How to measure and improve air quality in two simple steps

Air pollution might make you think of industrial chimneys, traffic-clogged cities, and hundreds of planes, but air pollution is actually much closer to home than you might think.

In fact, studies have shown that the air quality inside your home can be up to 10 times worse than outside.

With the average person spending over 90% of their time indoors, you might be breathing in polluted indoor air for more than 150 hours every week. In the UK alone, indoor air pollution contributes to 9,000 deaths a year.

Our homes and offices are much better insulated now than in the past, which makes them more energy efficient but much less ventilated. This means stale air and pollutants hang about for longer.

Making sure that your indoor air quality is good has never been more important. But how do measure and improve your own indoor air quality?

What defines poor indoor air quality?

It’s not just homes and offices in big, traffic-heavy cities that are at risk from poor indoor air quality; it affects those in more rural, countryside areas too.

What’s more, it’s not just smog that makes for bad air quality. Pollutants can include dirt, dust, mould, bacteria, and viruses.

The British Lung Foundation classifies indoor air pollution as “dust, dirt, or gases in the air inside a building that harms us if we breathe it in”. Indoor air pollution can be caused by many things, including mould spores, damp, and even chemicals in cleaning products and paints.

What happens if you have poor air quality?

Air pollution is common and only becomes a major issue if it’s allowed to build up.

Some people may never experience symptoms, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t neglect proper disinfection and ventilation techniques.

Everyone is at risk from indoor air pollution, but especially children and people with lung conditions. Symptoms of extended indoor air pollution can include:

  • Dry throat
  • Cough
  • Feeling short of breath or wheezy
  • Itchy or runny nose

A build up of air pollution can be deadly, as we already mentioned that it contributes to 9,000 deaths a year.

How can you measure and improve air quality?

Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to measure – and then improve – the air quality of your home, office, car, or other indoor space.

You can measure indoor air quality using a VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) sensor, which is used to identify levels of various volatile organic compounds such as mould and damp.

To improve air quality, you should consider increasing your indoor disinfection. One easy way to do this is through UV light.

UV (or ultraviolet) lights are often used to improve air quality and to reduce the symptoms of allergies. Clinics and hospitals already use UV lights widely to help keep medical surfaces clean and disinfected.

The good news is that UV light is easily accessible for other applications, such as in homes and offices. You can, for example, install UV disinfection technology in your HVAC units.

Installing UV disinfection technology in your indoor air handler will kill microbes as they pass through the system. This is because UV light penetrates and kills viruses, bacteria, and mould from the inside.

To find out more about how UV technology can improve your indoor air quality, get in touch with us today.

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