Ensuring your indoor air is safe

November 3, 2015

Is your home breathtaking: how to improve indoor air quality

According to Health Canada, 90 per cent of many Canadians' time is spent indoors, split between work, home and indoor recreation. Here are tips to ensure you consume the best indoor air.

Ensuring your indoor air is safe

Why indoor air can be harmful

In an effort to conserve energy, homes are being built or renovated to be as airtight as possible. While this saves money on utility costs, it also means that without proper ventilation, your indoor air can be causing more harm than good.

What you are breathing

Dust, smoke and mould are common particulates that can cause breathing problems. Regular cleaning, smoking outdoors and solving mould issues can minimize these three common pollutants. It may surprise you to know that what you are breathing can also include some of the following in quantities that can take your breath away:

  • Formaldehyde emitted by construction materials such as plywood, pressed wood products and floor finishes.
  • Carbon dioxide released by people and pets in the home, perfumes and fuel-burning heat sources.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic vapours found in pesticides, disinfectants and other strong cleaners.

Have your air checked out

It may be beneficial to hire a professional to perform an indoor air quality test, especially if anyone in your suffering from increased allergies, asthma attacks or other breathing difficulties. In the meantime, there are some things you can check on your own.

  • When checking your HVAC system, look for proper air flow to and from the system. Also, check the filters to ensure they are clean.
  • To check for excess humidity, which provides a breeding ground for mould, check all water pipes, taps and drains for leakage or signs of it.
  • Condensation on the inside of your windows is also an indicator of excess humidity.

Tips to improve your indoor air

  • Increase filtered ventilation in your home by using screens designed for trickle ventilation, or have a professional install an air exchange system.
  • Invest in an air purifier that has multi-stage filtration. Portable units can be moved from room to room, while a whole-home system cleans all of your air.
  • Limit the use of chemicals when cleaning or doing projects involving paints and glues.
  • Do not allow smoking in your home.
  • Always use your exhaust fan when cooking.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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