Each year, an estimated 1,300 people die prematurely due to poor air quality. Toxic air also sends approximately 3,550 people to the hospital every year.
These are troubling statistics!
Even more worrisome, recent air quality reports suggest that five airborne pollutants are responsible for increased incidence of respiratory illness, asthma, bronchitis, lung function impairment, cardiac issues, and decreased life expectancy.
These five pollutants can all be traced back to emissions from local homes and vehicles. Every year, each Canadian produces approximately five tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
While overall greenhouse gas emissions are on the decline annually, there is still a long way to go to ensure clean, safe air both outside and inside, now and for future generations. These nine easy changes can clean up your own indoor air and also save you money.
9 Easy Ways to Reduce Household Emissions
While it can easily feel like global air pollution is a bigger battle than any one individual can possibly fight, there actually are some relatively simple changes you can make to help!
These nine changes are easy to implement and will make an immediate impact on air quality.
1. Reduce your power use
It’s hard to believe that even just a hundred years ago, indoor lighting, plumbing, air conditioning, and heating were just gleams in their inventors’ eyes! Today, these modern conveniences are so commonplace we often don’t even notice our own wasteful behaviours.
But practically everyone notices when it is time to pay the bills. There are some easy ways to ensure next month’s and next year’s power bills will be lower than they are now.
In general, using less power results in less pollution. Naturally, it also saves cash. Installing motion-activated light sensors will help ensure the lights turn off when the room is empty. The same holds true for programmable thermostats, which guard against cooling or heating an empty house. These helps are affordable and easy to install, and will pay for themselves nearly instantly—and help save our planet, too!
2. Use cold water instead
In many cases, it is possible to use cold water to do many of the same things we often automatically use hot water to do. Washing clothing and dishes, and household cleaning are good examples of when cold water can often do just as good a job.
This helps you save on your hot water bill and also reduces your carbon footprint—a real win-win.
3. Give your clothes dryer a rest
In many parts of the world, it is still relatively common to see clothes and linens line drying in people’s backyards. But in the most modernized areas, the clothes dryer has all but replaced line drying.
This makes perfect sense when it’s really hot or cold out—neither is particularly good for clothing and sometimes it is just impossible to get anything dry in these temperature extremes. But in temperate weather like what we have here in Canada in the spring and fall, line drying is a great way to cut your energy bill and reduce emissions in general but also into your indoor air. Dryer vents, like duct vents, unless cleaned, can release built up toxins into your home.
4. Close air registers and vents in unused rooms
Why pay to heat and cool parts of your home or office that you aren’t even using? Unless you store perishables in those areas, it can make more sense to just close off the air registers and vents in those places and concentrate your heating and cooling on the areas that are in use.
5. Keep your refrigerator coils clean
Like indoor air ducts, refrigerator coils are incredibly easy to forget about! We can’t see them so we don’t realize they are getting dirty and toxic and affecting us as they do.
You can take a brush or a vacuum hose attachment to your fridge coils and remove the built-up dust and debris, increasing cooling efficiency and removing particulate matter from your indoor air supply all in one fell swoop.
6. Fill up your dishwasher for every cycle
Dishwashers can be incredibly demanding energy-wise. This especially holds true if you run your dishwasher when it isn’t completely full.
Just as your refrigerator and your clothes washer operate more effectively and efficiently when they are full, so too will your dishwasher serve you better when you wait until you have a full load (if you need to, you can always run a rinse-only cycle with cool water to keep dishes from accumulating hardened debris between cycles).
7. Power down unused electronics
Another really easy power drain to forget about is electronics. Your home entertainment system, docking stations, computers and tablets, and Wi-Fi accessories can all benefit from being able to cool down when you power them off for a while.
And you will win as well with lower energy bills and less risk of damage from power surges.
8. Keep your fireplace damper and wood stove doors closed between uses
Wood stoves and fireplaces sure are cheery, but they aren’t very eco-friendly. The more you can contain emissions from each by closing off exit points between uses, the less you risk toxins leaking out.
9. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs
Energy-efficient light bulbs are one of the true unsung heroes of the energy efficiency movement. The next time your bulbs need replacing, have some energy-efficient bulbs on hand to make the switch!
Give Us a Call
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we have the privilege of helping our residential and commercial clients improve their indoor air quality every single day!
Right now and through May 31, 2018, you can save 10 percent on any of our indoor air duct cleaning packages.
We regularly consult on indoor air quality for new construction, residential, and commercial renovation and remediation. Contact us online, or give us a call at 905-544-2470 for more information!