Indoor Air Quality
Updated: Sep 1, 2022
Have you ever stopped to think about the air that you breathe? This is something we easily can take for granted and not even consider as we go about our daily lives, but the indoor air quality in your home plays an extremely important role and should not be overlooked. Having good indoor air quality is an important part of living in a healthy home.
How it affects us
Indoor air quality affects our moods, health, and mental performance. It is a key factor to healthy living and can make a difference in the way that you think and feel.
Temperature and humidity also affects both ourselves and our interiors. Temperatures and humidity levels that are too low or too high can cause breathing problems and contribute to mold growth on the surfaces within your home.
What causes different issues
There are many factors and causes that create indoor air quality issues. CO2 affects mental performance by causing a decreased ability to focus. VOCs from materials, furnishings, solvents, solutions, paints, and more cause respiratory issues, can lead to cancer, asthma, along with other major health issues. Another cause that creates indoor air quality issues is the particles that are created from cooking as these particulates can affect both health as well as your respiratory system.
Indoor air can have allergens like dust and pet dander. When indoor air quality is high in humidity, it can lead to higher dust mite levels and even mold. Particles are released into the air by furnaces, wood-burning fires and candles, while cooking sends oil and fat particulates into the air. If you get newly installed floors or furniture, these can both contribute to the release of chemicals in your home as well which in turn affects your home's indoor air quality.
How we can fix it
It is important to regularly evaluate how your home is performing in its indoor air quality and determine whether it has adequate venting and circulation as well as temperature control. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to improve your indoor air quality.
One easy way to fix this is by opening windows for fresh air to circulate. Opening windows allows circulation to take place within your home while removing pollutants from the indoor air quality. Clean outdoor air needs to replace indoor air often otherwise the indoor air will become more polluted with allergens that stay in your home and recirculate. A piece of advice here: open windows fully, if you don't do that it's likely you aren't providing as much fresh air as you think you are.
For all of our plant lovers out there, snake plants and spider plants are easy to care for plants that have actually been researched by NASA to improve indoor air quality. Consider adding a healthy plant to your home!
Here are additional ways you can reduce the sources of allergens and irritants throughout your home:
Establish regular cleaning routines.
Measure your home’s humidity levels and keep below 50%. (If you live in a wet climate, you may need a dehumidifier).
Keep windows closed during peak pollen times or during times of high outdoor pollution.
If possible, replace carpets with CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® solid surface flooring.
Use a CERTIFIED air cleaner and HVAC filters.
One popular method used to help improve indoor air quality is to buy a dehumidifier and air purifier. Dehumidifiers help regulate the humidity levels in your home while air purifiers help clean the pollutants out of the air and renew your indoor air quality.
There are so many options when it comes to dehumidifiers and air purifiers that it can be hard to know what to look for in a product. When you make purchases for your home, look for items with CARB2 compliance, low- and no- VOC, furniture that addresses chemicals or uses natural and water based materials, and GreenGuard Gold Certification.
One of our favorite products we use to help regulate the indoor air quality of our own home is the awair sensor. This sensor tracks five key environmental factors that affect your health in real time and alerts you when you need to open windows and turn the air filter on. These five key environmental factors are the following:
We are not an affiliate of their company. We simply love the product! https://www.getawair.com/products/element
It's not easy to avoid everything, so do what you can and continue taking steps to improve your home's indoor air quality one step at a time.
~This blog was brought to you by S. Donnelly Interiors. Learn more about the interior design project process by following Stephanie Donnelly and her interior design services in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and the surrounding areas!