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Indoor Air Quality is Important to Your Quality of Life

Submitted by on October 18, 2009 – 11:38 am40 Comments

BreatheAsk a handful of homeowners where they think air is cleaner, indoors or outdoors, and the majority of them will say that the air inside of their home is by far cleaner than the pollution-filled air they must breathe outside of their four walls.  Here’s the truth, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that indoor air quality is significantly more concerning than the quality of air outdoors.

Indoor air quality is affected by several sources that release harmful gases or particles into the air.  Sources can be anything from air fresheners to cleaning products to hair spray.  Some of the gases that can be released by these substances are butane, propane and other combustibles.  While one may believe that these particles float and then settle down onto the floors, the truth is that the particles that affect indoor air quality can stay suspended in the air in your home for days or even weeks depending on the air flow.

The effects of poor indoor air quality can be felt right away by healthy individuals; so the reaction could be much more pronounced in individuals with allergies or asthma.  At the very least, indoor air quality that is not at its best can cause irritated eyes, nose and throat.  Germs flourish in environments that are not well ventilated, causing the spread of colds and flu.  This is why when one co-worker gets sick, you can be fairly certain that you will also get it.

That’s the bad news.  Fortunately, there is good news as well.  By developing some new habits, it is relatively easy to reduce the amount of chemical pollutants that reside in your home, as well as cut down on germs and pests like dust mites.  Lowering these contaminants will significantly improve the indoor air quality of areas where you spend time.

Consider opening doors and windows whenever possible.  By creating more air flow, the amount of chemicals found indoors is diluted by new air coming through the rooms.  Even when the doors and windows to outside must stay closed, open all doors between rooms to prevent particles from stifling in each room.

Frequent vacuuming with the very best filters possible cuts down on particles that settle into carpets.  HEPA filters are quite popular and can be found for most vacuum cleaners.  However, even HEPA filters require frequent changes or the smallest particles can sneak out of the vacuum bag.

Keeping fresh plants in your home or office is a great way to get cleaner air.  Plants absorb carbon dioxide and in turn give you fresh oxygen to breathe.  Not only do you improve your indoor air quality with plants, you make your space naturally beautiful.

Dusting is something that should be done regularly, and should be done with a damp cloth.  There are plenty of Green cleaners that are enzyme-based and able to do a great job of wiping away dust particles so you don’t breathe them in.

The indoor air quality of your home or office affects your everyday life, because you cannot help but breathe in the particles that may be in the air, and all the contaminants they contain.   Fortunately, these few steps can improve the air you breathe, and thus improve your life.

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