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Indoor Air Quality At Home

Submitted by on October 10, 2009 – 12:42 pm4 Comments

Rebreather Air Mask24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we breathe without ceasing.  Breathing is necessary for life.  So important, in fact, that we cannot survive without it for more than a few moments.  When it comes to other basic needs, we have some power to control what we put into our bodies.  With air, however, we have less control.  Pollutants and contaminants enter the air from a myriad of sources, and linger there until we breathe them in; at which point those pollutants and contaminants make us sick.

It is a somewhat recent discovery that the indoor air quality we live in day in and day out is actually far less healthy for us than is the air outdoors.  Ask any homeowner where the air is more contaminated, and they will say outside.  It seems that would be the case, but because there is more air flow outdoors than indoors, our indoor air quality actually contains more of what is bad for us.

The reasons for indoor air quality becoming an issue are simple.  Advances in homebuilding and insulation have solved one problem, while creating another.  Today, homes are built in ways as to prevent drafts from coming in through doors and windows.  While this is a great way to save energy, it is also a great way to trap pollutants indoors and keep them at high levels by preventing air flow.  The same is true of indoor air quality in office buildings and schools.  Air flow created by regular heating and air conditioning units does not filter air enough to make it clean and healthy to breathe.

Why does this really matter?  One look at some of the contaminants that float through indoor air and you can easily see.  Inside of a home or building one can find tobacco smoke, pesticides and household chemicals, biological contaminants like mold and pollen, and gases like carbon monoxide and radon, as well as building materials such as asbestos and lead.

Most of the time, poor indoor air quality simply causes a bit of discomfort.  You know, one person gets sick and the rest of the clan just seems to follow.  Such instances could actually be avoided if you could improve the indoor air quality in your home through the use of an air purifier.  This is the mild end of what poor indoor air quality does to an individual.

On the more serious side, the quality of the air a person breathes every day can be linked to diseases which develop later in life; diseases such as cancer or respiratory disorders.  A well ventilated home or office helps to scatter pollutants that would otherwise stagnate; air purifiers work to actually take small particles out of the air, leaving you to breath easier.

To improve the indoor air quality in your home, open windows and doors when possible to ventilate the rooms and bring more fresh air in.   Even during the months when you can’t open doors and windows, leave the rooms within the home open to one another.  Regularly replace existing vent filters used for heating and air conditioning, and consider adding an air purifier to the home for whole-house air cleaning.

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