Breathe Better: How an Air Purifier Can Help You Reclaim Your Health
We live in a world where walking down the street exposes our bodies to pollutants in the air, such as car exhaust emissions, factory emissions, pollen, and dust. But that doesn’t mean we are safe from bad air quality when we close the door to the outside world.
Research from the EPA shows that indoor air can contain two to five times more contaminants than outdoor air — and in some cases up to as much as 100 times more.
When you consider that most people spend 90% of their time indoors, this has big implications for our health.
Health Problems Caused by Bad Air Quality
The odds of having an immediate reaction to poor indoor air pollutants indoors will vary greatly from person to person. What aggravates one person may not even be noticed by the next.
Regardless, exposure to low quality air while indoors can cause many adverse effects on our health, both short- and long-term.
These symptoms can easily be mistaken for symptoms of colds, viruses, or allergies, so it’s important to note when symptoms occur and if they disappear when the sufferer leaves the room.
Some of the most common short-term effects include:
- Watery Eyes
Continuous exposure to contaminated air is also capable of causing more life-threatening conditions and diseases. Long-term health effects of breathing in contaminated air include:
- Respiratory Diseases
- Heart Disease
According to the World Health Organization, 3.8 million premature deaths per year can be attributed to diseases caused by exposure to household air pollution.
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
There are several ways to improve indoor air quality, and combining them will greatly increase your indoor air quality and your health.
It is important to regularly let air from the outside come into your home, especially when cooking, painting, sanding, or doing anything else that creates pollutants. Opening a window or door (when weather permits) is usually the best method of letting air into your home, but there are also some ventilation systems that bring outdoor air into the house.
An air purifier is a device which is designed to remove pollutants and contaminants from the air. It does this by sending the indoor air through a series of very fine filters and then releasing the clean air back into the room.
Running an air purifier is the single best thing you can do to improve your indoor air quality, but you must ensure you use the correct one for your needs. Some air purifiers are made for a single room, while others are made to clean the air in the whole house. Generally speaking, the more filters an air purifier has, the better it will be when it comes to removing pollutants from the air.
Types of air filters can include:
Another important aspect of an air purifier is the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate). This number indicates how fast the air circulates through the air purifier and tells you how effective the air purifier is at removing certain pollutants. There is a CADR for pollen, smoke, and dust, and the higher the number the more effective the device will be.
When it comes to indoor air quality, one would do well to heed this wise advice, courtesy of a famous polymath (and founding father):
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.“
– Benjamin Franklin