The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently shocked the world (not to mention all of North America) when it released the latest indoor air quality report.
Perhaps it should have been called “the lack of indoor air quality.”
The average home and workplace today is operating with an air supply that may be up to five times more toxic than the air just outside.
In this post, find out what is polluting your indoor air and how to fix it fast.
Questions That Confirm Indoor Air Toxicity
Unfortunately, just sniffing your indoor air usually isn’t enough to rule out toxicity.
The booming business of so-called air fresheners hasn’t done any of us any favours in this department – in fact, many of those products are contributing to the toxic chemicals in our indoor air!
These questions can help you identify some of the major culprits that are toxifying your indoor air.
- Does anyone in your home or workplace smoke indoors?
- Do you use a fireplace or wood stove?
- Do you have shedding pets?
- Do you see condensation on windows when it is cold outside?
- Does your indoor air dry out in winter?
- Does your home or office ever smell “off” for no specific reason?
- Do your doorknobs shock you when you touch them?
- Does your hair refuse to cooperate and your clothing cling to you?
- Do you use ready-made cleaning products, air fresheners, incense or candles?
- Does anyone in your family battle persistent allergies, asthma, colds or sinus issues?
Answering “yes” to just one of these questions is proof that you have toxic elements inside your home or workplace.
This is never good news, but there is a lot you can do to clean up your indoor air and protect your family’s and/or your employees’ health.
The 3 Keys to Indoor Air Quality
We realize that the rapidly evolving world of indoor air quality aids can be a confusing place.
There are so many types of purification and filtration devices, appliances to add back humidity and to extract humidity, ventilation aids to push air in and out of a space, and filters, filters, filters galore.
What really works? What do you actually need? What is the bottom line when it comes to cleaning up your indoor air quickly and completely?
There are just three components to improving indoor air quality in any size space. Those three components are source control, ventilation and elimination.
The term “source control” refers to what is permitted inside your space in the first place. For example, if somebody you live or work with smokes or vapes, this means that from now on, they need to do that outdoors.
Things get slightly more complicated if you have a furry pet that tends to shed. You can’t simply banish your loved one to the outdoors, especially in winter! But you can take steps to drastically limit the fur and dander that ends up covering pretty much everything.
When it comes to using so-called air fresheners, the best approach is to stop using them. You can substitute natural essential oils, boiling cinnamon and cloves on the stove, houseplants and natural citrus, all of which keep your indoor air smelling sweet without introducing any chemicals at all.
Switching from pre-made cleaners to all-natural cleaning supplies like baking soda, lemon juice and white vinegar further removes toxic chemicals from your indoor air.
While source control can drastically reduce the sheer volume as well as variety of airborne toxins coming into your home or workplace, it isn’t able to do a thing about sending the toxins already trapped inside back outside again.
For this, you first need a professional indoor duct cleaning service to remove all trapped toxins from your ductwork system. Once that is done, you need ventilation to ensure a steady supply of fresh air.
For ventilation, we recommend the heat recovery ventilator – an appliance so useful it is now mandatory in all new Toronto-area construction.
HRVs, as they are known, can work with your existing central (ducted) HVAC system. They “breathe” for your home, sending out stale, toxic air and drawing in fresh, oxygenated air.
HRVs also help balance indoor air humidity, which is especially essential in winter, and conserve heat energy to lower your winter heat bills.
While ensuring a steady supply of incoming fresh air from outside gives you more oxygen, it doesn’t mean that fresh air is toxin-free.
Quite the opposite – the EPA is very clear that our indoor air is up to five times more toxic than our outside air, meaning our outdoor air today is plenty toxic all on its own.
Add to that the impossibility of eliminating every new toxin that you (or your pet) generate from inside your space and what you end up with is a problem that is still only partially solved.
What you need is the twin team of indoor air filtration and ultraviolet purification – both are needed because they perform two separate tasks.
A HEPA indoor air filtration system can trap solid particulate toxins as tiny as 1/100th of a single human hair. HEPA systems are the same air filters used in hospitals and research laboratories today.
In contrast, an ultraviolet air purification system can neutralize gaseous and liquid toxins, changing their molecular structure to render them harmless.
With the combined might of these indoor air quality appliances, you can do more than imagine a world where you, your kids and your workers breathe clean, healthy air – you can actually have it!
Get in Touch
Are you ready to upgrade your indoor air? We can help!
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.