Do you know what’s floating around in your air?
Your Home can Provide Good Indoor Air AND Life Quality
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “indoor air pollutants is estimated to cause thousands of cancer deaths and hundreds of thousands of respiratory health problems each year.” On average, most people spend about 90% of their time indoors and the air quality within the walls surrounding those people is proving to be more dangerous than the pollutants outside. Overtime, this could lead to poor life quality. Read on to find out what may be floating around in your air and understand why every Kaizen Homes house is built with this health component at the top of our priority list.
Indoor Air Pollutants
First of all, no matter the type of dwelling (apartment, house or condo) you live in, its made with industrial materials. That means contaminants, whether physical or biological are contained within those materials. Some examples of contaminants are formaldehyde released from wood products, dust mites, off gasses such as volatile organic compounds (VOC) found in paint, carbon monoxide from appliances, and radon. These contaminants, if not controlled and taken into consideration during building and remodeling, can cause major health problems for people and their pets which ultimately causes…you guessed it! Disruption and less than optimal indoor air and life quality.
Not to mention, humans have the greatest impact on and contribution of toxins to our indoor environment daily because we are simply living in these places. Due to the use of products such as air fresheners, chemical cleaners and habits such as smoking or burning candles. Even cooking gives off gasses that can be detrimental to indoor air quality.
Assessing Your Own Home’s Air Quality
Our builder at Kaizen Homes recommends considering these variables when assessing the quality of your own home’s air:
- Do you live near a highly urbanized area or city with high pollution?
- Do you or the other occupants of the home get sick often especially respiratory type illnesses?
- What is the age of the home?
- Has your home been recently renovated therefore exposed to contaminants from building materials and other outdoor allergens?
- What is the possibility of radon?
- Has the home ever had problems with mold or moisture control?
- Do you have an attached garage?
The best way to get an accurate account of the air quality in your home is to consult with a professional or use a service such as the Green Gauge from Green Built Alliance in Asheville. There are also test kits available online or at home improvement stores for measuring contaminants such as radon, mold, and VOC’s.
Minimizing Off Gassing and VOC’s in the Air
Change air filters throughout the home on a regular basis. Make sure to buy the best air filters possible as these pick up more particles especially teeny, tiny particles that cheaper filters will not pick up.
If the outdoor air quality is good then open the windows for a few hours to get some fresh air in. Do not do this during high allergy season, during fog or smoky days.
Use house plants. Plants offer beauty, a touch of nature indoors and filters the air at a low cost. What a perfect combination!
Consider upgrading exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom. Every Kaizen Home has constant fresh air flow throughout. There are a number of great products offered in the building industry that provide this component which functions to improve indoor air quality. Look into using energy efficient exhaust fans that are silent and continuously ventilating with no sound or disruptions like this one.
Installing new flooring or walls? Leave those materials outside covered (avoid any moisture exposure) if possible. This will allow off gassing to occur before installation and hopefully decrease exposure to any unwanted gasses or VOC’s.
By making the choice to perform minor upgrades around the home with energy efficient products, introducing house plants in the design, using low VOC materials and maybe even inviting a green building professional for an assessment you can minimize contaminants floating in the air. Mindfully designed and constructed homes can make your home greener resulting in better air AND life quality. And that, my friends is what Kaizen Homes calls a good space for living.