Tag Archive | "air purifiers"

Greener Air is Cleaner Air

Greener Air is Cleaner Air

This was written by Felicia Baratz of Eat Breathe Blog.

When it comes to the topic of clean air, many people think about the air outside. But indoor air quality also has a significant impact on your health and the environment.

Pollutants in the home, such as tobacco smoke, fumes and chemicals from cleaning products, and automobile affect the environment around you. They are also factors contributing to increased incidences of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other upper respiratory problems. Being proactive can result in cleaner, greener air in your home, which can keep you and the environment healthy and safe.

Tips for getting cleaner, greener air

Keep a clean home. Cleaning your home prevents air filters from becoming clogged with dust, which, in turn, helps your heating and air conditioning system run more efficiently. Use environmentally friendly cleaners or make your own homemade natural cleaners, rather than introduce toxic household cleaners into your environment. Diluted solutions made with vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean most every surface.

Change air filters, clean ventilation systems. Regularly changing the air filters in your heating and air conditioning unit is a vital practice to maintain clean air. Choose an air filter that removes allergens, such as pollen and mold spores and dust mite debris. Have heating and cooling systems serviced annually, to reveal any potential problems that could be compromising your air quality.

Quit smoking. Tobacco products of any kind are quite dangerous in your home. In this day and age, most everyone knows that smoking or chewing tobacco is bad for their health. But secondhand smoke is equally dangerous for others in your home. Sending a smoker outdoors to smoke isn’t any better. Recently, experts have begun discussing the impact of ‘thirdhand smoke,’ residual toxins that are left behind on a smoker’s clothes or hands and that clings to other surfaces.

Be cautious when using heaters. Indoor kerosene or gas space heaters can emit pollutants, so if you’re using one, crack a window and don’t keep the heater in a closed room, where fumes can build-up. If your home has a fireplace, have your chimney inspected for any defects that could cause fumes to back-up into your living space. Wood-burning stoves require additional precautionary measures.

Be careful with your car. You may be tempted to run your car for a little bit when it’s cold outdoors, but move the car out of the garage first. Carbon monoxide fumes can be lethal, and they’re also very bad for the environment.

Improve air quality naturally. Plants add visual beauty to your home and they also help improve air quality. Houseplants release oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air to naturally improve air quality. Add half a dozen or more average-sized houseplants throughout a three-bedroom home to sufficiently improve air quality.

Image courtesy of yewenyi

Breathe easily and safely

Except for smoke and dust, bad air quality is often invisible. Pollutants from chemical-based cleaners can impact the air you breathe inside while damaging the environment. Changing the air filters in your home is important, but other steps must be taken to keep the air you breathe clean. Incorporate green practices in your home and use environmentally friendly products to reduce or eliminate chemical exposure. Even though you may not see the difference, your body will benefit by breathing cleaner, greener air and so will the environment.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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Did You Know Indoor Air Quality is Usually Worse than Outside Air Quality?

Indoor air quality is often contaminated with outdoor pollutants and is “an increasingly more concerning health hazard than outdoor air,” (Wikipedia) as much as five times more polluted than outdoor air even in the largest cities. Some of the reasons or causess of our poor indoor air quality include; building fumes, cooking, paints, tobacco smoke, and cleaning products.

Martin Wolfe, Seventh Generation’s “Scienceman,” measured pollution levels in several Los Angeles locations including the side of a freeway, behind a natural-gas powered bus, inside private homes, and more. The result: The outside air in LA is twice as good for you as the air inside your home.

VOC Meter Readings (in parts per billion or ppb)

10 – 100 ppb = Clean Air
100 – 1000 ppb = Dirty Air
above 1000 ppb = Gas Mask Recommended

VOC Meter Readings Around Los Angeles, California

56 ppb – Downtown LA
23 ppb – Downtown Intersection LA
20 ppb – Natural Gas City Bus
6200 ppb – Inside a Nail Salon

26 ppb – Average Outside Air (2x as good as the two homes tested)

 

Common Pollutants Present in Indoor Air:

  • Radon - Radon is a very pervasive and serious hazard found in indoor air in the United States and Europe. It’s probably responsible for tens of thousands of deaths from lung cancer each year.
  • Molds and Other Allergens – Associated with moisture, mold growth can be inhibited by keeping the humidity levels below 50%.
  • Carbon Monoxide – This colorless, odorless gas is one of the most toxic indoor air contaminants. Common sources include tobacco smoke, automobile exhaust and space heaters using fossil fuels.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds – VOCs are emitted through paints, cleaning supplies and pesticides to name a few.
  • Asbestos Fibers – Found in older homes and buildings, asbestos was widely used in construction and long exposure can lead to an increased chance of lung cancer.
  • Carbon Dioxide – Unusually high levels of carbon dioxide in your home can lead to drowsiness and headaches.

Some of the best ways to help improve the air quality in your home include ventilation, filtration and source control. Here are some great products that might help you breathe easier when you are spending about 90% of your time indoors.

Gaiam - LightAir Ion Flow Air Purifier Cleaner air is healthier air.

Studies show that within three hours of operation, the mold particles in the air are reduced by over 70% thanks to this LightAir Ion Flow Air Purifier. Energy efficiency at its best, this little air purifier runs on less than 10% of a light bulb’s energy! It can purify rooms up to 540 square feet.

Gaiam - Deluxe Mini Personal Air Supply

When on the go, this Deluxe Mini Personal Air Supply is virtually silent. Surprisingly it has an airflow speed of 100 feet per minute and helps destroy particles such as germs, viruses, dust, pollens, smoke and allergens. The lithium battery lasts 60 hours and this little air purifier is perfect for airplanes and cars.

Gaiam - UV Air Purifier

This UV Air Purifier is comprehensive in removing several types of particles from the air through the use of HEPA, carbon, UV light and ionization technologies. It can remove up to 95% of 0.3-micron particles from 2,350 square feet in about 12 hours.

The UV Air Purifier removes bacteria, viruses, gases, pollen, dander, mold, fungi, smoke, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

There are other ways to help fight indoor air contamination without spending much money as well. Proper ventilation can help bring the outdoor air inside while sending the polluted indoor air out. One of the reasons this is helpful is because of the better insulation techniques used in newer house construction. By properly insulating the new construction, the indoor air stays in and the outside air stays out. This is good for heating and cooling costs, but is having a negative effect on the quality of air. Proper ventilation when cleaning or cooking is very important to help remove toxins and irritants. While talking about cleaning, you should switch to less toxic household cleaning products. Change your filters arrange the house regularly and keep up on recommended maintenance.

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