Concerns about outdoor air quality and the prevention of environmental pollution in the outdoor air have been existing for a while now. But the importance of maintaining good indoor air quality is often overlooked. The air inside our homes is a bigger health threat for us as compared to the air outside; given we spend most of our time inside our home.
Poor indoor air quality can lead to several health problems in individuals.
- Sensitive subjects – children, elderly or people with pre-existing diseases, are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of poor indoor air quality. Inhaling the poor indoor air can cause coughing, wheezing but if the exposure is continued for a longer period of time, it can even cause respiratory and cardiovascular illness (including heart attacks and lung cancer).
Improving your indoor air quality will make your home a better and healthier place to live in and here’s how you can do it.
- Ventilation – It might sound a bit obvious but ventilation can really help in improving your indoor air quality. Ventilation allows fresh outdoor air to enter your home and the polluted indoor air to flow out. Now you must be wondering- isn’t the outdoor air polluted too?
Outdoor air is definitely polluted, but your indoor air can be 2-5x times more polluted than the outdoor air. Opening the doors and windows in your house once a day can reduce the level of pollution inside your home and improve the indoor air quality.
- Installing smart air monitors – Air monitors help in identifying the pollutants polluting the indoor air. Pollutants as small as PM2.5 (one of the most harmful air pollutant) are present in your indoor air and are invisible to the naked eye. With smart air monitors, from brands like Kaiterra and uHoo, you can not only identify the pollutants present in your indoor air but also know the level of each pollutant.
- Natural air purifiers – Some products can act as natural air purifiers and also make your home decor more beautiful at the same time. Houseplants, beeswax candles and salt lamps all contribute towards purifying the indoor air and improving the indoor air quality. Houseplants produce fresh air whereas beeswax candles and salt lamps produce negative ions (when lit) that attract the positive ions of the indoor air pollutants.
- Cut out smoke – Any kind of smoke inside the house is harmful to your health. Smoke from cigarettes is not only harmful to the individual smoking but also for everyone around them. Smoking is hazardous to health and indoor smoking should especially be discouraged.Similarly, smoke fans should be installed in kitchens to drive out smoke from cooking.
- Monitor humidity – Monitoring humidity in your home is also essential for your health. Pipe leaks and loose taps in the house lead to wet and damp areas that increase the level of humidity. Ideally, the level of humidity in homes should be between 30-40%.
High level of humidity leads to formation of molds that are fungal air pollutants that grow in wet and damp areas. Molds are harmful to human health and cause various types of disease. They live and rest in the fibers of carpets, furniture, walls, etc, which is why regular and proper cleaning of the house can help in preventing mold formation.
Monitoring the air in your home is essential for prevention of environmental pollution. Indoor air pollution is increasing and monitoring the air in not just your homes but also offices (and any other indoor space you spend a lot of time in) is important to prevent these pollutant’s harmful effect on your and your family’s health.