Recently, three quite prominent United States universities came together to test out a theory. They hypothesized that cleaner indoor air could lead to enhanced cognitive function.
Their initial “control” building was equipped with a regular, conventional HVAC ventilation system. Their initial “test” building had installed an enhanced HVAC ventilation system.
Guess which building’s occupants scored higher on cognitive function tests? You guessed right: the second.
In fact, the occupants scored approximately 101 percent higher, which represented better thinking, improved ability to focus and stay on task, increased effectiveness under pressure, enhanced information gathering and decision making, and overall better work performance.
The results of this initial study were so promising that the team decided to do a second test. This time, they selected four different indoor air systems in five buildings across the United States.
In this test, participants from the enhanced buildings (those with better indoor air quality) reported not just improved cognitive function (26 percent better overall) and improved work performance, but better sleep and overall better health as well.
Clearly, the air inside your home or workplace matters. In this post, we explain why it matters so much and how to get these benefits for your home or office.
How Can Indoor Air Be Toxic?
In most cases, air as we know it is invisible. Yes, we are breathing it in, and yes we may occasionally detect odors from office machinery, air fresheners and other chemical fragrances, tobacco use, mildew, adhesives, or other fumigants, but for the most part, out of sight equals out of mind.
For most people, there is security in just closing the door behind them when they walk inside their home or office. Whew, the outside air with all its smog and fog and ultraviolet light and fossil fuel exhaust has been safely shut out.
Unfortunately, in most cases that same outside air we are fleeing from is actually quite a bit cleaner than the inside air we eagerly retreat to.
So the study mentioned here is critical to prove what a difference it can make to clean and “green up” your indoor air in any space where you spend a significant amount of time daily or weekly.
What Is In Your Indoor Air?
What makes your indoor air so toxic? According to the study experts, these are the main three culprits:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The more saturated the indoor air is with VOCs (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, etc.), the lower the scores on cognitive function.
- Carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide levels were inversely correlated with workplace performance (lower CO2 levels improved cognitive function significantly).
- Poor ventilation. The more fresh, clean air was available to each worker, the higher cognitive function scores became.
Why Learn About Indoor Air Toxicity?
While much is now known about the ever-increasing toxicity of indoor air in North America and elsewhere around the world, it is not a particularly popular topic.
For starters, who wants to read about indoor air quality when they could be binge-watching Netflix instead? Also, the concept of toxic indoor air is scary. What you don’t know can’t scare you.
And, of course, once you do understand what is making your indoor air so toxic, then you have to add more to your to-do list, and those new additions may cost you time and money.
Unfortunately, like climate change and endangered species, the problems don’t go away when we ignore them. Often they just quietly get worse.
But this all stops when you decide to do something about it.
How Fast Will You Feel, Think, and Sleep Better?
In the study mentioned here, the impact of cleaning up the indoor air inside the building made a near-immediate impact on cognitive function.
Specifically, the test subjects went to work at 9 am and were tested at 3 pm. So after just six hours of breathing the indoor air, those subjects working in the enhanced “green” building delivered vastly improved test scores over those working in the conventional building.
This means that if you decide to clean up your indoor air this morning, by this evening your kids could already be doing better on their homework! And you could be designing a presentation to knock the socks off your boss and co-workers.
The results really do happen that fast.
Contact Clean Air Solutions for Help
Here at Clean Air Solutions, we are experts in indoor air quality. It is what we do, all day, every day. We can help you clean up your indoor air at home or work as fast as you are ready to take action.
If you need or want to know exactly what contaminants are in your indoor air, we can start by doing an indoor air quality test.
This silent, simple 72-hour test will deliver a detailed report highlighting detected toxins and levels. As a result of this test, many homeowners and companies have chosen to install carbon monoxide alarms, radon alarms, heat recovery ventilators, air filtration and purification systems, and other air quality helps.
From here, you can select one of our high quality indoor air duct cleaning packages. Right now and through January 31, 2017, choose any indoor air duct cleaning package and automatically get $50 off the cost of the service. Claim your discount by filling out our online form.