kitchen interior

Why Is Your Indoor Air Quality Important?

The average person spend about 90% of their time indoors. It is therefore clear why poor indoor air quality can have adverse effects on your health. There are many everyday things that release pollutants into your indoor air-space like scented candles, air fresheners and cleaning products. These pollutants can be toxic to your health so it is important to maintain your indoor air quality to promote a healthy living environment.

Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

kitchen interior

Kitchen

Cause

Cooking releases pollutants, along with increasing the humidity levels in the kitchen. A dirty kitchen will also attract pests and insects.

Prevention

To reduce the risk posed by pollutants released from cooking:

  • Use the extractor fan above the stove during and after cooking
  • During warmer months, open a window while cooking
  • Clean kitchen regularly, including counter tops and extractor hood
  • Do not let dirty dishes pile up

Bathroom

Cause

Bathrooms are the most humid rooms in the home. If poorly ventilated, they can encourage the growth of mould and mildew. These can have adverse effect on your health when inhaled.

Prevention

  • Use the extractor fan for at least 20 minutes after a bath or shower
  • Ensure that all towels and wash cloths are hung to dry thoroughly
  • Clean exhaust fan filters regularly
  • Clean bathroom regularly, including any mould

Bedroom

Cause

Your bedroom can host a range of allergens which can affect your quality of sleep. Dust mites thrive in furniture and bedding so, it is essential to keep your bedroom clean.

Prevention

  • Clean and replaced your bedsheets once a week
  • Use anti-allergen pillows and mattress covers
  • Avoid pets on the bed
  • Replace pillows every couple of years and mattresses every 10 years

Living Room

Cause

Living rooms are at the centre of our homes and can harbour a range of allergens in fabrics of the furniture.

Prevention

  • Dust electronics and furniture regularly
  • Avoid fabric materials as it attracts dust mites
  • Replace curtains for blinds and dust these regularly

Common indoor Pollutants & Their Health Effects?

Poor indoor air quality can have adverse effect on your health, particularly your respiratory system. If you suffer from allergies, there are a number of allergens such as dust, pollen, mould and pet hair that are common in many households and can trigger or worsen allergies. It is essential that your indoor space is cleaned on a regular basis to limit the number of allergens in your property. In addition, Poor indoor air quality can be detrimental to your respiratory system. poor air quality has been linked to lung diseases such as lung cancer and asthma.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is released from burning fuel in gas appliances. Some symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness and difficulty breathing. If you suspect that you have a carbon monoxide leak call the gas emergency number and seek medical advice immediately. It is odourless, colourless and tasteless so can be difficult to detect without a carbon monoxide detector. It is therefore essential that you place one in every room where fuel is being burned.

Damp & Mould

Preventing damp and mould in your home is essential, particularly in Britain where we experience regular wet and cold weather. It is common to be allergic to mould. With excessive damp, you may experience shortness of breath or irritation to your nose and throat. If you have any lung conditions such as asthma, you may experience your symptoms worsen. If you suspect that you have a serious mould issue, make sure to contact a professional.

Candles & Incense

Burning incense releases a lot of fine particles into the air. Inhaling these has been linked to lung disease and is best to avoid burning these in indoor space that is poorly ventilated. Candles are less of a threat but some scented candles are known to contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that can be detrimental to human health.

Cleaning Products

There are some cleaning products that contain VOCs chemicals. They are harmful to breathe in and will irritate your nose, throat and lungs. Some VOCs are known carcinogens. They aren’t always clearly labelled on product packaging. It’s also important to avoid inhaling products such as bleach, which is also harmful to your respiratory system.

How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can improve your indoor air quality at little or no cost. There are also more costly solutions such as air purifiers and air conditioners that are effective at cleaning the air inside your property.

Ventilation

It is important to ventilate your property to ensure that you are letting in fresh air. Opening your windows for 5-10 minutes a day can make all the difference. This is particularly important when cooking, cleaning or after showering to reduce humidity levels and remove toxic pollutants.

Clean Regularly

Allergens like dust, pollen and pet hair will cling to your furniture and bedding. Regular cleaning is essential to kill dust mites and germs. This will alleviate allergy symptoms and promote good air quality.

Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

Bleach, air freshers and cleaning sprays can be toxic to inhale and harmful to your health. If you have pets or small children, it is important to take extra care with the type of cleaning products you use. Ensure rooms are properly ventilated when using chemical-heavy products. Furthermore, consider replacing your cleaning products with non-toxic, eco-friendly alternatives.

Air Purifying Plants

Placing some air purifying plants around your property will help remove some toxins from the air. Some great options are ferns, spider plants, peace lilies, snake plants and areca palms. They can remove chemicals like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the air.

Install Air Conditioning

Air conditioners are not only great for controlling the climate in your property but a good AC system will purify the air in your property. They are great for reducing humidity levels which will help reduce damp and mould growth. In addition, they filter out pollutants and allergens such as pollen, dust and pet hair.

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