Is Clean Air in a Home Really That Important

Millions of pollutants, allergens, bacteria and dust can flood the airspace without the homeowner’s knowledge. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that not all allergies (such as runny nose, itchy eyes and the like) are caused by pollens.

In fact, health experts suggest that most of the time, these annoying ailments are caused by the quality of air indoors. Once the air in the home is polluted, it’s only a matter of time before it causes health issues.

Researchers talk about the Rule of 1000, which states that anything released in the air indoors is 1000 times more likely to be breathed in than something released outdoors. It’s easier for pollutants to dissipate outdoors due to the strength of the air outside and the size of the location. On the other hand, indoor pollutants have a smaller area to spread and less chances of surviving outside, so inhabitants are effectively stuck with it.

Fortunately, cleaning the air is not very complicated. A lot of people use candles and incense to combat indoor pollution, but this is counterproductive. The smoke from these methods is similar to that of cigarette smoke and only does more to pollute the environment. So, what exactly is being cleaned?

Here are a few specialist tips to help efficiently and effectively ‘clear the air’.

Air Purifier

The air in the home can be polluted from a combination of different particulate matter (PM) including: dust, smoke particles from cooking stoves and cigarettes, mold, pet dander and other pollutants such as exhaust fumes and chemical fumes. This can cause damage to the lungs and immune system.

To combat this, the first logical choice will be to get a purifier. An air purifier does wonders for the home. Dust, mold, pet dander and a lot of other air pollutants are easily kept at bay with the right air purifier.

Air purifiers work by filtering air drawn from the room through a filter in the air purifier device. The pollutants and allergens remain on the filter, while clean air continues to circulate through the machine and back into the room. Most air purifiers can trap 99.7% of the airborne allergens in a room. The more the air is passed through the purifier, the cleaner the air in the room becomes.

Originally designed for people with allergies and asthma, research has now shown that an air purifier is good for everyone. To be effective, an air purifier in the home should be kept in rooms that are frequently used, such as bedrooms, office, living room and rooms where pollutants are easily produced, such as the kitchen, gymnasium and laundry room. The doors to these areas should be closed as much as possible, so that airborne pollutants from other areas of the house cannot pollute the purified air in these rooms.

Unfortunately, there are just too many air purifiers on the market, with some of them starting at $100 and others costing nearly $1000. This can make choosing the right air purifier difficult, but a quick air purifier review from Gadget Review can make this decision easier.

It’s important to point out that airborne pollutants don’t remain in the air for too long. They drift down to the floor and become embedded in chairs, rugs, curtains and other home furnishings. Some of these areas cannot be reached by an air purifier, which means that a homeowner may need to observe certain proactive measures whilst using an air purifier.

  • Not only do airborne pollutants settle on carpets and plush surfaces which are released back into the air when the carpet is walked on, but wall to wall carpets also releases toxins into the air.

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are released when a carpet is first installed and will continue to be released for years to come, although at lower levels. VOC are also emitted from common household items like paints and polished surfaces. These emissions are trapped indoors and can cause headaches and dizziness in certain people.

It’s a good idea to replace wall to wall carpets with rugs that can be aired or sent out to be thoroughly cleaned. One other good choice is hard flooring that is easier to clean.

  • A lot of people have a schedule for vacuuming and dusting their homes. Some do it once every month, while others use a more flexible system. It is advisable to dust and vacuum the home as frequently as possible with a microfiber cloth, if one is available. This will reduce dust gathering and minimise the airborne particles in the home.
  • One of the top sources of indoor air pollution is gasses and smoke from cooking stoves, gas cookers and ovens. An exhaust fan placed over the stove or elsewhere in the kitchen will vent air and smoke outside the house, effectively preventing these pollutants from spreading inside the home.

It’s also a good idea to use an exhaust fan in the bathrooms and laundry areas. If there’s no exhaust fan, a window should be left open, and if possible, a small electric fan used to push the air and smoke outdoors. Venting air from the kitchen and out of the house is very important, as gas stove emissions have been known to cause respiratory complications in children.

  • If any member of the household feels like smoking, they should do so outdoors. Not smoking indoors might seem like common sense, but surprisingly, there are a lot of people who don’t see anything wrong with it.
  • The heat from electronic gadgets such as TVs, computers and toasters react with paints, plastics and other solvents in the home and can release toxic emissions into the atmosphere. To avoid such a scenario, good ventilation needs to be provided in rooms where there are electronic appliances, with some windows left open for a short while every day.

These highlighted measures will ensure there are no pollutants in places that an air purifier cannot reach. These simple steps could be just the fresh breath of air a homeowner needs to be at their very best – not just indoors, but outdoors too.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.