It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Indoor Air

Naman Bajaj
March 13, 2024

While outdoor air pollution is a serious issue, indoor air pollution in our homes is also on the rise. Toxins from items such as household cleaners, furniture upholstery, gas stoves, and carpets can contaminate the air we breathe indoors, affecting our lungs and skin.

Although it's challenging to avoid generating indoor air pollution, there are ways to manage and control it.

Where do indoor pollutants come from?

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of air within and around buildings and structures. As per EPA, the following are the main sources of air pollution:

  • Fuel-burning combustion appliances and gas stoves
  • Tobacco products
  • Building materials and furnishings such as:some text
    • Deteriorated asbestos-containing insulation
    • Newly installed flooring, upholstery, or carpet
    • Cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products
  • Products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies
  • Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
  • Excess moisture
  • Outdoor sources such as:some text
    • Radon
    • Pesticides
    • Outdoor air pollution

How to curb indoor air pollution?

There are some simple steps that you can take to curb indoor air pollution:

  1. Maintain adequate ventilation to promote healthy indoor air
  2. Ban smoking inside the house
  3. Use exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms
  4. Wipe shoes on a doormat before entering the house
  5. Avoid using an indoor fireplace
  6. Avoid air fresheners, scented candles, and incense
  7. Vacuum instead of brooming, which can stir up more dust
  8. Avoid carpets because they can trap pollutants such as dust mites, pet dander, mold spores
  9. Use homemade cleaning products that are free of dangerous chemicals like VOCs
  10. Try an air purifier

How does an air purifier work?

An air purifier removes or neutralizes harmful contaminants from your home. It is one of the best ways to naturally clean the air in your home.

An air purifier uses internal fans to pull in the air from your home. This air then passes through a series of filters that remove airborne particles like dust, pollen, and bacteria. This filtered air is then released back into the home.

The effectiveness of an air purifier is determined by its Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). This rate reflects the volume of clean air that the purifier can produce at its maximum speed setting. A higher CADR suggests a faster and more efficient air purifier. CADR ratings vary for different indoor pollutants like tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen. You should select a rating that suits your specific needs. For example, if dust is a concern in your home, opt for an air purifier with a high CADR rating for dust.

We often mix up air purifiers and air filters. Despite both being designed to remove contaminants, they are not the same.

What is an air filter?

An air filter is a filtration device that’s built into your home’s HVAC system. It keeps your HVAC system clean and removes large airborne particles like dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and lint.

The effectiveness of an air filter is measured by its MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. The higher the MERV rating, the better the air filter can perform.

Most standard air filters have a 3 to 8 MERV rating. The best air filters have a MERV rating of 17-20, and they are known as HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.


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Naman Bajaj
March 13, 2024


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