Did you know that the air inside of your home can be nearly 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors? If that’s not enough to make you cringe, just think about some of the health ailments poor indoor air quality causes. Besides sniffling, sneezing, coughing and the like, poor indoor air quality can cause serious respiratory problems. The health of you and your loved ones is obviously your highest priority, so it’s only natural to want to boost the quality of the air you breathe.
Fortunately, improving the quality of the air inside of your air is relatively simple – here are five ways you can improve your indoor air quality (IAQ) now.
Ban Smoking Indoors
Smoking touts virtually zero benefits. Besides leaving a nasty smell on you and your clothes, smoking greatly increases your risk of developing lung cancer. Another disadvantage of smoking is the negative effect it has on the quality of the air inside of your home. If you or someone else smokes inside, the chemicals from the secondhand smoke (there are more than 4,000 chemicals, FYI) become trapped in the air on the surfaces in your home. The result? You and your loved ones will constantly be breathing in these cancer-causing chemicals. By putting a ban on smoking indoors, you can improve your home’s IAQ and your health.
Ditch the Air Fresheners
Air fresheners, candles, scented laundry detergents and the like make your home smell great, but these smell-enhancing wonders can drastically decrease the quality of the air inside of your home. Synthetic fragrances emit dozens of various chemicals, which get trapped in the air within your home. As a result, your IAQ suffers. Fortunately, you don’t have to forgo the fresh scents altogether. Instead, opt for all-natural options, like essential oils or candles made from soy or beeswax.
Say Goodbye to Aerosols
Are you a fan of cooking oil spray, aerosol deodorant, hairspray or Febreze? These aerosols might be doing more damage than you think. Studies show that frequent use of aerosol sprays containing certain chemicals had a negative affect on indoor air quality in the homes of 10,000 participants. These increased VOCs were directly related to an increased risk of diarrhea, earache, headache, respiratory issues, and other symptoms.
This study looked at the effects of chemicals known as volatile organic compounds in infants and found that exposure to VOCs in the home may contribute to asthma in toddlers. And according to Dr. farrow of Brunel University, “air fresheners combined with other aerosol and household products contribute to a complex mixture of chemicals and a build-up of VOCs in the home environment. Pregnant women and babies up to six months may be particularly susceptible, because they spend around 80% of their time at home. There may also be implications for other groups who are at home a good deal, such as old people.”
Read the Labels On Your Cleaning Products
While opting for “all-natural” cleaning products can help reduce the risks associated with synthetic cleaners, it’s important to read labels on cleaning products. The Environmental Working Group took a look at companies guilty of greenwashing (ie: cleaning products labeled “safe,” “non-toxic,” and “green”) and found almost all of them contained hazardous ingredients. Scary enough, many of these products are things we use often in our own homes. Simple Green, for example, is labeled “non-toxic” and “biodegradable” yet it contains 2-butoxyethanol — a solvent that is absorbed through the skin and can damage red blood cells. Check out the entire list of EWG’s Hall of Shame here.
Give Your Air Conditioner Some TLC
Your air conditioning system not only keeps you cool and comfy, but it wards off nasty indoor air pollutants, too. While your AC may be your first line of defense in the fight against pollutants, it can only help if it’s performing at optimal levels. So how do you get your AC up to par? Easy. For starters, make sure you regularly change your air filter. The air filter is designed to trap pollutants and improve the overall efficiency of your air conditioner. But, when your filter isn’t regularly changed, it becomes bogged down by dander, dirt, dust and the like. Regularly changing the air filter will do wonders when it comes to improving the efficiency of your AC and your home’s IAQ in the process.
Call Blair’s Air for Clearwater AC Repair and Air Quality
At Blair’s Air, we put your family’s health above anything else. That’s why we provide various products and services that seriously boost your home’s IAQ. For more ways to improve the indoor air quality in your home contact us today.