30 May How to improve your Indoor Air Quality
How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
We spend 90% of our time indoors. While we take 20,000 breaths a day, indoor air quality is often worse than the air outside. Most people assume that the pollution from highways, factories and high density populations is more of a risk to them, but indoor pollutants can be as much as 100 times more concentrated. Why? Because those pollutants have nowhere to go, except through the ductwork of your home or business, recycling and re-exposing you to the same pollutants.
Thankfully, understanding and controlling common indoor pollutants can help improve your indoor environment and protect yourself, your employees or your loved ones. But first, how do you know if you have poor air quality in your home or business?
Symptoms of poor air quality
Symptoms of poor indoor air quality can often go unnoticed, commonly being mistaken for “simple” allergies or illness. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Red eyes
- Red nose
- Irritated throat
- Frequent allergic reactions
- Coughing and sneezing
In a workplace, this can lead to a decrease in productivity and poor performance on cognitive work. Poor air quality also increases the odds of “Sick Building Syndrome,” as the air is circulated continually, transferring germs from one office, room, or area to the next.
In homes, poor air quality can lead to increased illness, lethargy and elevated discomfort. In homes with poor air quality that also house young children, their risk of developing severe allergies and asthma goes way up. According to WHO, air pollution is a major contributor to lung and respiratory infections, heart disease, and cancer. Recently, the EPA also stated that indoor air pollution is one of the top public health risks you face on a daily basis.
Clearly, this means your indoor air quality is important to your long-term health.
Fortunately, there are some solutions if you’re worried about poor indoor air quality.
Improving your indoor air quality
When it comes to taking your indoor air from “bad” to “good,” there’s not necessarily one thing that works for every property. Depending on the severity of your indoor air quality, you may need to try a number of things to reduce the pollutants in your home or workplace.
Here are a few things that will work for you:
Reduce cleaning chemicals
Most cleaning products, scented candles, and potpourri contain chemicals that are harmful to you and your environment. A study showed that using “traditional” cleaning products regularly can be as dangerous as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and that lung function can decline rapidly.
To reduce your exposure, your home or office can try using more natural, eco-friendly cleaning options – and try to avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals as much. Also store paints, adhesives, solvents, or other harsh chemicals outside, whether in your garage or a shed that offers proper ventilation. For businesses, try to not keep harsh cleaners near ventilation, as this can lead to particles floating through the entire building.
For a home or business that has a cleaning service, ask if they can use less toxic cleaning products. If they can’t, find someone who will. Using fewer toxic products is good for them, too!
Restore your indoor ecological balance
For most of us, a good cleaning means our house or workplace smells great, looks shiny and there’s not a speck of dust in sight. But the most important thing, after a cleaning, is to replenish your indoor environment with “good” living bacteria, known as probiotics, to rebalance your environment. With probiotics-based purification systems like BetterAir, the living bacteria Bacillus subtilis are continuously dispersed aerially or through your HVAC system. Billions of micron-sized probiotics are released into the air, surfaces and objects of a space.
By restoring the ecological balance indoors, BetterAir’s Enviro-Biotic™ helps to reduce the presence of harmful bacteria that can create an inhospitable environment. This creates long-lasting purification of the air, surfaces, and objects within your home or business.
This protective shield supports the growth and nourishment of microflora to help boost your natural ability to protect yourself against indoor irritants.
Plants as air purifiers
Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have demonstrated that plants in your home can help improve your indoor air quality. The plants absorb pollutants through their leaves and roots in the same way they do outside. It results in a lower level of toxic compounds in indoor air.
Not only plants can help purify, but they could help boost productivity in the office. There are a number of species of plants that are known for their air purifying qualities, and many of them thrive indoors. Go wild at your local nursery and see how fast both mood and air improve at home or at work!
Open your windows
The primary source of indoor air pollution is your home or office itself – and everything in it. The people inside your home or office, pets, and even the furniture, chemical products, and carpets release toxins that will continue to circulate. Opening your windows is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to reduce pollutants, as the fresh air moves pollutants up and out the windows.
Unfortunately, many offices and small apartments don’t have windows that open. If possible for you, an investment in windows that do open can improve productivity, mood, and more – as well as prevent major health complications associated with stale indoor air.
Because “Sick Building Syndrome” is becoming a much more common occurrence, it’s important to talk about ventilation – or the lack thereof. Unfortunately, many older buildings and homes don’t have the proper ventilation to remove pollutants and circulate clean air. While new ventilation and duct work may not be in the budget right now, it’s one of the best ways to improve indoor air quality and ensure that you’re not re-exposing yourself to the same particles, germs, and toxins.
If you’re stuck with your existing ventilation for a while, it’s important to arm it to the teeth with tools that will help it operate better. This could mean a new HVAC system, or upgrading your air conditioning/heating appliances. Duct cleaning can also help remove toxins, but it’s important that you are not in the building or at home when they’re cleaning, as it can knock loose toxins that are very bad for you.
You can also add a “whole system purifier” like the BetterAir BA-Series, which taps into your HVAC system and existing ductwork to clean the air and infuse it with healthy probiotics. This can make a huge difference, even in outdated ventilation.
Other tips for improving indoor air quality
While not all of the tips below may apply to your workplace or home, they’re all big players in the quality of your indoor air. If you’re committed to having the healthiest air possible, consider:
- Taking your shoes off. It will help prevent tracking dust and toxic particles into your home.
- Avoiding hanging dry-cleaned clothing in your bedroom or closet as soon as you bring them home. Consider hanging them outside as long as you can. If possible, bring them to an eco-friendly dry cleaner (such as liquid CO2).
- Never smoking inside. Secondhand smoke from cigarette, pipes, and cigars contains over 200 carcinogens, endangering your and your family’s health.
- Testing your home or business for radon! It is a colorless, odorless gas linked to lung cancer. This gas is often trapped under your foundation during construction and can leak into your HVAC system.
- Not going to work sick. You’ll do yourself and your coworkers – and the air – a favor. If you are sick at work, make sure to cover your mouth, clean your workspace (with a gentle cleanser), and try to go home ASAP.
BetterAir is a biotechnology company that has pioneered the development of an environmental probiotics-based purification system, which restores ecological balance to the indoor environment by nourishing it with Enviro-BioticsTM.
BetterAir’s patented technology works at a microscopic level and repetitively releases billions of micron-sized probiotics to purify the air and clean surfaces and objects, resulting in a healthy indoor microbiome, odor elimination and enhanced wellbeing.
– Taly Dery, CEO