When describing a person who is a super huge fan of something, we often make the claim that breathing is on par with that passion. For example, with the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs about to get underway, there are many hockey fans all across Canada who are pretty excited. One can argue that such individuals, “eat, breathe and sleep hockey”! You get the picture. The point, of course, is that breathing is absolutely mandatory for living – as hockey is, for some people.
In all seriousness, it’s incredibly important for us to keep our breathing air as pure as possible. But, needless to say, there are countless pollutants that negatively impact the air that we breathe. And while we have no control over a lot of them – emissions from vehicles when you are walking outside, for example – there are many ways that we can protect ourselves in our own homes. After all, that’s where we spend most of our time.
According to Greenguard.org, people spend 90 percent of their time indoors. “The air in our homes, schools and offices can be 2 to 5 times more polluted, and in some cases 100 times more polluted, than outdoor air,” says the website. Clearly, this means that we spend most of our time exposing ourselves to indoor air pollutants. And, in many cases, we can control indoor air quality by avoiding some pollution-causing activities.
Here are five ways to avoid contributing to poor indoor air quality:
1. Open the windows. According to Jonathan Choquel on Withings.com, this is “the obvious tip”. He notes that keeping your windows open is a good habit, as it helps for lower concentrations of toxic chemicals like carbon dioxide. He advises to keep windows open for at least five to ten minutes each and every day. “You should also do it when you or someone else engages in an activity prone to deteriorate indoor air quality,” writes Choquel.
2. Keep a clean home. Naturally, we can’t spend all of our time indoors. But it’s important to remember that we often bring some of the outdoors inside with us when we return to our homes. It’s important to clean up any dirt, soil, snow or water that makes the trip inside your home with you. “Airborne particulates can also come from dirt and dust that is tracked in from outdoors,” reveals Greenguard.org, “Installing walk-off mats at doorways and changing air filters regularly are both good strategies to limit these pollutants.”
3. Stop smoking indoors. In truth, our advice is to stop smoking altogether! However, for the sake of those you live with, avoid lighting up inside at all costs. Choquel reveals that exhaling smoke after taking a drag from a cigarette emits over 4,000 different chemicals into the air. “There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke,” he states. If you’re a non-smoker (good for you!), be sure to ask all smokers to take their nasty habits outside.
4. Limit moisture. Too much moisture in the home can lead to the development of mould, Greenguard.org reminds us. To limit both mould growth and the presence of dust mites – two major contributors to indoor air pollution – you should take steps to minimize humidity in the home. Choquel suggests that you use a dehumidifier, keep windows open during cooking and showering and inspect the home for water leaks.
5. Go fragrance free. Most of us love the smell of air fresheners. They make us feel as if our breathing air is clean. Sadly, it’s often the opposite. No matter how nice they smell, they can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Greenguard.org notes that these are the most common causes of indoor air pollution. “Choose fragrance-free products, or products with scents of natural origin for your laundry and cleaning needs,” insists Choquel, “(and) stop using aerosol spray products that create a mist of liquid particles.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are committed to maximizing the purity of your indoor breathing air. For more information on our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.