The term ‘air pollution’ commonly ties into images of congested highways, large trucks, and industrial centres emitting heavy fumes. However, we are greatly impacted by air pollution in the places that we spend the most time – at home, in our workplace, and inside our vehicles.
Keeping indoor air quality as clean as possible is important for our health. The question is, how can we reduce indoor air pollution? To effectively rid your home of impurities, there are several simple things you can do today.
Allowing the exchange of indoor and outdoor air is an easy way to ventilate your indoor space. Before you do, be sure that the air quality outdoors is in good condition. In Alberta, smoke from forest fires and high pollen counts is one of the top ways we bring pollutants indoors.
Use exhaust fans
Improper ventilation can increase levels of carbon monoxide gases and radon indoors. Run kitchen and bathroom fans to remove fumes and steam. Consider upgrading older exhaust fans to new ones that are more powerful, quieter, and efficient.
Use natural cleaning supplies
Household cleaning supplies that contain harsh chemicals is a common cause of indoor air pollution. Combined with air fresheners, incense, candles, and other odour-masking fragrances, the toxins can increase symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions, irritate the skin, and worsen allergies.
When cleaning, we recommend:
- Natural cleaning supplies with fewer chemicals
- Microfibre cloths that pick up more dust than cotton cloths
- Vacuuming instead of sweeping, which can push dust around the space
Try a home air purifier
Home air purifiers can effectively remove 99.9% of indoor air pollution. There are two types of air purifier systems available:
HEPA filtration: This internal filtration system captures pet dander, dust, debris, smoke, and other airborne particles.
Electrostatic: This system releases charged particles into the air which latches onto pollutants like bacteria and mould spores that stick to the internal filtration system.
Don’t smoke indoors
One of the most common causes of indoor air pollution is cigarette smoke, especially for spaces that have a lot of carpeting and fabric. This also includes the use of electronic cigarettes. Vapours emitted from e-cigarettes contain heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and other toxic chemicals that are linked to lung disease.
Have your HVAC system serviced
Schedule a cleaning service on your HVAC system, which includes duct cleaning and changing filters. Thorough cleaning of your entire HVAC system greatly improves indoor air quality.
Store chemicals safely
Store any products that contain toxic chemicals away from common areas. This can include glues, solvents, pesticides, maintenance fluids, and other materials. When using these products, do so in a well-ventilated area and turn on exhaust fans to reduce fumes.
Dirt, debris, and other particles can enter our homes in several ways. While there is no way to prevent this entirely, you can greatly reduce indoor air pollution with the approaches listed above.
Limiting your use of toxins, vacuuming regularly, and using a home air purifier are all effective and simple ways to get rid of airborne particles that enter your home.