The Importance of Indoor Air Quality & How Smart Home Tech Can Help
According to studies 96 percent of homes have at least one type of indoor air quality problem. More and more of a person's day is spent sitting indoors and as a result, the interest of the health effects of indoor air pollution are being uncovered. In our mission to preserve energy, homes have become very well sealed which is deteriorating the quality of air inside them. The sources of indoor air pollution comes in diverse forms, which include cigarette smoke, mold or mildew, formaldehyde (commonly found in carpets), pesticides, cleaning supplies, poor air ventilation and the list goes on.
There has been increasing concern over the effects of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) on our health as we are sealing the possible pollutants that come from an outdoor environment. There are considerable building design changes created to improve the efficiency of modern air quality. Along with also changing up some daily household habits, like switching to natural cleaning products and buying indoor house plants, smart home technology can immediately monitor IAQ.
The issue could be anything from low to high humidity, to household products or poor ventilation. Poor air can increase respiratory problems and those with allergies or asthma, usually develop symptoms of poor air quality. These issues are elevated as people are not usually aware there is a problem, and even when they are aware of allergy based symptoms, they are still unsure of the exact pollutant causing it!
How Can Smart Home Technology Help?
This is where air quality monitors can come into play, to track outdoor air quality and then provide accurate indoor readings for your home. This is then translated to measurements on a device, as well as being accompanied by an application downloadable on a smartphone. Once you can address there's a problem that's highlighted by the monitor, you can take action to reduce it, and some monitors go as far as triggering other smart appliances - such as a fan, dehumidifier, to immediately improve the air quality.
What You Need to Know Before You Purchase an Indoor Air Quality Monitor
Lots of IAQ monitor are not capable of monitor all aspects of indoor air quality, so it’s important to understand the top pollutants that could be causing poor air quality in your home before you purchase your smart home monitor, in order to pick the devide that suits you the most...
PM refers to atmospheric particulate matter of droplets in the air. Too much exposure to PM can irritate your nose, eyes, throat and even lungs. If you have existing issues such as asthma it can rapidly worsen. PM within the home can originate from sources such as outdoor exhaust emissions from vehicles passing by, or power plant emissions. Many indoor PM is emitted from cooking or burning fireplaces- this is where regular ventilation by opening windows is a must!
The humidity levels in the home need to be monitored as they become dangerous if they are too high or too low. You can get allergy-like symptoms if these issues aren't addressed and it can also cause structural damage to the house. Smart monitors can hugely aid the prevention of foundational cracks and poor insulation of the home through the winter months, meaning they will save you money on both house reconstruction and loss of energy.
VOCs or Volatile organic compounds are much higher within an internal environment rather than outdoors and can also health alterations. These are all commonly found in household products, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and hairspray. Formaldehyde is the most common VOCs and is found in carpets, furniture and building materials, and even if these products are stored they can still emit dangerous levels of VOC’s.
Long-term and short-term exposure to low VOCs causes similar irritations to PM, but also fatigue and nausea. The long term effects can cause more severe health issues such as respiratory irritation and liver damage.
When it comes to Carbon Monoxide, it can be very dangerous to not have a monitor in place to detect high levels being emitted. The gas is odorless, colourless and completely undetectable to the human eye and can even cause memory loss if you are exposed to it. Along with a smart monitor and standard carbon monoxide detector, high levels are not left undetected!
Now you have the knowledge of what to look for in IAQ monitors, take control of unpleasant particles, keep your lungs clean and find the most suitable monitor to rid your home of nasties here.