As the year draws close, most of us are reflecting on the past year and assessing what we would like to change or improve in the upcoming year. Most of the time, these changes focus on ways to be healthier and improve your quality of life, like losing weight, quitting smoking, or going to the gym more often. Instead of making the same resolutions year after year, try something new for 2011—improving the quality of your indoor air!
According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), indoor pollution levels can be two to five times higher than pollution levels outdoors. This increase in indoor pollution levels is even more shocking when you consider that Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time doors. The good thing about indoor air quality is that it is absolutely within your ability to dramatically improve it.
One of the first steps toward improving your indoor air quality is to identify any problems that may be affecting your current air quality. For example, do you notice any moisture on windows or walls, musty smells, or growing mold? According to the EPA, the presence of these things may indicate a ventilation problem. Other indicators of poor air quality may include the constant need to dust along with sneezing, respiratory problems, and other allergy-related symptoms.
To pinpoint specific indoor pollutants contaminating your indoor air, use a do-it-yourself testing kit. These kits allow you to test your indoor environment for allergens, mold, toxic mold, formaldehyde, fiberglass, organic vapors like Benzene, Toluene, and Acetone, and dust mites. Best of all, everything that you need to take an accurate air quality sample comes with the kit including lab fees and instructions for sending the sample to be analyzed by Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory. Once analyzed, you will receive a detailed report of the pollutants present in your indoor environment, making it easier for you to accurately address any indoor air quality concerns.
Once you identify the culprits of your indoor air woes, you can start devising a plan for improving the quality of your air. For example, if you discover the presence of VOCs in your environment or allergens, an air purifier is a great way to filter unwanted irritants out of the air. Try a unit like our best-selling IQAir HealthPro Plus that includes true HEPA filtration and a two-stage gas phase filter to ensure that only the cleanest air circulated throughout your environment.
To keep moisture-related problems like mold under control, try adding a dehumidifier to problem areas such as basements and crawl spaces. Using a chemical-free steam cleaner or creating your own green cleaning solutions can also improve the quality of your indoor air by allowing you to clean without the adding harsh, toxic substances to your indoor surfaces.
Using these suggestions, you will be on your way to enjoying cleaner air and improved health. Visit our Learning Center to find a wealth of resources on indoor air quality topics and products.