Six Indicators to Discover if Your Indoor Air Has Been Polluted

When the air in your home has issues, unable to actually see anything out of the ordinary. You could smell something, or suffer headaches or nausea, but a tool is required to determine just what is polluting your indoor air and how significant the issue actually is.

The tool is called an Air Advice Indoor Air Quality Analyzer. It’s placed in a central room of your home and will sample the air for about 30 minutes before producing a report that details six different test results.

Six Measurements Analyzed

allergens photo

Photo by rkimpeljr

The first would be for the volume of particulates, like pet dander, dust, and other allergens.

Another is chemicals, VOC compounds, Volatile Organic Compounds, typically found with new carpet, but even with older carpets. VOC gases also result from fresh paint, producing what we recognize as ‘new house smell.’ That smell is actually VOC gases in your home. The tool will rate them based on acceptable levels.

Carbon dioxide is another concern for which the analyzer will test. If the levels are found to be too high, it can mean your home is too well sealed and not enough fresh air is getting in. Levels can rise as the seasons transition, for instance when the weather becomes more mild and you’re not using your system so the blowers are off and air isn’t circulating, causing stagnant air to develop, often raising carbon dioxide levels.

The analyzer will also test the accuracy of your thermostat by comparing what temperature you have set to the actual temperature and measure your current air status.  Based on air quality, whether you need to adjust the setting can be evaluated.

Relative humidity is especially important in the winter, but can also be a factor in the summer. The system will indicate if a humidifier is required and actually recommend an appropriate unit along with benefits realized with various available options.

The biggest concern in the winter is carbon monoxide. The analyzer will measure the levels in your home. Detectors should also be present in the home on an ongoing basis.

How to Purify Your Indoor Air With Houseplants

houseplants photo

Photo by F. D. Richards

Most of us are aware that polluted air can negatively impact your health. Allergies, respiratory challenges, and even heart disease can result. However, we may not be aware that air inside our homes can be as much as one hundred times more polluted than the air outside, depending on the time of year. When your home is sealed up tight against extreme cold or heat for the entire season, it can impact your air quality. Even if negative health effects aren’t immediately realized, they might appear years later, but there’s something you can do to minimize your exposure.

Nature’s Remedy

There are numerous ways to improve your air quality, but probably the least expensive and most natural is to fill your home with house plants. Some are more efficient than others to neutralize mold, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens. You’ll find house plants aren’t just aesthetically pleasant decor, they will act as natural air purfiers, cleaning the air and allowing you and your family to breathe freely.

 

Plants that Will Improve Your Air Quality

It’s important you use the right plants, so here is a list of the top cleansing plants and what toxins they will help remove.

  • Aloe Vera — A succulent well known for its medicinal uses but is also effective as an air purifier. It grows easily indoors and is easy to care for so even the most challenged green thumbs can realize success. Aloe Vera helps to remove formaldehydes from the air.
  • Chrysanthemum morifolium – Also known as a “hardy garden mum” or “florist’s daisy,” it’s a flowering plant renowned for its ability to cleanse the air of ammonia, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and other harmful chemicals.
  • Peace Lily – This is a great indoor plant, preferring indirect light and moderate watering that will actually bloom indoors. It facilitates removal of benzene, formaldehyde, and some VOCs given off by particular cleaning products.
  • Golden Pothos – A popular indoor flowering plant that prefers more temperate environs. Grows easily indoors and almost impossible to kill, it’s the ideal beginner plant. It helps clear formaldehyde from the air.
  • Gerbera Daisy – Especially helpful for those with any kind of breathing disorder, these plants are unique in that they release oxygen all throughout the night as well as during the day, as most plants do.
  • Dracaena – Around 120 trees and succulent shrub species are included in this type of plant, however the leaves are toxic to house pets. As such, even though the most commonly known varieties are understood to have excellent air cleaning properties, pet owners should avoid them.
  • Ficus – An indoor ficus can be found in tree and bush form, and can grow up to 10 feet in height. They prefer indirect sun and help remove trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde from the air.

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