving into, there’s also quite a bit you can do yourself to clean up your indoor air.
- Control the amount of humidity – Mold, dust mites, and other allergens thrive in humid air. Running an exhaust fan while cooking, using the dish washer, or taking a bath or shower helps keep humidity levels under control. So does making sure your dryer is properly vented outdoors and that no moist air is escaping into your laundry room. For your basement or other lower areas of your home, a room dehumidifier can also help keep air moisture to a minimum.
- Clean naturally – The chemicals used to make household fragrances could be making you sick. Synthetic fragrances, like those in dryer sheets, laundry detergent, air fresheners, and household cleaners emit dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. To limit your exposure, choose milder scent-free products or make your own green cleaners. A little olive oil and fresh lemon juice will polish your hard wood furniture just as well as the name brand polishes. Equal parts water and vinegar will leave your glass, windows and mirrors sparkling. Replace those dryer sheets with wool dryer balls to soften laundry, and reduce dryer time.
- Show off your green thumb – According to NASA, many common indoor plants can remove allergens and chemicals from the air. Chrysanthemums are effective at removing benzene, for example, which is commonly found in plastics, paint, and detergent. Aloe Vera filters out benzene and formaldehyde, often found in chemical-based cleaners. The graceful peace lily combats three of the most common VOCs: formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.
Not content with self-help remedies? Then contact Air Professionals to learn more about our whole-house indoor air solutions, including air purifiers and humidity control system.