Destroy Air Pollution At Home With 5 Key Measures
So, how can you clean your air?
There’s a big difference between a clean home and healthy home. You may pride yourself on keeping your house nice and clean, but without the right precautions, you still breath in contaminants that you can’t see.
In fact, the EPA reports that concentrations of some pollutants in your home are two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. And we spend 90% of our time indoors.
Some home pollutants come in through your open windows. You unknowingly bring some harmful contaminants from the outdoors into your home, and other pollutants originate inside your house – from your pets, oven or fireplace.
It’s nearly impossible to keep all air pollution out of your home. But there are several proactive measures you can take to destroy those contaminants and maintain healthy, breathable air.
Here are five quick and easy ways to reduce the indoor pollution in your home.
1) Minimize Mold and Allergens
There are many areas within your home that are breeding grounds for mold and allergens such as dust. Other sources of allergens aren’t stationary. Your pets collect pollen, for example, when they roam around outside. And they spread these allergens from one part of your house to another. Especially if anyone in your family suffers from asthma or allergies to pollen or similar contaminants, don’t let your pets on your beds or cushions. You also want to groom your pets often to reduce their dander.
There’s another living source of contaminants: your plants. Plants can actually help clean the air in your home. But if their pots don’t drain properly, they become breeding grounds for mold.
Mold spores are an aeroallergen that are left behind even when the mold itself its eliminated, and leave behind biotoxins and biofilm. Because of natural static electricity, the powdery substances stick to your carpets, draperies and other surfaces. When you breathe in these mold spores, they can create a buildup of fluid in your lungs. The same goes for any bacteria or virus.
Plants aren’t the only breeding grounds for mold, however. Mold, bacteria and viruses all thrive in moist areas and often come from the degrading woods and other materials.
For starters, keep your gutters and drains clean to prevent water damage and mold in your roof. You also need to monitor your humidity levels, especially if you use humidifiers in the winter. Humidity levels over 50% can cause dust mites and mold. And if you use firewood, only keep a small amount inside to prevent the build up mold spores.
2) Eliminate Smoking (at Least Inside)
We’re not here to review the harm of smoking tobacco, but it’s important to outline the effects of smoking inside.
When you smoke in your home, the tar, nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco products leave behind a residue. Over time, you’ll have a heavy buildup of these chemicals on everything in your home. Any part of your home that’s been exposed to tobacco smoke will have tar and nicotine residue.
Unless you take action to clean that harmful residue, it will never go away. You may be able to eliminate the smell of tobacco, but you’ll continue to breathe these harmful pollutants. You may be able to see the difference on your walls. If you there are pictures hanging in a room where you smoke, just you move them aside to see the difference.
3) Prevent Heating and Ventilation Problems
Wood stoves, fireplaces, furnaces and chimneys are all sources of particulates – gases, embers and carbon-based materials that burn and emit into your air.
To prevent smoke backup into your house, these appliances need tight-fitting doors, and chimneys need to be checked for cracks every year. You should also check your stove, furnace and water heater annually to see if their air intake and exhaust systems are functioning properly.
Most importantly, you need to be proactive with your home’s ventilation system. Make sure your vents are clean, and that air can flow freely through them – especially in your kitchen. The pressure of your entire ventilation system is also key. If the fans are on too high, they draw too much air out of your home and reverses the flow of gases generated by your furnace, stove and water heater. It also impedes your system’s ability to remove carbon monoxide from your home.
Lastly, if you don’t already have one, install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. These are life–saving in case something goes wrong with your heat or stove.
4) Check Your Household Products and Appliances
Most products such as household cleaners, paints, solvents, and pesticides release harmful fumes. Paints can even release trace gases for months after you apply them in your home. For one, use paint free from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). But no matter, turn on a fan to blow strong odors and fumes outside, whether you’re painting or cleaning.
You may even want to rethink using air fresheners, toilet bowl cleaners, mothballs, and other deodorizing products. Consider using natural cleaners such as vinegar, lemon juice, boric acid, or baking soda.
Formaldehyde is one of the most common of chemicals in home products, which comes from carbon-based materials. It’s even emitted when glues, ceiling tiles and carpet fibers break down. For most of us, we can flush out these toxins from the our fat cells where our bodies store these toxins. But if your body’s pH levels are too acidic – from taking many medications or eating many acidic foods, for example – your body will absorb these toxins.
5) Improve Air Quality
One of the best things you can do to proactively improve your home’s air quality is to use air purifiers. The most efficient way to use these cleaning devices is to install them in the ductwork of your home’s central heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system, cleaning the air that circulates your entire house. You can also use standalone air purifiers fit for a single room.
Air purification works by breaking down contaminants in your home. A truly effective air purifier will eliminate mold, bacteria, viruses, fungi and volatile organic compounds. Air purifiers also get rid of smells and odors in the air – smoke, for example. However, these devices will not remove contaminants from your carpets, drapes and walls. These still need to be cleaned separately.
Many air purifiers use HEPA filters that trap and collect pollutants. But over time, they themselves become petri dishes of contaminants and need be be changed. Unfortunately, many homeowners forget to replace their filters or do so incorrectly. And if a furnace filter within an AC system is installed incorrectly, it could make the system work much harder to cool or heat your house. That extra static pressure not only costs a ton in utilities expenses, but also reduces the life of your HVAC system.
Air Oasis purifiers, on the other hand, use two more effective, filterless technologies to remove air pollution in your home:
- Bipolar ionization technology – built from principles studied by Albert Einstein
- Patented AHPCO technology – based on NASA research
Rather than collecting pollutants, bipolar ionization – also known as cold plasma technology – floods your air with harmless positive and negative ions that have two positive effects: eliminating contaminants and clearing the air of airborne particulate matter, such as dust, pollen, pet dander and mold spores. Similar to bi-polar ionization, AHPCO technology releases ions that actively seek out contaminants to neutralize and break them down. Both technologies essentially damage particulates’ DNA and stop them from replicating. Soon after, the originating contaminants die off and leave your air clear, clean and odorless.
No matter how you choose to keep your air clean and eliminate hazardous pollutants, the key is that you’re taking steps to stay healthy. These quick tips can significantly improve your home’s air quality, and ensure that you’re breathing better.
What’s really in the air you’re breathing? Click below to download our infographic and learn some eye-opening stats about YOUR indoor air quality.