“A growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” That is what the EPA has to say about indoor air quality.
For people who spend 90 percent or more of their time indoors, this can expose them to serious health risks from indoor air pollution. This is especially concerning for the young, the elderly, those who are chronically ill, and anyone who suffers from cardiovascular and/or respiratory diseases.
How Bad is the Problem of Indoor Air Quality?
The EPA’s Office of Research and Development conducted a study, called the Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study. The study, completed in 1985, found levels of nearly a dozen commonly known organic pollutants to be two to five times higher inside homes than outside. The study found this to be the case in homes in large cities, industrial areas, and rural areas alike.
What Causes the Poor Indoor Air Quality Problems?
Many things contribute to poor indoor air quality in homes. In most cases, it is likely to be a combination of factors. We’ve worked hard to create homes, office spaces, and business buildings that are more airtight and energy efficiency. This push has had some unintended consequences as well.
These upgrades to homes and offices help to reduce the amount of air conditioned or heated air that escapes these spaces. Which is perfect for maintaining an ideal temperature without breaking the bank. But it doesn’t only hold in air. We bring harmful things into the home every day – often without even realizing it. Many in the form of everyday things, such as:
Dry cleaned clothing, curtains, and bedding
Aerosol sprays like hairspray
The list is long and hard to avoid with the lifestyles we lead. One of the biggest problems, though, is that your home may be inadequately ventilated. But there are things you can do to improve the air quality in your home.
Solving Indoor Air Quality Problems in Your Home
First, find out how bad the problem is by purchasing indoor air quality sensors or a monitor, like Awair, that tracks various air quality factors in your home. This particular model has a partnership with the Mayo Clinic to offer tips for improving air quality. This will help you understand the air quality problem in your home. As the name implies, indoor air quality monitors detect pollutants in the air inside your home and alert you to their presence.
One of the biggest things you can do to solve your air quality problem is to install and use a whole house fan to provide natural ventilation in your home. Not only does this draw fresh air into your home, but it also expels the polluted air and toxins from your home clearing the air, so everyone can breathe easier.