Living in big cities comes with all kinds of benefits, such as amenities being right on your doorstep, exciting events happening in your town, and public transport being easy to access. There are downsides too, and one of the biggest issues is that of air pollution. With bigger cities comes more cars and that means more pollutants in the air. How do you ensure that you're not breathing in that polluted air in your own home?
Here's how you can reduce that air pollution indoors.
Firstly, it's important that you understand what kind of pollutants you're being exposed to day to day where you live. Most pollutants are invisible to the naked eye, so you're not going to see them, but they are very much there. What is in the air you breathe?
Methane: This is a common pollutant that comes from the dairy and meat industries, as cows are one of the biggest producers of methane. When released into the atmosphere, it creates ground level ozone which can be linked to a range of respiratory illnesses.
Nitrogen oxide: This also creates ground level ozone, and so is dangerous to your health. It's also worth noting that nitrogen dioxide is another risk, as it contributes to heart and respiratory tract damage. It most commonly comes from cars, and that means the amount of nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere is growing all the time.
VOCs: This is something that you'll actually be at risk of in your own home. These are often found in paints and cleaning products, and can increase the risk of cancer. VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are easily released into your home as you use cleaning supplies, as the fresh scents they give off makes you feel as though your home is cleaner.
These are just a few dangers that you need to be aware of. Even if the air pollution is outdoors, it's easily pulled into your home through your HVAC system, or even if you open the front door. As such, you want to be able to clean the air in your home. How can you ensure that you're not breathing in these dangerous particles in your own house?
Investing In An Air Purifier
One of the best things you can do to stay safe from air pollution is to buy and use an air purifier. As the name implies, they're designed to clean the air in your home, ensuring that it's safer to breathe in.
There are several types of air purifier out there, so you'll want to make sure that you're getting the right one for your home. You'll want a filter purifier, as these are the most effective. They work by drawing air into the machine, and through a filter. This filter will catch all the pollutants in the air on it. That way, when air is pushed out the other side, none of the pollutants will go through it and you'll have cleaner air.
The type of filter you use for this is important, as you need to be sure that you're getting all the pollutants in the air. A HEPA filter is best, as these use a very fine mesh that can capture even the smallest particles, as well as general dust and dirt. In fact, they can capture particles that are PM2.5 and even smaller. As such, you should be able to clean out around 99.7% of pollutants from the air.
As well as a HEPA filter, look for an air purifier that can offer you a High Efficiency Carbon Filter too. These help neutralize smoke and gases, as well as help VOCs. They're even good at neutralizing household odors like pet and cooking smells, too.
It's important you use a filter air purifier for this too, as ozone air purifiers won't be able to clean the air as effectively. As they use ozone too, they actually are putting your health at risk.
Other Tactics To Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
Using an air purifier will go a long way towards stopping the air pollution in your home, but it's not the only way you can combat it. There are lots of other ways you can keep your home's air clean, too. Here are some tactics that you can try.
Keep an eye on your weather app: If you use a weather app, you'll often see that it gives an Air Quality Index. This should tell you when there's dangerous levels of air pollution outside. When you know this, you can take action to protect your home.
If there are high levels of pollution on a given day, then ensure that you stay inside as much as possible, and keep the windows and doors closed. If you have to go out, wear a mask over your nose and mouth to protect you. This is good practice for everyone, but especially those that have respiratory issues.
Clean your HVAC filter: Your HVAC filter will work hard to keep pollutants out of your home, but you need to keep an eye on it. Every month, pull it out and check it. If it has become too dirty, it won't be able to filter air, and so dust, dirt and pollutants will find their way in.
Clean your air purifier filter: As well as your HVAC filter, you need to be cleaning your air purifier filter too. Just like the HVAC filter, it won't be able to do its job if it's too clogged with dirt. Check the instructions on yours to see how you clean or change it, so it can keep cleaning the air.