What Causes Poor Air Quality
Many of us are quite rightly concerned about what we put into our bodies – the food, the drink, the medication, etc. But how about the air around us? In fact, many people don’t really think about air quality, but poor air can have such a detrimental effect on your health, causing everything from allergies to asthma. Not only this, but it can end up weakening your immune system, leaving you at risk of getting sick. What causes poor air quality? Well, it can be caused by a number of different factors, and we are going to examine some of the most common in this post.
1. Mold and Mildew
When there is too much moisture in the air, mold, and mildew can start to build on the walls, ceilings, windows, etc. If left untreated, the spores from the mold can mix with the air and result in all sorts of health issues. One of the most common and effective ways of reducing mold buildup is by using a dehumidifier. You may need to invest in some specialized cleaning products to get rid of it, and perhaps even hire a professional cleaner if the problem has become too big for you to handle.
2. Poor Ventilation
Another common cause of poor air quality is bad ventilation. Check how all the areas where air can enter and exit a room such as vents to make sure that there aren’t any pollutants or dust clogging things up. If the problem is serious enough, it may need an entirely new ventilation system to sort things out. More high-tech air conditioning systems even have dehumidifiers built-in to further improve air quality. You may also find our review of the best portable air conditioners useful too.
3. Household Cleaning Products
While keeping your home clean is important, many cleaning products can have a detrimental effect on air quality. Some common examples of these include ammonia and bleach. When you spray or pour one of these products, it will start circulating in the air, so make sure that you read the instructions about the safe application. It may involve opening windows, wearing personal protective equipment such as masks, etc.
4. Airborne Dust
Dust can accumulate all over the place in an indoor environment and needs removing on a regular basis. Otherwise, it is going to build up in the air and you can end up breathing it in. If air filtration is poor or you are not cleaning the environment effectively, this can make the problem worse. It may not even be your cleaning strategy that is at fault. In fact, it could be that you are using an inferior-quality vacuum which is not doing the job effectively. You can always try HEPA-vacuums to get rid of airborne dust.
5. Cigarette Smoke
While indoor smoking has become much more of a taboo and has reduced significantly due to legal changes, the risks have not disappeared as many people continue to smoke in their own homes. Toxic substances flow from the tip of a cigarette, causing reduced air quality. Obviously, the simplest way of combatting this is by preventing smoking in the first place, but air purifiers can help if smoking continues indoors.
6. Poor Outdoor Air Quality
It follows that if the air quality is poor outside, then it is going to inferior indoors too. Some areas are more likely to suffer from reduced air quality than others. For example, if your home is located nearby to a busy highway or in an industrial zone.
The type of paint in your home can also impact air quality. Household paints contain what are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you have recently painted a room, you need to make sure that it is properly ventilated. If you have ever experienced a headache after painting, the VOCs are likely to be the issue. Some of them are even known carcinogens, so make sure that you choose your household paint wisely.
8. Carpet Fumes
Finally, we have a somewhat unexpected cause of poor air quality, which is fumes from your carpet. New carpets can cause chemical release from the vinyl and adhesives used to stick it to the floor. There are all sorts of side effects including nausea, dizziness, and headaches. This is why heavy ventilation is recommended for at least three years after the carpet has first been installed. If you are sensitive to these things, it may well be better that you opt for a hardwood floor instead of a carpet.
So, there we have some of the most common causes of poor air quality in the house, alongside a few things you can do to improve it. After all, this isn’t an issue that you should leave to fester as the air you breathe has such an enormous issue on your overall health and wellbeing. An air quality monitor will help to give you a clearer picture of what is going on.