From hygiene to general wellbeing, people are taking their health into consideration more than ever before. Recently, we have seen a higher demand for air purifiers, and we believe that COVID-19 has increased general awareness on the importance of having clean air indoors, whether that is at home, in schools or at a workplace. It is important to consider indoor air quality when building and renovating properties as this will aid your long-term health and give you peace of mind that you are building a healthy place to live and work in.
We spend around 90% of our time indoors, yet indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outside. Indoor air is made up of a concoction of particles including dust, mould, smoke, bacteria, viruses, VOCs and pet dander. Other indoor activities, such as cooking and cleaning with chemicals, contribute to poor indoor air quality along with outdoor pollution from transport that makes its way inside. This causes a build-up of pollutants indoors, taking much longer to disperse than outdoor air pollution due to poor ventilation.
Breathing in fine dust or PM2.5 (also known as fine particulate matter) can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory difficulties, heart and lung problems and a host of other diseases. Indoor air can also affect other parts of the body in addition to the respiratory system. Atmospheric factors such as air pollution have been implicated in premature skin ageing – this includes air pollutants such as smog, ozone and particulate matter. Studies also show a correlation between higher levels of PM2.5 and air pollution with the increased number of people suffering from skin problems such as pigment spots and wrinkles, hives and eczema.
Polluted indoor air can also affect your sleep. Clean air helps to promote deep sleep, and people who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution are 60% more likely to sleep poorly than those living in areas with cleaner air. Repeated exposure to poor indoor air quality – especially in an enclosed space with poor ventilation – can bring on headaches, fatigue, dermatitis and more – many of the same symptoms often used to diagnose Sick Building Syndrome (SBS).
A lot of people are under the impression that air purifiers are only needed by those who suffer from allergies. However, ample evidence links air pollution to asthma, autism, chronic chest problems and stunted lung development, as well as a decline in mental and cognitive health. This is likely to have a huge impact on generations to come.
Clean air is extremely beneficial for your health, so it’s important to use products like air purifiers to combat indoor air pollution in the long-term. We also recommend using air purifiers during the renovation process – from construction dust to VOCs released from painting, the particles released when decorating and renovating can be harmful to your health.
Here are some ways you can reduce the levels of air pollution in your home and make sure you are breathing the cleanest air possible:
1. Ventilation – indoor air is on average five times more polluted than outdoors, so good ventilation is a great way to improve your indoor air quality. You can do this by opening a window, depending on where you live, or by installing an effective ventilation system
2. Avoid scented candles and incense – toxins from paraffin candles are the same as those in diesel fumes
3. Avoid log burners and open fires if possible – particularly if you have small children
4. Vacuum frequently and regularly wash bedding and other textiles to reduce common allergens such as dust and mites
5. Reduce or remove carpets; these trap unhealthy particles such as dirt, fungi and dust mites
6. Avoid unnecessary chemicals – use natural cleaning products instead
7. Cut down on the use of perfume and hairspray
8. Put an air purifier in the rooms where you spend most of your time. Always select a brand with a high CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) and high filtration performance. Blueair air purifiers remove at least 99.97% of airborne pollutants as small as 0.1 microns in size from the air you breathe
We predict that air quality will certainly be of greater importance to self-builders and renovators as there is huge demand for health-related products. Make sure you are clued up on your indoor air quality and take measures to reduce air pollution in the home when renovating properties, as this will benefit your overall health and wellness.