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A breath of fresh air may be hard to come by in the winter

To want to leave no gaps when you shut the window during winters is natural. To want to sit on a warm fuzzy carpet with a hot cup of chai - all of this sounds like a fitting description of a very cozy winter afternoon.

However, while the idea surely is tempting, and might even be comforting, all of these activities would have worsened your home’s air quality.

Since you shut your doors and windows, there is no outside air, thus air remains trapped in circulation indoors. Your beverage, most likely prepared on a stovetop, gave out emissions, as most stovetops do. These emissions, with nowhere to escape, kept circulating indoors leading you to breathe polluted air.

The carpet you were sitting on tends to catch dust particles in its fibers, like all carpets do. The slightest stir, and the dust particles would have escaped the surface of the carpet, right into the air that you breathe.

For that matter, indoor air quality can worsen from some of the most unsuspecting things that are very commonly found inside a house, like:

  • Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions from gas-powered appliances such as stovetops, ovens, washers and dryers

  • Fumes from newly painted walls

  • Varnishing on the wooden furniture

  • Cleaners and air fresheners

  • Smoking indoors

  • wood-burning fireplaces

  • Aromatic candles

If your house has mold or mildew that is not being cleaned, it too will contaminate the clean air you would wish to breathe when you are indoors.

Poor indoor air quality has the potential to cause a negative impact on your health just as much as poor air quality outdoors. It can aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma, allergies, and chronic lung diseases. It has also been linked to heart diseases and strokes.

How can you improve your indoor air quality at home?

Installing vents in the kitchen will help minimise the emissions from stoves and clean these vents regularly. Carpets and rugs catch a lot of dust which affect indoor air quality with time, therefore vacuuming them once every week or every two weeks depending on your location is also a must. Installing dehumidifiers help in regulating the moisture in the air at your home, which will regulate the growth of mold and mildew. If you have an HVAC system, checking vents is also beneficial to know whether ducts are clear or not.

Additionally, it is advised that you could keep getting timely IAQ assessments done through which you can not only see the data from your house to know which factors are detrimental to your IAQ, but also receive recommendations from data analysts who specialise in this field.

With an ActiveBuildings’ IAQ assessment you can be assured that the quality of air at your home is one that meets the benchmark of clean air. While we work towards helping you reach that threshold indoors, you can make small lifestyle changes like those mentioned above, and together we can help you and your loved ones breathe air that keeps you healthy and safe.

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