Tips for Improving Your Indoor Air Quality
The average person in the UK spends 22 hours (90% of their time) indoors, making indoor air quality a matter of vital importance. As warned by the British Lung Federation, poor indoor quality is linked to lung diseases like asthma, COPD, and lung cancer. Health issues are posed by a variety of indoor compounds, including particulate matter (tiny particles of dirt and dust that cannot be seen by the naked eye) and gases (such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides). The good news is that there are many steps you can take to immediately improve your home’s air quality.
Reducing Harmful Cooking Habits
Everyday habits such as the way you cook have a big impact on the air inside your home. All heat sources powered by gas, wood, or electricity can release harmful pollutants (including carbon monoxide, smoke, and formaldehyde) into the air. Self-cleaning ovens, meanwhile, can produce and release carbon monoxide emissions. Because cooking is a must for most families, the key to reducing its harm is through ventilation and the use of a top-quality, high-efficiency hood over the stove. The hood should be inspected yearly by a professional technician, to ensure it is free of leaks. While you are cooking, open all windows to encourage good air circulation.
The Importance of Air Filters
Around 99% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are ultra-fine; so tiny they can be inhaled and find their way to the lungs and bloodstream. VOCs are produced by common household appliances and products, including electronics, aerosol beauty products, toxic cleaning products, building components, and radon (which is present in all buildings). To reduce VOC levels at home, a powerful air purifier such as FitAirⓇ is key. This purifier essentially sends out negative ions that sanitise, deodorise, and energise your home, thanks to its ability to destroy airborne pollutants.
Choosing Design Elements that Work
Fireplaces add a nice design touch to homes and provide welcoming warmth in the winter, but traditional wood fireplaces considerably increase the level of fine particles in your home and outside. The Daily Mail’s David Derbyshire reports that “Wood smoke is a cocktail of gases and dangerous microscopic particles. Some of these blobs of soot, called PM2.5s, are 100 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and can get deep into our lungs.” If you love the look and feel of fireplaces, you don’t have to go without them. Ventless fireplaces emit no smoke yet present the pretty flickering flames that relax and provide welcome warmth. They still produce smaller levels of gas, so it is important to keep them close to a window, in well-ventilated spaces.
Reducing Toxic Overload
Be mindful of the products you use to clean your home. Forego bleach and other harsh products for natural ones made with powerful essential oils such as Thieves (a clove oil-based blend). Use a powerful steam vacuum instead of products; this will ensure germs are pulverised efficiently while air quality remains optimal. Finally, be aware that many soft furnishings contain flame retardants. These can contain toxic ingredients that affect the respiratory health of humans and pets.
Indoor air quality is a pressing matter in the UK, considering the amount of time that most people spend indoors. To improve the indoor air quality in your home, a multifaceted approach is key. Reduce your reliance on toxic products, use air filters to actively ionize toxic particles, and go natural when you can. The health and happiness of your family and pets could depend on it.
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 British Lung Foundation (2019) Indoor Air Pollution [online]. Available from https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/indoor-air-pollution/about-indoor-air-pollution
 Mail Online (2016) Inconvenient truth about your wood-burning stove: They can be bad for the environment AND your health [online]. Available from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3972966/Inconvenient-truth-wood-burning-stove-bad-environment-health.html
 Ventless Fireplace Pros (2018) Ventless Fireplace Ultimate Guidebook [online]. Available from https://www.ventlessfireplacepros.com/blogs/news/ventless-fireplace-ultimate-guidebook
 Cleaning Expert (2013) Cleaning Your House with Aromatherapy [online]. Available from http://www.cleaningexpert.co.uk/cleaning-your-house-with-aromatherapy.html