Since 2008, Americans have observed National Care About Your Indoor Air Month during the month of February. This annual event is an opportunity for indoor air quality experts and health advocates to come together and educate consumers about the need for creating better indoor air quality. To honor this month, Sylvane, an online retailer of high-quality air treatment products and a 10-year proponent of creating healthier indoor environments, offers consumers three simple steps for improving their indoor air quality.
Identify Indoor Pollution Sources
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. Since Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, this results in a greater risk of exposure to indoor air pollutants. These pollutants can ultimately lead to a variety of conditions, including asthma and other respiratory illnesses, allergies, irritated eyes, burning of the throat and nose, headaches, fatigue, heart disease, and even cancer.
"The first step toward improving your indoor air quality is to look for possible sources of pollution in your home," said Steven Hong, president of Sylvane. "Some common indicators of indoor air quality problems are excessive dust, mold, mildew, musty odors, pet hair and dander, insects, fumes from gas-burning appliances, and, of course, secondhand smoke."
While some pollutants seem obvious, other pollutants may not be as easily detected, Hong explained. "Yet, those pollutants pose equally serious health risks," he said. For example, radon - the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers - cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. The only way to find out if a home has dangerous levels of radon gas is to install a radon detector, such as the Safety Siren Pro Series 3 Radon Gas Detector.
Eliminate or Reduce Indoor Pollution Sources
"Once the major sources of pollution have been identified, you should take steps to eliminate or reduce their effect on the indoor environment," Hong said. "Oftentimes, this involves simple repairs such as using dehumidifiers to reduce excess moisture contributing to mold growth, sealing cracks and crevices to control pest problems, fixing issues with gas-burning appliances, or using allergy bedding to reduce exposure to dust mites." However, Hong warns, if a home suffers from serious indoor contamination problems like bed bugs, toxic mold, or extremely high levels of radon, homeowners should contact a qualified indoor air quality professional for remediation.
Maintain Healthy Indoor Air Quality
After the immediate indoor air problems have been corrected, consumers should take proactive steps to maintain their now-healthier indoor environment. Hong, a longtime user of air purifiers for allergy relief, recommends that homeowners add an air purifier to their environment to help control particle and gaseous pollutants. "By removing odors, pollen, dust, dander and illness-causing bacteria, air purifiers help you maintain the cleanest, healthiest air possible," he said.
In addition to using an air purifier, Hong recommends these strategies to help maintain healthy indoor air quality for the long-term:
- Clean and replace your air purifier's air purifier filter as necessary. This routine maintenance task ensures that the air purifier produces only clean, purified air.
- Green cleaning solutions like steam cleaners clean and disinfect surfaces naturally without introducing new pollutants into the air. Transforming ordinary tap water into a powerful, hot steam, these appliances eliminate dirt, grime, bacteria, dust mites, and more without harsh chemical cleaners.
- Protect air quality with a HEPA vacuum. HEPA filter vacuums ensure that tiny allergen particles like pollen and pet dander are permanently removed and not exhausted back into indoor air.
- Monitoring devices such as gas detectors provide invaluable protection from toxic gases that may be lurking in homes.
"Following these guidelines for improving your indoor air quality is a great step toward enjoying a healthier indoor environment and lifestyle," Hong said.
Visit the Sylvane online Knowledge Center
to learn more ways to improve your indoor environment.
Sylvane (sylvane.com) is a leading online supplier of high-quality air treatment solutions to the residential and commercial markets. The company's broad selection of products includes air purifiers, portable heaters, portable air conditioners, window air conditioners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, swamp coolers, fans, vacuums, steam cleaners, and air quality testing products. Believing in the idea that better air begins with knowledge, Sylvane also provides its customers with detailed product information, air treatment learning articles, reliable product comparisons, and personalized consultation on indoor air treatment issues.
Note to Editors:
- Steven Hong is available for interview upon request.
Phone: (800) 934-9194, Ext. 895