Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and as we're spending even more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's never been more important to improve our indoor air quality (IAQ).
A staggering 65 per cent of UK homes suffer from poor IAQ as a result of inadequate ventilation. Poor air quality can negatively impact health, increasing the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease, and making existing conditions like respiratory disorders, worse.
In January 2020, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published its 'Indoor Air Quality at Home' guidance, confirming the vital role ventilation plays in removing potential pollutants and improving IAQ in the home.
The guidance advises households to ensure rooms are well ventilated by extractor fans, trickle vents, cooker hoods or by opening windows, especially when undertaking activities that typically leads to poor air quality. These activities include cooking, drying clothes indoors, lighting open solid-fuel fires and candles, using cleaning products, solvents and paints, and having showers and baths.
To mark Clean Air Day, leading British ventilation manufacturer, Vent-Axia, has shared these top tips to improve air quality in the home and help ventilation run more efficiently.
'This Clean Air Day good indoor air quality at home is more important than ever before since due to the pandemic we are all spending extra time in our homes. COVID-19 has also highlighted the importance of ventilation and the air we breathe. With the average adult taking 23,000 breaths a day, it is vital to reduce indoor air pollution,' the team at Vent-Axia explain.
1. Don't forget to ventilate
Good ventilation, for example opening doors and windows, will help improve indoor air quality, and make you feel more awake and productive if you are working from home.
2. Reduce the use of aerosols and use eco-friendly cleaning products
Unperfumed or unscented products with lower VOCs (volatile organic compounds) produce fewer pollutants, making the air in your home healthier to breathe in.
3. Use a cooker hood
Whenever you’re cooking, turn on your cooker hood to remove pollution particulates released by cooking. It’s a good idea to use the cooker hood when cleaning your kitchen too.
4. Use unscented candles
Burning candles significantly decreases IAQ. If you enjoy lit candles, unscented versions release fewer pollutants.
5. Clean the filters
If your ventilation system uses filters, check them regularly and clean or replace them when needed to ensure the system keeps filtering the air coming into your home effectively.
6. Vacuum regularly
Keep on top of dust mites and other sources of allergies by regularly vacuuming your home.
7. Ventilate effectively
Use mechanical ventilation if you can to remove polluted or humid air from your home, particularly when cooking, cleaning or taking a shower.
Clean Air Day, led by environmental charity Global Action Plan, aims to improve the public understanding of air pollution, build awareness, and explain the easy actions we can all take to tackle air pollution, helping to protect the environment and our health.
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