Although it may be hard to believe that air pollution levels inside the modern house can be two to five times greater than the levels outside. Combining that with the fact that the typical person can spend upwards of ninety percent of their time indoors, it will come as no suprise that the term Sick Building Syndrome has become a new adage in the English language.
Unlike outdoor air, indoor air is recycled over and over again with pollutants like tobacco smoke, pollen, mold, dust and pet dander all adding towards asthma and allergies.
There are various symptoms connected with so called sick building syndrome including sinus congestion, watery or itchy eyes, headaches, sluggishness, difficulty in concentrating and sickness. Certain immediate effects are similar to those from common colds or other viral diseases, so it is frequently difficult to decide if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution.
If you notice that the symptoms subside or even vanish when you are outside, the chances are that poor air quality inside your home is to blame. If that is the case, there are several things that you can do to all but eliminate the potential causes and breathe a little easier.
Make a great difference to indoor air quality in your home with the following seven tips.
Do Not Smoke Inside
Although this may sound obvious, you should in effect ban smoking inside your house or at least restrict it to one room. In our case, any friends or family that visit are restricted to the kitchen area or the back garden if they want to smoke. In the kitchen, an extractor fan drives the smoky air outside as it does with cooking odors.
Open Your Windows From Time To Time
Weather permitting, you should open windows and doors in order to lower the concentrations of indoor pollutants while allowing outside air to come in. If you have bathroom or kitchen extractor fans, use them on a regular basis. You should also routinely clean the vent-hole in the extractors and make sure they function properly.
Chuck Out Those Chemical Cleaners
Take any one of those so called wonder kitchen cleaners from your cupboard and someplace on the label will be a warning as to how hazardous they are to your health. Moreover, look at what they are made of and see if you can recognize the names of any of the substances in that bottle. As A Matter Of Fact, I doubt you will even be able to say the name, let alone recognize what it is. As soon as you use that product, a lot of those chemicals go into the air, the fumes of which are inhaled. I have quite often started coughing after spraying counter tops with so called anti-bacterial cleaner. Not anymore though, as my natural housecleaning products of choice are bicarbonate of soda, washing soda, vinegar and pure lemon juice. These are all non toxic, environmentally friendly and can undertake most housecleaning tasks, either individually or combined with one another.
Keep you House Clean and free of dust
Hoovering your rugs and floors regularly will help to keep dust and airborne allergens at bay. It may suprise you to know that approximately seventy percent of dust inside the home consists of dead skin which we humans continually molt. Dust mites like to feed on this dead skin which in turn makes them grow. They then shed their own skin and that, combined with their faeces is what causes allergic reactions in people.
Pet Dander Allergies
For those folks with a cat, dog or other pet, allergies like asthma attacks can be triggered off by their dander, which they shed all the time. Something needs to be done if you suspect that either you or another household member are allergic to pet dander. Ideally, it is best to keep pets out of the house altogether although that is seldom possible. As a possible alternative, try and restrict the rooms that the pet is allowed into. One definite area to keep them out of is the bedroom.
Reduce Inside Air Humidity
Living in a rainy clime or an area of high humidness can both result in moisture levels in the house rising dramatically. This excessive moisture or humidness is the ideal breeding conditions for mold. For anybody with allergies, mold spores can cause as many health problems as airborne dust. For that reason, a home dehumidifier can be essential. An air purifier dehumidifier will extract moisture from the air and into a water tank which you can then remove and pour away.
Get an Indoor Air Purifier
Home air purifiers are units that clean indoor air of allergens, like mold spores, pollen and pet dander. They are especially useful if you or a family member suffers from allergic reactions or asthma because they can reduce airborne contaminants by a considerable amount. Indoor air purifiers have become very popular over recent years since they are able to clean the air in your house while making it a lot healthier to breathe in. Nevertheless, there are various types of air purification technologies, some of which may not be suitable in all situations.