We regularly talk about the importance of protecting the environment through reducing energy use and other changes that lead to a higher carbon footprint. However, another environmental factor worth exploring is the importance of indoor air quality.
There are a lot of things that you need to consider when thinking about indoor air quality and its impact on the environment. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can improve the air to improve the environment. You will also see that many of these ideas are compactible with a green lifestyle.
Indoor Air Quality is Crucial for the Environment
The average American spends approximately 90% of their time inside buildings, where the concentration of some common pollutants are up to five times higher than they are outdoors. This concern often becomes exacerbated in urban areas where outdoor air pollutants p.
enetrate indoor environments through both natural and manufactured ventilation systems. As poor indoor air quality can trigger a host of health and wellness concerns, it is imperative that every effort is made to keep indoor air as pollutant-free as possible. Due to outdoor air pollution often being rife in urban areas, it might be of great benefit to investing in a number of devices to improve indoor air quality considerably.
The best news is that many of the ways that you can improve indoor air quality are eco-friendly. You just need to know how to use them effectively.
Eco-friendly air purifiers get rid of a range of pollutants
Air purifiers are by far the most popular devices used to improve indoor air quality. These devices actively remove pollutants and allergens from the air, and also neutralize unpleasant odors. They tend to be very energy efficient, so they are not going to leave a high carbon footprint.
The best air purifiers are those that boast a high efficiency particular air filter (HEPA), as they are able to filter out even the smallest impurities from the air. When comparing air purifiers for smoke, pollen, dust or general pollutant removal, it is important to take a few things into consideration. It is not only vital that the air purifier is the correct size for the room and sports the correct clean air delivery rate, but it also needs to be as simple to maintain as possible. Also, ensure that your air purifier does not produce any nasty by-products, such as ozone, which can cause severe respiratory irritation and other health concerns.
Exhaust fans help give air impurities the boot
Exhaust fans boost indoor air quality considerably by removing a host of impurities from the air. Despite not being as technologically-intensive as some air purifying devices, exhaust fans are proficient at improving ventilation, removing smoke and odor, eliminating excess moisture, and boosting the overall comfort level in the building. When choosing an exhaust fan, it is important to opt for one that is best suited to your personal needs. Ductless exhaust fans filter impurities out of the air using charcoal before releasing it back into the room, while ducted fans suck the contaminated air out of the building and release it outside. Exhaust fans are particularly useful in high-humidity and high-pollutant zones such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Humidifiers make breathing easier
Humidifiers might not completely rid the indoor air of impurities, but they do make breathing easier. Ideally, the humidity levels inside the home should be between 30% and 50 %. If it dips too low, the dry air can trigger and exacerbate a range of health concerns, including allergies, respiratory illnesses, and dehydration. There are various types of humidifiers available on the market, each with its own benefits and restrictions. It is also important to remember that it is essential that a humidifier is cleaned regularly to ensure it functions properly, and to prevent a potentially dangerous bacteria build-up in the water. Opt for a unit that is fitted with a permanent ceramic filter that is very effective at trapping impurities, or one made with antimicrobial plastic that will limit the growth of bacteria altogether.
Wi-Fi thermostats make IAQ control easier
As people worldwide continue to spend more time indoors, indoor air quality becomes an increasingly big concern, especially in urban areas. Temperature continues to play a significant role in overall air quality and comfort. In addition to that, it cannot be ignored that residential and commercial heating and cooling systems are among the biggest contributors to indoor air pollution. While it is possible to control these components individually, Wi-Fi thermostats make it increasingly easy to control these contributors, which include furnaces and air conditioners, as well as the temperature in various parts of the home, from any location.
Aromatherapy diffusers can help clear bad air
Although the impact of essential oils on indoor air quality continues to be a heavily debated topic, research has found that certain oils are able to inhibit the growth of air-borne bacteria, notably improving indoor air quality. It is important to conduct some research before investing in a diffuser, as not all models are manufactured with the purpose of improving air quality. Aromatherapy diffusers that spray a gentle mist into the air function similarly to a humidifier, and are considered to be the most effective at improving the quality of indoor air. Essential oils such as tea tree, lemongrass, ylang-ylang and citrus are particularly beneficial to the respiratory system, and can help alleviate allergies as well.
Indoor air pollution is a common concern, especially in urban areas where outdoor air pollution makes it increasingly difficult to ventilate a building. Thankfully, the use of a range of air purifying systems can render urban indoor air considerably cleaner.