Maintaining the right indoor air quality is of extreme importance for protecting the health and well-being of all. To know what should be the ideal air quality at home, you can refer to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, which provides clear guidelines about it and rules and regulations you need to follow for safe living at home. The outside air is heavy with particulate matters due to various effects of pollution from vehicle exhaust, biomass combustion, fossil fuel burning, and emission of greenhouse gases that affect the air quality and makes it unsuitable for healthy living. Polluted air is dangerous for health because particulate matter or PM10 can damage your lung, and finer particles PM2.5 can mix with the bloodstream. Some particulate matters release heavy metals that cause heart and lung disease to enter your body.
To ensure comfortable and healthy living, you must pay attention to the indoor air quality and maintain a healthy level by controlling the factors like temperature, humidity, and particulate matters. It would help if you also chose home appliances and utility equipment like air conditioners and HVAC systems by focusing on the energy star rating stipulated by EPA to minimize the chances of indoor pollution besides lowering power consumption.
Knowing the steps, you should take to maintain healthy and comfortable indoor conditions and proper air quality by monitoring the home environment will help to ensure the right air quality promotes healthy living.
Factors that contribute to comfortable living
Temperature and humidity – Use some temperature and humidity measuring instruments to monitor the temperature and humidity of indoor air. This is done by following the EPA guidelines, which states that the ideal humidity should be between 30% and 60%, and the ideal temperature should be around 68oF. However, some sleep experts suggest keeping the room temperature at 65oF at night that facilitates good sleep. If you have infants, then the temperature level should be slightly higher than adults for which you can consult your doctor. Use dehumidifiers to adjust the indoor humidity level in case the air conditioners fail to maintain it at the proper level.
Home Cleaning – To reduce the load of particulate matter in indoor air, keep the home clean by regular vacuuming and mopping the floors and use doormats at the entrances and places of heavy traffic to prevent dirt accumulation, which affects the air quality. Using vacuum cleaners with HEPA filter and using HEPA filters for the HVAC system helps to minimize allergens.
Fresh air – It is better to keep doors and windows closed most of the time to prevent outside air from entering the home when the temperature and humidity outside are high. It is also vital to ensure proper ventilation by occasionally allowing fresh air to enter the house when the outside climate is favorable. It will help to reduce the level of indoor pollutants.
Heath issues due to poor air quality
Poor indoor air quality can cause several health problems. Typically, those who are susceptible to cold and flu remain highly vulnerable to poor air quality as it aggravates the problems. Households that have pets find it hard to maintain proper air quality as pet dander is a source of allergen that causes respiratory and breathing problems. Again, if you have smokers at home, it is another source of indoor air pollution that affects all people, especially children who start experiencing respiratory problems. Pollen, bacteria, and viruses can enter homes and worsen the air quality causing various sicknesses and diseases.
Solutions for indoor air quality
Placing sensors strategically at different points around the home like air conditioner ducts or grills and areas like attic and basement, which are prone to high temperature and humidity, should help in monitoring. Besides, you can check the air quality coming out of vents and check for drafts and leaks while comparing indoor air quality with the outdoor temperature and humidity. If the indoor humidity is beyond the range recommended by EPA, consider home repair and installing equipment like a dehumidifier and strengthening the air condition system as needed to improve the conditions.
Install air purifiers
Air purifiers help to improve the air quality by removing harmful particulates from the air that lead to healthy air quality. Air purifiers are equipment that has a special design to filter out the most common allergy triggers like pet dander, pollens, and dust mites. There are many types of air purifiers available on the market.
How air purifiers can help
Despite your best efforts to keep indoor air clean, invisible particles will still float in the air, many of which are harmful to health. It takes many months or even years to understand the ill effects of the harmful particles on our health, but those who are prone to allergies will feel the impact instantly and start sneezing.
Air filters use special filtration technologies that remove the harmful particles from the air and keep the air clean. The equipment sucks in air and discharges it through the filter after arresting the harmful particles. Regular replacement of filters ensures that the air purifier works at top efficiency. Besides removing harmful particles, air purifiers also help remove bacteria and viruses, depending on the equipment’s filtration capability.
Installing an air filter takes care of floating particles but does not remove dust particles accumulated on various surfaces like carpets, wooden floors, furniture, upholstery, furnishing, and tapestries, etc. You will still need a quality vacuum cleaner and other surface cleaners for those messes.