Tag Archive | "air quality"

Get Healthier Air in Schools with Electrostatic Furnace Filters

Get Healthier Air in Schools with Electrostatic Furnace Filters

Parents want their children to be safe and healthy. Unfortunately, some dangers cannot be seen to avoid. This includes the air quality in their classrooms. Children spend many hours in school and the low quality of indoor air can really affect their growing lungs. Several schools across the country are realizing the importance of fixing indoor air pollution and saving money by switching to electrostatic furnace filters.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), studies show that one-half of our nation’s 115,000 schools have problems linked to indoor air quality. As children’s lungs are still developing well into their teen years air quality in their classrooms is extremely important. With the constant irritation caused by dander, lint and dust the lungs cannot function optimally. This will add to their risk of developing lung disease later in life.

By switching to a permanent solution for filtering your heating and cooling systems you can ensure healthier air for your students and faculty. Some of the benefits of using this type of furnace filter include the reduction of mold, pollen and dust. This is extremely beneficial for students with asthma and allergies.

What are electrostatic furnace filters?

Electrostatic furnace filters, also known as permanent filters, washable filters or lifetime filters, use the friction caused by air flow passing through a filter to attract air particles with a static charge. This type of filter is known for collecting up to 80% of the harmful air particles in the air. It is a much more efficient filter than disposable air filters normally used.

Unfortunately, the budgets to keep schools maintained are often the first places cut in times with financial difficulties. Thankfully these furnace filters come with lifetime warranties and will easily pay for themselves within about one year. Instead of replacing your filter you simply wash it off and replace it. This makes it easier for your maintenance staff to keep all heating and cooling systems running as efficiently as possible. In addition to being cost effective as these types of furnace filters will replace your school’s need to buy disposable filters, they will filter the air ten times better.

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5 Plants to Keep in Your Home Instead of Air Fresheners

5 Plants to Keep in Your Home Instead of Air Fresheners

This guest post is by Heather Green of OnlineNursingDegrees.org.

Commercial air fresheners contain a number of chemicals that can be harmful for you and your family — as well as the environment. Many air fresheners will literally blow chemicals into the air, spreading them onto the surfaces in your home and allowing them to be breathed in by your family and pets.

There are many plants you can keep in your home instead that will clean the air of odors and chemicals, making it safer for your family to breathe the air while also eliminating unfavorable odors. While organic air fresheners are available, there quality cannot always be certain. However, you can always be sure that natural plants will put nothing questionable into the air you breathe.

Here are 5 plants you can keep in your home instead of air fresheners to keep the air clean and smelling good:

Spider Plant

The spider plant is a perennial, meaning it will grow year round. It is natural to warm climates such as African and Australia, but it has been bred to be kept as a house plant. Many varieties thrive in a wide range of climates, making them easy to maintain. The plant grows long, thin leaves that have a light center. Some varieties form solid green leaves. Some varieties even produce flowers.

English Ivy

English Ivy is a beautiful evergreen plant that climbs where vertical surfaces are available. Given the right conditions, it can grow to as high as 30 meters. The plant will grow along the ground if vertical surfaces are not available. English Ivy can grow out of control in a garden, and can become a nuisance as an indoor plant if not trimmed back regularly. However, if properly maintained, the plant can create a stunning centerpiece that works double duty by cleaning the air.

Weeping Fig

Also known simply as a Ficus, the Weeping Fig is a species of the fig tree that produces small fruits. The tree is native to Asia and Australia, but it thrives in a variety of climates.

The Weeping Fig is a popular house plant because it can withstand poor conditions and does not require much maintenance. It can be grown in sun or shade (though it prefers bright and sunny conditions), and it only needs a moderate amount of watering. Many also prefer the look of the Weeping Fig, which looks nice in a variety of design schemes.

Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is a beautiful and elegant white flower with a single petal and a golden rod in the center. Not only does the flower make a beautiful addition to any room — while also cleaning the air — but it is also easy to care for and does not need much light or water to thrive. They are perennials, so they thrive throughout the year.

Snake Plant

Similar to the spider plant, the snake plant grows long, green leaves. However, instead of having lighter lines running down the center, the snake plant features lighter lines around the edges of the leaves, which stand up straight and are slightly broader. Snake plant gets its name for the sharp points on the ends of its leaves. Snake plant is another perennial that will thrive all year. It also doesn’t need much care and can survive in low light levels and without much water.

Adding any of these plants to your home can help you clean the air naturally so that you can free your home of harmful chemicals. Include as many as 3 to 4 plants per room for the most benefit, but don’t feel like you have to be restrained. The plants are easy to care for and brighten up any room, so you can easily add as many as you like.
What’s your favorite air-cleaning plants? Share your picks in the comments!

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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Improve Air Quality

Easy Ways to Improve Air Quality in Your Town

This guest post is by Billie Seddon of nrdc.org.

The desire to keep the environment clean and beautiful continues to grow stronger every year. While most people understand the importance of not littering and keeping water supplies clean, keeping the air clean can be a little more complex. Air quality is incredibly important for health, and you would be amazed at how easy it is to do your part.

Get Moving

Traveling by car is often necessary, but you can make more of an effort to move around by foot or bike. Carpool when possible, and make the trip by foot when you can. Moving around on your own is great exercise, and it’s an easy way to improve air quality.

Save Gas

Every gallon of gas you save is not only putting money back in your wallet, but it’s also saving the air quality. There are several things you can do to burn less gas.

  • Drive conservatively to avoid burning fuel unnecessarily. Accelerate slowly and coast when possible to boost gas mileage and help the environment.
  • Plan trips carefully to avoid driving miles you don’t have to. Do all your errands at one time, and teach the kids to walk to their friends’ homes instead of asking for rides all the time
  • Stop idling the car. Cars don’t have to idle to warm up, they will warm up better with slow driving for the first few miles. You also don’t have to let the car idle at lights. If you are going to sit for more than 30 seconds, you will actually save fuel by shutting the car down.

Maintain It

The best way to boost air quality is to boost car maintenance. Regular oil changes, properly inflated tires and tune-ups all boost our gas mileage. It’s a great way to save money, extend the life of your car and clean up the air around you. You also won’t have to worry about breaking down while in traffic, and your car will have a higher resale value when the time comes to get a new car.

new thermostat installed

Lower Utility Bills

Unless you’ve embraced the solar revolution and are using renewable energy sources, then you are contributing to pollution every time you turn on the furnace. Producing electricity and delivering gas drives pollution, so you can clean up the air by reducing your energy consumption at home. Homes are major energy hogs, but there are easy things you can do at home to change that.

  • Turn the furnace down a few degrees, lower the temperature on the water heater and try to use the air conditioner less. A few degrees won’t cause you any discomfort, but it can help save the environment.
  • Keep the major appliances in your home working efficiently by having them serviced regularly. This is especially important for the furnace and air conditioner. Change the air filter often to keep the system working efficiently .
  • Passive improvements make a difference. Caulk cracks around the house, add insulation and put replace worn weather stripping around doors.

Saving the environment isn’t as difficult as you might think, and most of the changes will save you money in the process. The air quality around you will improve, and you will even improve your finances and health in the process. The changes are easy, and the effects can be profound. Get started today, so you can reap the benefits tomorrow and for years to come.

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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Air Quality Inside Home

How You Can Look After the Air in Your Home

This guest post is by David Beastall of http://www.midfilters.co.uk.

Poor air is isn’t something we often think of within our own homes as we associate this place as being somewhere safe and secure. The external environmental impacts of reduced air quality are quite apparent when we’re outside as they’re often grand in scale and reported on widely by news media and campaigners. These might be car emissions or the burning of other carbon based fossil fuels that we can easily hear and spot.

In the home, sources of poor air quality are much more subtle, and in many instances we’re not even aware that something may be responsible for causing negative health effects. They can be just as influential on our health because the nature of our homes and the way we live in the western world ensures, steady, consistent and longer periods of exposure.

Thanks to modern understanding of science and chemistry, we can soon start to shed some light on things that are outside of our awareness that might be affecting us.

Solvent chemicals are present in aerosols, air fresheners, glues & adhesives, domestic cleaning sprays and fluids; some are even contained within furnishings and furniture. Soft furnishings like upholstery and cushions are often treated with special man-made chemicals that exhibit properties that have been observed to be beneficial in some way. For example, some chemicals will make fabrics more resistant to heat or fire, ensure dyes don’t run and stain or make materials feel soft and plush to touch.

You might be aware that CocaCola was actually invented by a chemist in a lab and marketed as a medicine. It was only after this didn’t prove so successful that the actual taste would allow it to become such as distinctive beverage when combined with a good idea and a bit of innovative thinking. The taste was just a side effect.

So how do these things affect the quality of the air in our home? These chemicals find their way into the air contained within fine particles that break away, and remember this is in addition to household cleaners and air freshers you might normally be using anyway.

The television commercials and advertisements might have us take a long deep breath as we scent our home with exotic fragrances or wash our clothes in detergents and conditions smelling of wild orchids. Have you ever stopped to read what they’re made of?

So we know our homes do indeed typically contain many source of air pollutants whether they be natural, artificial, self created or allergen based and they’re not always things we might think of as having the potential to cause harm.

When buying furnishings for your home, you can check the labels to give you an idea of the processes they underwent during their production. You can skip this step by actively choosing to buy from stores and suppliers who are ecologically aware and conscious of the impacts unnatural development methods can have on health and the environment as a whole.

Ensuring that your home is a clean place to live is not just for the benefit of it looking tidy, it actually served a pretty important purpose throughout history, and this was the process of ridding it of anything that might present itself as a health concern that could potentially lead to illness or disease.

Creating proper ventilation will help to replace old air, with fresh air that is free of the airborne contaminants that will be present within indoor air. This can achieve by opening windows periodically throughout the day or during the times in which you will be at home. Carrying out thorough cleaning will reduce dust and mite levels, eliminate causes of mould spores.

Cheap commercial chemicals found in aerosols that are designed to replicate real world scents can be replaced with naturally scented alternatives such as burning oils or candles that are treated with a natural fragrance or even the real thing. There are a number of alternative companies that care about the environmental implications and thus provide a range of cleaning products that use non harmful substances to achieve the same results.

However above all else we must understand there is often a small health cost to be paid for particular home comforts, conveniences and inexpensive consumer buying.
About the author:

This post was contributed by David Beastall. David blogs for Midland Filtration who are providers and suppliers of industrial air filtration products and services for the public sector, business and industry.

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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Filter Your Air with the Power of Plants

The Andrea Air Purifier ($195) is not only beautiful, but is 40 times more effective than HEPA or carbon filters. Now looking at it, it's obviously more attractive than the typical air purifier you'll find in any electronics store, but you might be wondering why not just get a house plant? A house plant will clean your air, but it is nowhere near as effective as the Andrea Air Purifier. Using a fan, the air is sucked through the plant filter and propels it through the leaves and root system of a plant, and then back out through water and soil filtration into the air of  a room.

Andrea Air Purifier is Perfect for Any Room in the House.

A Little History About Plant-Based Air Purification

Airborne toxins are filtered through the leaves and roots of any plant.Designer Mathieu Lehanneur and Harvard professor David Edwards invented the Andrea Air Purifier. It is the first award-winning air filter capable of absorbing toxic gases, such as formaldehyde, through the natural metabolic and absorptive properties of living plants. The Andrea Air Purifier has been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2008 and won the Popular Science Inventions of the Year Award.

Benefits of the Andrea Air Purifier

  • No more filter changes.
  • 40 times more efficient than HEPA and carbon filters.
  • Transforms any household plant (sold separately) into an effective air cleaner.
  • Ozone free operation.
  • Improves formaldehyde filtration effieciency by 4400% compared to plants alone.

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