Read these 10 Air Filtration Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Air Quality tips and hundreds of other topics.
For those who use Air Cleaners to help with at-home cigarette smoke, there are some issues you should be aware of:
1. Air cleaners are generally effective at removing the particles found in tobacco smoke. This is a good thing, as one of the chief concerns is deep inhalation of such particles.
2. Some Air Filtration systems release scent into the air to mask odors, but some do not. You may discover that an offending ashtray smell lingers because of the odors from the cigarette ash is not being masked by the scented air.
3. Cigarette smoke odor is not caused by the particles removed by an Air Cleaner, it is caused by gases which may not be purified with your particular make and model of air filtration system.
If you still smell smoke when using your Air Cleaner, remember that the odor is not an indication of a bad air filter! When in doubt, clean the filter or replace it, but keep in mind these additional factors when it comes to cleaning up the air after a smoker.
Often times, the culprits for allergy symptoms can be found near the cat bowl or dog dish. Many people don't realize they have allergy problems related to pet dander. These allergy issues can lead to difficulty breathing, itchy eyes, runny noses, and many other symptoms.
Some people will assume that the cat, dog, or bird will have to go because of the allergens. Don't be hasty in such a decision. You may discover your allergies are mild, and treatable with a High-Efficiency Filtration system for your air. You can also use additional measures including keeping your pet out of sleeping areas, frequent pet baths to reduce dander, and other measures.
Pet dander can be irritating, it's true; with the right Air Cleaner, you can enjoy your pets and maintain healthy air in the home.
Your home may have caulked windows, doorways sealed to prevent drafts, plus insulation to help keep warm air in and cold air out. All of these can have the cumulative effect of also keeping allergens, fumes, and other lung irritants in the home as well. This is why air cleaners and air purification products are so effective; they treat the trapped air and help circulate fresh air all through the home.
In addition to the purchase of air filtration products, you can also get some expert advice from the American Lung Association in a publication titled, "Improving Indoor Air Quality: A Guide For Homeowners." Pay a visit to lungsusa.org for more information and a link to this important resource for homeowners who want to know more about the dangers of bad air in the home.
Did you know that new drapes are often treated with a formaldehyde-based finish? It's true; your drapes can emit irritating fumes for a time. You will need to be aware of your air cleaner's capacity for handling fumes, and operate it at a higher level than usual until you feel confident the fumes are gone. It's also a very good idea to air your new drapes outdoors or in a garage area to dissipate some of the odors. Once the new drapes are hung, make sure the area is well ventilated. A properly-rated air cleaner is perfect for situations like these, but if you are using portable air filters which can't handle fumes or vapors, you may need to air out the new drapes for a while longer before hanging. Check your air filter's owner manual to be sure.
Did you know that the installation of some kinds of cabinets could lead to air quality problems in the home for an interim period after the installation? Some pressed-wood products can emit formaldehyde vapors.
Pressed wood without a laminate or other coating can and do emit this vapor. Is your high efficiency filtration system designed to remove vapors? If you are relying on portable air cleaners or air filtration systems not rated to handle vapors, you should try to control the emissions as best you can while giving the area good ventilation. Try to keep moderate temperatures and humidity in the area where the new pressed wood is located, and consider purchasing an air filter that is rated to handle vapors for this situation, and others like it in the future.
Air filtration products are a huge help in the home, but you may be overtaxing them by not using the right filters in your furnace. Did you know your furnace filters may help reduce the amount of allergens and dander in the air? If your furnace uses replaceable filters, buy the filter with the highest efficiency rating allowed for your furnace system. Fiberglass filters may not be doing the trick. Instead, look for a product described as an allergen filter, or one that has a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value higher than ten.
Your air cleaner will do an excellent job purifying the air in your home, but you can make these systems last longer, and run with fewer filter changes simply by upgrading your existing replaceable furnace filter. When it comes to healthy air, it pays to get the most out of all your appliances.
Most people never give a second thought to the quality of the air in their home. Unfortunately, without an air cleaner you could be dealing with allergens, fumes from cleaning products, excessive dust, and more.
If you want to get a look at a governmental assessment of the air quality in your area, check out www.airnow.gov, which features local air quality forecasts for your state. This information alone could be enough to convince you of the need for a good air cleaner for your home or office! There are many ways to tell if you need air filtration, but one of the best is to pay close attention to how you feel after leaving home. If you feel poorly at home, but improve when away, chances are you have need of an air cleaner due to poor indoor air quality.
Sick building syndrome is a technical term for a tightly sealed building with small ventilation systems. These buildings are often the result of cost-cutting measures used in construction, and combined with the use of chemical cleaning compounds, solvents, and other lung irritants inside those buildings, the indoor air quality can pose a serious threat to cardiovascular health.
People take it for granted that a near perfect filtration system is not going to be installed in a sick building situation due to budgetary constraints or other hindrances. What can you do to help yourself in such conditions? The best thing you can do is to bring some kind of portable Air Filtration system to work with you. You may not be able to do anything about the overall situation, but your actions may raise the awareness level where you work. You could start a trend, and find that your coworkers all want better air, too. Some air filtration products are better than none at all.
If you have a gas powered oven or furnace, you must keep these appliances well maintained to prevent carbon monoxide leaks. While many high-efficiency filtration systems may be rated to handle chemical vapors, you should still invest in a good carbon monoxide detector for your home. Remember that filtration systems can be turned off, accidentally unplugged; a blown fuse can temporarily halt air filter products, etc. Don't take a chance with carbon monoxide. Have your gas appliances maintained regularly and invest in the detector. These measures, along with your air filtration products will leave you with great peace of mind.
Electronic air filters, near-perfect filtration systems, and other kinds of air filtration products can be a huge help in improving the air quality in your home, but even with these products there are still things you should do to improve air quality. Running your air cleaner at the recommended speed, duration, and placement for a home of your size should be a major part of your clean air plan; so should proper storage of cleaners, solvents, art supplies, and home improvement materials. Always tightly cap and cover paints, glues, and thinners. You may need to store some kinds of cleaning supplies in plastic bags to prevent spills, leaks, or vapors. Keep all poisons in their approved containers and under lock and key. Never put solvents into plastic or inferior containers; it's best to keep such materials in their original packaging. These steps, combined with air filtration, will go a long way towards easier breathing and a safer home.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|