Improving The Indoor Air Quality Of Your Home or Business

We all know that smoking in the house releases cigarette smoke which can cause problems for other members of our household, but did you know that items like furniture can give off emissions which reduce the indoor air quality in your home? There are actually several pollutant sources that we would never even recognize such as cupboards with pressed wood product, wet carpet or furniture that causes mold buildup, our gas stove, or even our wood burning fireplace. All these pollutants conspire together to reduce the healthy quality of our air, and some even cause major health problems like asthma, allergies, or pollutant-related diseases. Recognizing and eliminating (or at least reducing) problem pollutants in your home are essential to your family’s health and wellbeing.

Indoor Air Pollutant Sources

Combustion sources like oil, kerosene, coal, wood, gas, and any tobacco products send both smoke and other pollution into the air when you use your stove, oven, or fireplace. Material used when your house was built like insulation (especially if it contains asbestos). Things like once damp carpet or kitchen cabinets constructed from pressed wood can accumulate or give off certain toxins. Household cleaning chemicals cause indoor air pollution. Central heating and air conditioning systems as well as humidifiers can circulate poor air throughout your house. And of course, pollutants from outside enter your house through windows cracks and other openings.

Reducing Indoor Air Pollutants

Indoor air quality can be improved through three different venues: controlling the source of pollution, improving ventilation which will consistently cycle your indoor air outside and bring fresh outdoor air inside, and using air cleaners to remove pollutants from your home.

Source control is probably the most effective way to improve the quality of the air in your home. Old furniture that may be aggravating your allergies can be replaced, insulation, tile or other items containing asbestos can be covered and sealed, and stoves, ovens and heating or cooling systems can be adjusted to minimize the amount of pollutant released into the air.

Improving the ventilation of air into and out of your house is more expensive, but also well worth the effort if your home tests high for indoor air pollutants. Most heating and cooling systems simply circulate the same air throughout your house instead of drawing fresh air from outside, but you can find current energy-efficient models that bring in outdoor air. One of the best ways to bring in fresh air from outdoors is to open your windows, run window fans or air conditioners which pull outdoor air inside while pushing indoor air to the outside, and run your attic fans.

Air cleaners are also an effective way to improve the indoor air quality of your home. Air cleaners range from inexpensive table top models designed to clear a small amount of pollutants from one room, to sophisticated whole-house systems which effectively filter all the air in your home. If you or your family members suffer from allergies or asthma, a whole-house air cleaner is well worth the extra expense!

It’s important to improve the indoor air quality of your home, and with several options, you’re sure to find a way that fits your lifestyle and budget.