Before mandatory quarantines across the globe, humans already spend more than 90% of their lives indoors. This is increasingly true for Australians as not too long ago we were staying indoors to avoid the worst-ever air quality to date, described by the World Health Organisation to be hazardous – meaning everyone may experience serious health effects.
Prior to the ravaging bushfires, Australians are generally not aware nor concerned about air quality let alone indoor air pollution. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is two to five times worse than outdoor air.
Now more than ever regardless of what is going on – bushfire or a pandemic lockdown – more people are cooking, exercising, working, relaxing and sleeping within the same four walls.
The concept of air pollution is often if not always associated with outdoor air. For example, during the ravaging bushfires in early 2020, people are recommended to stay indoors to avoid smoke inhalation. Indoor Air Pollution is real, but many are not concerned about this because we can’t see it.
The Organisation for World Peace (OWP) found that 3.5 to 4.3 million people die around the world due to indoor air pollutants – that’s more than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. What’s more concerning is that right now poor indoor air quality is still negatively impacting the health of millions more.
This poses a very clear question: What are we breathing? And, how is it affecting our health?
Mixtures of different particulates can create poisonous pollutant cocktails that are bad for our health. Have a look in your kitchen – check out the disinfectant sprays used to clean the countertops, combined with stove emissions, burnt toast from breakfast, and you’ve got an invisible and hazardous concoction.
Opened entryways like windows and doors or small cracks in the walls can leak pollutants naturally found outdoors like motor vehicle emissions.
Take off your shoes inside your home – Shoes carry pollutants like dust and soils from the places you travel. This is not something you want trekking across your carpet into your bedroom.
Natural disasters – bushfires are a prime example of this in Australia. As the bushfires are a regular occurrence in Australia, it is important to seal your home from these pollutants.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – often found in furniture such as tables, shelves and cabinets. This is usually because cheaper wooden furnishing uses wood glue, which often contains formaldehyde and decreases indoor air quality.
Some buildings are also poorly designed and energy inefficient therefore trapping pollutants inside.
One of the most effective ways to increase your indoor air quality is to make sure there is a steady air flow going through your home. This may mean cracking a window open even when it’s cold or consider having a ventilation system installed and making sure it is regularly maintained.
Increasingly, there are more and more devices created as add-ons to our existing air conditioning at home. This includes [UV Blue Light] that can kill bacteria and mould within the air conditioning system while a [MERV-13 Filter] captures up to 90% of contaminants within 1 to 10 microns i.e. viruses that often travel via sneeze and cough particles.
Live plants are an aesthetically pleasing way to not only liven up your home but improve the indoor air quality. While all kinds of houseplants help purify air, there are certain plants that are more suitable to be kept in rooms with computers or printers. Whereas other plants are more useful in a kitchen with a gas stove. Visit your local nursery to find out what indoor plants are best suited for your home.
Use lemon juice, baking soda, or vinegar to clean surfaces instead of supermarket disinfectants and chemical sprays.
Although not very well known there are devices created to measure indoor air. Some products are can even connect with other smart home devices or use IFTTT triggers to speak to other smart appliances to improve the air quality in your home.
At Alliance Climate Control, we recommend using uHoo.
Check out our Digital Marketing Specialist, Carol’s 14 day trial with the uHoo device in her apartment.
Indoor air pollution has existed for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until advocating for cleaner air in the 1960s that we began to pay attention to what we were breathing. Regardless of where you live in the world, one thing we can agree on is not much is being done to educate people on indoor air pollutants let alone a measure to solve the problems of poor indoor air quality.
If you are looking for ways to improve your indoor air quality the answer is simple, contact us. Let our team of experts inspect your home and ensure that your heating and cooling equipment is free from mould, dust mites, radon, allergens, and other harmful substances. We will evaluate the condition of your system and provide you with a tailored service based on its requirements.
Call us on (02) 8061 5023 to make a booking with our licensed and trained HVAC technicians today.