If you’re concerned with your home’s air quality, it may be helpful to consider factors that contribute to air pollution in your area. Smog, particle pollution and wildfire smoke reduce air quality, which can negatively impact your health. Although you can’t quickly change the outdoor air quality, there are several things you can do to improve the air quality in your home and office.
What causes poor air quality?
- Carbon monoxide: This can be harmful when inhaled in large amounts as it reduces the amount of oxygen that can be transported through your bloodstream. Common sources of carbon monoxide include cars, trucks, unvented gas heaters, gas stoves and machinery that use fossil fuels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, high levels of carbon monoxide are more likely to occur inside than outside.
- Particulate matter: These are mixtures of solid and liquid particles that float through the air. Common types of particulate matter include dirt, soot, smoke and dust. Some types of particulate matter can make their way into your lungs or bloodstream. Particulate matter is especially common in areas with unpaved roads, fields or power plants.
- Wildfire smoke: Wildfires are becoming increasingly common in many areas in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wildfire smoke is a mixture of gas and particles from burning trees and buildings. Although wildfires occur outside, the smoke typically finds its way into nearby homes. Smoke from wildfires can immediately impact your health and cause you to cough, wheeze, and develop a runny nose.
Can air quality make you sick?
Poor indoor air quality poses numerous risks to your health. In some cases, you’ll notice these impacts immediately, and in other cases, it may take years before you see a significant change in your health. Immediate effects from poor air quality may include irritated eyes, sore throat, dizziness and fatigue. Those with asthma will likely notice their symptoms worsen. Additionally, continuous exposure to indoor air pollutants can cause respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer.
How to know if you have poor indoor air quality
Identifying indoor air pollution can be tricky. One telltale sign is determining whether or not you feel better outside your home. If you develop headaches, cough or your eyes water when you’re home, there is a good chance you have poor indoor air quality. Additionally, there are several air quality monitors you can set up in your home to test your air quality.
What can you do to improve your air quality?
- Identify the problem: Figuring out the source of your poor indoor air quality is essential. If your indoor vents have filters, check them to ensure they aren’t caked with dust and dirt. If they’re dirty, consider cleaning them or buying new ones. Check areas that are commonly moist, like bathroom ceilings, under your sinks and in your closets to ensure you don’t have mold growing in your home. Gas stoves and unvented space heaters are common sources of carbon monoxide — if you use them, ensure you have a way to vent their carbon monoxide out of your home.
- Invest in an air purifier: Although air purifiers don’t filter out gas-based pollutants, they’re highly effective at eliminating particulates from the air. According to the EPA, you have to consider how well they remove particulates and how much air they draw through their filtering element when deciding which air purifier to purchase.
- Improve your home’s ventilation: Although there is air pollution outside, the EPA still recommends increasing your home’s airflow to improve your indoor air quality. When it isn’t raining or cold out, consider leaving some of your windows cracked. If your kitchen and bathroom fans push your indoor air outside your home, turn them on occasionally throughout the day. Ventilating your home is particularly important when cooking, painting or using kerosene heaters. On the other hand, if there are wildfires nearby, it’s important to keep outside air out of your home to the best of your ability.
Best air quality products
This air purifier features a sleek design and doesn’t require any assembly. It features a built-in air-quality monitor and runs silently when your air is clean. During testing, it became slightly louder when our air quality dropped and the fan sped up. We noticed significant changes in our room’s air quality and it even helped clean the air of smoke and pollutants from nearby wildfires.
While testing, we noticed air quality improvements that reduced allergies and the smell from our fireplace. The highest setting is relatively loud, but the sleep fan setting is nearly silent. Assembling this was easy, and it worked great in rooms up to 219 square feet.
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While testing this, we found it to be among the easiest to use. There is only one button and you push it multiple times to adjust the settings. This removed smells from our room and made the air feel cleaner. We tested this during fire season and found that it reduced chronic cough and chronic headaches that usually persist during fire season.
Sold by Amazon
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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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