Ignoring indoor air pollution will make it worse over time. Because indoor air can be five times more polluted than the outdoor air in an industrial city, it may negatively affect your family’s health in the long run. What you need to do is to identify the pollutant, find the source, and resolve any problems once and for all. Here is how to do it:
First, Identify the Pollutant
Knowing what you are dealing with is essential to determine your next move. In general, air pollutants classify into two categories:
1. Particulate Matters
These are microscopic solid matters that could float in the air, including pet dander, dust, pollen, and dead skin cells. Pathogens such as mold, bacteria, and mites also fall under this category.
2. Volatile Organic Compounds
These are gaseous pollutants that usually are the byproducts of combustion, fumes, and chemical residue.
If you are not sure what type of pollutant you need to eliminate, you can get your indoor air tested, either by using an IAQ (indoor air quality) monitoring device, a home testing kit, or getting a professional IAQ test.
Second, Eliminate the Sources of the Indoor Air Pollution
Your attempt to remove the pollutant will not be effective unless you treat the root of the problem. But in general, here are some strategies that will eliminate some common sources of indoor air pollution:
● Stop smoking tobacco, whether cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.
● Groom your pet regularly to control its dander
● Do not wear outdoor shoes indoors because they carry dust from outdoors
● Choose cleaning agents, paints, and furniture materials that are free from harsh chemicals to minimize the VOC residue
● Clean your house daily to remove all the pollutants residing on surfaces
● Change your bed sheets and curtains regularly
● Avoid using carpets because many pollutants can get trapped there
Third, Improve Ventilation
Proper ventilation allows air to circulate smoothly. This allows your polluted indoor air to leave the house and the clean, fresh air from outside to enter instead. Regulating windows and voids properly can significantly lower indoor air pollution.
Ideally, every space in the house should have access to air circulation. You might also need exhaust fans above your gas stove and toilet, so the pollutants can leave your home’s interior as quickly as possible before the indoor air circulates them around.
Fourth, Invest in an Air Purifier
An air purifying system can be your last lifeline if you can’t do enough on your own to combat the pollutants in your indoor air. But bear in mind that turning to an air purifier without making any of the other efforts mentioned above will not yield effective results. Instead, your appliance will be forced to work too hard, which may lead to energy inefficiency or cause it to break down more quickly.
Stuffy air, mold growth, respiratory problems, and allergic reactions are the most common signs of indoor air pollution. If you notice any of these signs in the house, start doing something about them. And before you start experiencing such inconveniences, it would be highly advisable to start paying attention to how to keep your indoor air clean all the time.