Many are concerned about the air quality in their homes. Not everyone has the option to live in a rural area with fresh air and little pollution. Some people live in busy neighborhoods or cities where there are air quality warning days several times a year and in peak seasons individuals are even told to stay indoors and out of the polluted air. Opening windows can and will allow these pollutants into the air you breath in your home. There are several things that you can do that will reduce the pollutants in the air in your home. There are always ways to monitor the levels of the air so you know exactly what the quality is in your home.
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What Can Be Done About These Pollutants In The House?
The first step in dealing with pollutants in the home is recognizing that they are present. As a home owner you must educate yourself in regards to each of the pollutants and what they risk factors they pose to you and your loved ones. The second thing you need to do is purchase an air quality monitor. Once you are aware of the quality of the air in your home you can then begin the process of re-mediating the problem and making your homes indoor air quality safe again.
Get To Know The Pollutants:
- Radon: Radon is a gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer and a test can be done on the soil around your home to determine if radon is present. Certified remediation specialists must be called in to determine and treat the presence of radon.
- Carbon Monoxide: Carbon monoxide is a gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. In homes one of the best ways to be alerted to this gas is via a carbon monoxide detector. These can be purchased at most big box stores or hardware stores and are easy to be installed. Monitors can run off batteries that should be replaced every 6 months or some units can be hardwired directly into the electrical system of the home. These detectors will go off when carbon monoxide levels increase or are present. It is also good to have a secondary air monitor to ensure your safety. Call the fire department immediately if carbon monoxide alarms begin going on if your home so they can locate the source of the leak and treat it or refer you to someone that can.
- Asbestos: Asbestos is more commonly found in buildings built before 1960. This toxic element can be found in floor tiles, ceilings, paint, drywall and cement. As far as detection goes a sample usually has be sent out to be tested. If it comes back positive it will need professional remediation. Asbestos fibers are extremely light weight and can hang in the air for two to three days if the asbestos is disturbed. Asbestos increases the risk of lung disease and cancer.
- Nitrogen Dioxide: Nitrogen Dioxide is commonly found in the air due to fuel that is burned off from automobiles and busses. This polluted air can cause pulmonary edema and diffuse lung injury. Many individuals suffering from over exposure to nitrogen dioxide will eventually develop acute bronchitis.
- Lead: One of the most common sources of lead in a home is from lead based paint that was used on the walls before 1978. Many times pediatricians and physicians will ask patients what year their home was built in. If the home is older and may contain lead based paint then a simple lead test will be performed to check for lead poisoning. The paint can chip and the particles can become airborne.
- Mold: Mold in a home is usually found in the air ducts. This happens when moisture gets trapped in the HVAC system and then is circulated throughout the home. The mold spores then become airborne and cause many upper respiratory problems as well as trigger allergies. A HVAC professional will be able to come out and inspect your unit for the presence of mold and dust. It is suggested to have your duct work and vents cleaned and sanitized yearly to cut back on these contaminants.
- Cigarette Smoke and Second Hand Smoke: There is no debate that smoking and vaping are bad for you. These addictions are also bad for those around you because they release harmful and toxic contaminants directly into the air that those around you are breathing. In many cases the second hand smoke can be worse than the first hand smoke. The smoke can also linger in fabrics and cause long term problems for those residing in the home. Smoke can cling to the walls, textiles and even wood within the home and require extensive remediation.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring chemical that is found in new construction homes. It is released from new carpet, textiles and wood. This wood could be in the form of new cabinets or flooring. Low percentages of it are acceptable in homes but an air quality detection monitor will be able to alert a home owner to levels that are unacceptable.
Is Formaldehyde Something Home Owners Need To Worry About In Their Homes?
There is always going to be some level of formaldehyde in a home. This is unavoidable. There safe levels and there are unsafe levels. Homes that will have higher levels are typically homes with residents that are smokers or new build construction homes. One big culprit in news homes is actually the wood products. Cabinets and flooring are notorious for having larger levels of formaldehyde.
Older homes will usually have lower levels of formaldehyde because they are not insulated as well as newer homes. Newer homes have higher quality insulation and this results in less movement of the air throughout the home. The only way the air is going to move well through newer homes is by utilizing whole house fans, ceiling fans and by opening windows and doors to allow fresh air into the space. Lower levels of formaldehyde typically will not bother homeowners but higher levels can irritate the eyes, nose, skin and throat. Often higher levels can also increase compromised breathing conditions like asthma and COPD. The key to knowing the levels in the home is to have a high quality air quality monitor to keep track of fluctuations in the levels present.
What Are Safe Levels Of Formaldehyde?
A value below 0.94% is considered a safe level of formaldehyde in the home. This level will typically go unnoticed and is present due to glues and chemicals within the home or even fabrics or new flooring.
What Are Dangerous Levels Of Formaldehyde?
Any read outs above 0.94% of formaldehyde in the home can cause negative reactions in people residing within the residence. Formaldehyde often can cause flare ups of asthma or COPD. It is important to have a working air quality control monitor in the house if you or a loved one suffers from these ailments. Knowledge of rising pollutant numbers will help you prepare and remediate the harmful contaminants. One way to remediate formaldehyde from the home is by utilizing a deep-bed activated carbon filter.
What Can Be Done To Limit Pollutants In The Home?
Removing harmful pollutants in the home involves cleaning and decluttering as well as being armed with technology to help you monitor the levels. One of the first things that can be done is to quit smoking. Smoking or allowing people to smoke in the home can increase levels of formaldehyde and increase the risk of cancer causing irritants in the air. Smoke is also a trigger for asthma and harmful for those with COPD.
Keeping your home clean will also reduce the pollutants that are laying around on surfaces and floating through the air. Establish a routine dusting and wiping routine. Keep all surfaces clean and even the blades on ceiling fans should be routinely wiped as well as any vents in the home. Crafting projects that involve paint, clue and other chemicals should all be performed in well ventilated spaces or outdoors if at all possible. Some air filtration systems can help to reduce air born contaminants that are less harmful. Properly clean bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens that could develop mold. Mold is a very harmful irritant.
Removing carpet will help reduce levels of formaldehyde in the home and will also cut back on dust particles that become trapped in the textile of the carpet. A dehumidifier should also be utilized in homes that have a higher humidity or air moisture factor. This will greatly cut back on the moisture in the air and increase the air quality.
The Best Air Quality Monitor for Formaldehyde – Reviews
Notable Features: 8 hour battery life, Multi-lingual, Sleep settings
This 1.1 pound air monitor is high tech and sleek. The design is egg shaped and it can be placed anywhere within the home. This monitor fits easily in the palm of the hand. The smart technology feature of this air monitor makes checking air quality a breeze. Homeowners can install the Kaiterra app and monitor the levels of their home even when they are away. This ultra-sensitive air quality monitor can easily pick up fine dust particles, humidity, chemicals and temperatures. The Kaiterra Laser Egg + is Wi-Fi enabled and connects to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
Notable Features: One button to turn the monitor on/off, Versatile and light, can be used in home, office, car or even outdoors
The Temptop M10 air quality monitor is a 4 in 1 quality monitor; it utilizes a laser particle sensor combined with particle swarm optimization algorithms to produce highly accurate readings. It is designed with 3 indicators for detection, a charging port, air vents and an appealing cube shape that fits into any decor style in the home. The display screen is large and easy to view. When you use the Temptop you do not need to worry about keeping batteries on hand. This monitor runs with a rechargeable battery that features a life of about 6 hours between charges.
Notable Features: Rechargeable and portable, Real-time readings, Alarm function, Easy to operate and understand with only 10 keys to utilize, 2 year manufacturer warranty
The IGERESS multifunctional indoor pollution detector is a sleek and handheld air quality monitor that can easily detect volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, humidity and temperature. This device has a clear and simple to read monitor that displays results on a colorful LCD display. The IGERESS is a portable and lightweight device that only weighs 5.6 ounces and it recharges easily with the provided USB cable. This air quality monitor will need to be calibrated before the first use and if it is stored away for more than three months it should be calibrated again. This monitor is best for individuals on the go that need a reliable air quality read out no matter where they are.
Notable Features: Ambient air is quickly drawn in due to the built-in fan – this results in more accurate readings, can be set to alarm and beep once certain value exceed default alarm threshold
The Sherry multifunctional air quality monitor is a hand held and easily portable air quality read out device. This monitor utilizes detection technology that uses air flow detection and displays readings on a colorful LED screen that is easy to view. It is built with a impressive 10-12 hour battery life due to the 3000mAn polymer lithium battery. The Sherry air quality monitor also has 4 high-precision sensors to monitor all indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, PM2.5 and PM10and. It will then provide real time read outs.
Which Is The Best Air Quality Monitor For Formaldehyde And Other Pollutants?
When it comes to picking between the four mentioned air quality control monitors it really does come down to personal preferences. Are you opting for a stationary unit as opposed to a hand held unit? If you want a piece that will set out in a determined location and run continuously then you will definitely want to consider the Kaiterra or the Temtop. The Kaiterra is a sleek round design that blends into any design and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The Temtop M10 is a clock like cube shape with a large display. If you enjoy tech then the Kaiterra is right up your ally with its smart technology that links directly to your phone or table. The Temtop M10 has simple button usage and is very easy to utilize. Rechargeable battery life is roughly the same for both of these units with a battery life of 6-8 hours.
Individuals that need handheld devices that are portable will most likely prefer to turn to the IGERESS Multifunctional Indoor Pollution Detector or the Sherry Multifunctional Air Quality Monitor. Both are ideal for pollutant monitor read outs. The IGERESS comes with a provided USB cord so it can be recharged as the battery life draws to an end and it also has a 2 year warranty. The Sherry multifunctional air quality monitor has a lifetime warranty and a 10 to 12 hour battery life due to the built in lithium battery.
There is not a right or wrong answer when it comes to selecting the right air quality monitor. The right answer is selecting to purchase one in the first place. Nothing is more important that monitoring the quality of the air in your home and making yourself aware of any contaminants that could be harmful. You simply need to select which monitor fits into your lifestyle and which features are most important to you.