The air inside most modern homes is usually at least ten times more polluted than the air outside.

Indoor Air Quality

EPA studies show that even in the smoggiest cities, the air inside most modern homes is usually at least ten times more polluted than the air outside.

How can this be? There are many reasons, some of which were discovered only recently. They include invisible assassins like radon and CO2, as well as gas-emitting chemicals like formaldehyde used in making modern carpeting, drapery, household cleaners, furniture and building materials.

There are also common airborne pollutants such as pollen, viruses, dust and dust mites and damp areas where standing water can breed mold, mildew and other microbes.

Much of this problem is attributed to the way modern homes are built—for purposes of energy efficiency, and to be as air-tight as possible. The consequence is that stale air, laced with odors, chemicals, irritants – even miniscule insects – often becomes trapped in modern homes, where it circulates over and over. This can lead to eye irritation, sinus congestion, sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness, colds, flu, headaches, dizziness, outbreaks of allergies and asthma, sore throats, and various other respiratory ailments.

So serious and prevalent is this issue that environmentalists have coined a new term for it—IAQ or Indoor Air Quality. Today’s homeowners need to become more aware of the importance of IAQ and what they can do about it.

air purifier unit

The Air Inside Our Homes

The air inside our homes is more polluted than the air outside. The more time we spend indoors, the more it increases our chances of being negatively affected. People who live in homes with poor or insufficient air quality might suffer a variety of adverse health effects, including:

  • Headaches
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Asthma, due to long-term exposure
  • Triggering of allergies

Common causes of poor indoor air quality are:

  • Chemicals
  • Mold and mildew
  • Poor ventilation
  • Airborne particulates, such as dirt and dust
  • Secondhand smoke, which significantly increases the long-term adverse health effects

Follow these guidelines to help improve the air quality of your home: Do not smoke inside your home or office, increase air ventilation by opening windows for a few minutes each day, and utilize source control.

Source Control

Source control is a strategy that reduces indoor air pollution and limits potential chemical exposure by selecting products that are GREENGUARD certified for low chemical emissions.

  • Certain activities such as gluing, painting, and rock polishing should be performed outside to avoid the potential release of high levels of pollution into your home or office.
  • Control car exhaust in garages by not allowing your vehicle to sit idly. Turn the engine off as soon as you pull into the garage. When exiting the garage, turn the engine on and pull out of the garage immediately.
  • Replace your heating and cooling system air filters regularly and have ductwork cleaned often.
greenguard air quality

Carbon Monoxide

Pay special attention to the common combustion pollutant carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless poisonous gas. It is created by the insufficient burning of liquid, solid, or gaseous fuels and is produced through appliances fueled with natural gas, oil, coal, kerosene, or wood. It is also emitted by vehicles and produced when burning charcoal.

Carbon monoxide safety is a top priority for any homeowner, and it is the responsibility of property owners to ensure their homes are fitted with a battery-operated CO detector that meets current safety standards. Have a certified technician inspect your equipment at least once a year.

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