Indoor air quality refers to the air in and around a building and the health and comfort of the occupants. With so many of us spending most of our time indoors (up to 90%, between school, home and office), IAQ (indoor air quality) has become a major concern in recent years. It’s more alarming once you hear that the indoor air quality is, on average, 2-5x more polluted than the outside air and as severe as 100x more polluted. It’s no surprise that asthma and allergies have steadily been on the rise since the 1980s. Just to put the severity of the situation into perspective, the EPA has ranked indoor air quality as one of the top 5 environmental dangers.
So what can you do about it? In this post, we go over the common signs of poor IAQ and tips to boost your indoor supply of fresh, breathable air.
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF POOR AIR QUALITY
The following signs and symptoms are indications that you have poor indoor air quality:
- shortness of breath
- worsening allergies
- asthma symptoms
- eye, nose, throat and skin irritations.
COMMON SOURCES OF POOR INDOOR AIR QUALITY
The most common sources for poor indoor air quality include the following:
- tobacco products
- mould or mildew
- household cleaning products
- scented products
- inadequate ventilation
Most of these can be easily avoided by eliminating them in the home, while others may need a few extra steps to mitigate.
EASY SOLUTIONS TO QUICKLY IMPROVE YOUR IAQ
Here are some quick tips to improve your IAQ and breath easier:
- Vacuum: Suck up as many allergens and dust as much as you can using a vacuum with good suction and a HEPA filter.
- Maintain fuel-burning appliances: Ensure your fuel-burning appliances are operating as efficiently as possible with a tune-up by a qualified company technician.
- User cleaner cleaning agents: Use household products with low VOCs and free of scents.
- Buy an air purifier: Air purifiers and air cleaners are an easy and cost-effective solution to drastically improve your home’s IAQ.
- Use and maintain exhaust fans: To improve ventilation, ensure your kitchen and bathroom fans are working properly and vented to the outdoors. HRVs are also an efficient solution to exchange stale air in your home for fresh air outside.
- Use a humidifier: Humidifiers are another easy solution to manage humidity levels in the home and keep everyone breathing easier.