6 fascinating indoor air facts you need to know

Girl smelling fresh flowers

Did you know that Europeans spend 90% of their time indoors? As a result, we spend a lot of time and money on the temperature inside our homes and workplaces. The right temperature helps us feel warm and comfortable in the winter, and allows us to feel cool and get to sleep in the summer.

Whilst achieving the perfect indoor temperature throughout the year is important, the quality of the air is another crucial factor affecting our wellbeing.

1. The importance of fresh air

With the average person spending just 2.5 hours outside each day – and most of that time being spent commuting to and from work – we are exposed to indoor air pollutants for a large proportion of our day.

Besides outside pollutants such as car emissions and pollens making their way into our homes, indoor air quality is also affected by tobacco smoke, lighting candles and applying cleaning products.

Ventilating your home each day will help to release and neutralise pollutants found indoors. Spending more time outside in green areas such as parks, the countryside, mountains and your own garden will help you to breathe in plenty fresh air.

2. Say no to air fresheners

The majority of air fresheners contain and release a family of chemicals called phthalates. These cause potential health risks such as asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, obesity, diabetes and behavioural issues. Air fresheners emit over 100 different chemicals which then react with indoor oxidants, producing a variety of harmful oxidation products.

Swap store-bought air freshener products for natural alternatives such as rose water. Also, don’t underestimate the value of keeping your home clean and well ventilated to keep your home smelling fresh.

3. Watch out for moisture

Excessive damp in a home is due to heat loss through the walls. Water vapour condenses on cold walls and in the least-insulated corners. Damp appears at thermal bridges resulting in paint and plaster degrading, wallpaper coming unstuck, and the development of mites and moulds. A thermal bridge is a weak point in the insulation which allows heat out and cold in. Damp homes cause or exacerbate respiratory problems.

Effective external insulation of a home limits the effects of condensation and eliminates a large number of thermal bridges.

Thermal bridges account for up to 40% of heating power consumption and 5 to 25% of heat loss (Source Ooreka).

4. Pay attention to mould

Mould is an important part of our ecosystem, playing a big part in the biodegradation of organic matter, allowing decay and rot to occur. However, mould found inside the home can be harmful and toxic, producing allergens and irritants – some even have the potential to produce a toxic substance called mycotoxins.

Reactions to these irritants can include sneezing, red eyes, runny nose, skin rashes and even asthma attacks.

Painting your walls with mould resistant paint is one way to combat this. Proper ventilation and reducing indoor humidity will also help to avoid the build-up of mould indoors.

5. Stay clean, naturally

Dust mites are one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution. More specifically, the faeces and decomposing dust mites release proteins into the air that cause allergic reactions as well as polluting the air. Dust mites can lead to a range of respiratory problems, even for those who are not allergic to dust mites.

Keeping your home clean and dust to a minimum is the best way to combat dust mites. Remember to vacuum your carpets and mattresses regularly, and use cleaning products with natural ingredients as often as required.

6. Asthmatics and elderly people are most affected

Elderly people tend to spend more time indoors where they are exposed to poor air quality for a substantial amount of time.

Asthmatics are also affected by indoor air quality, with the rates of asthma increasing globally.

Improving the air quality in your home or at your workplace from the tips in this blog post will create a friendlier environment for those around you with asthma, or even prevent the onset of it for another person.

Air pollution inside and outside is on the rise, so don’t sit back and let it affect you and the people around you.

Making the small changes mentioned in this article such as using natural cleaning products, freshening your home with flowers and good ventilation, and vacuuming regularly, can make a big difference.

At Weber, we care.

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