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Open a window to improve indoor air quality

Open a window to improve indoor air quality

January 16, 2013

It may come as a surprise to some, but indoor air quality can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental health concerns.

Where does all of this indoor air pollution come from? Building materials, furnishings, air fresheners, unvented or malfunctioning stoves, furnaces, paints, cleaning products, care products, pesticides, and more. Some of the most common pollutants are known cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde, allergens like dander and dust mites, and, according to a 2012 report by leading global interdisciplinary design firm Perkins+Will, 374 substances that are known or suspected asthmagens.

Given that people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, it’s important to do what you can to reduce indoor air pollution and protect your kids and family.

One of the simplest things you can do is open a window. Even if it’s chilly outside, you should open a window for even five minutes a day to significantly decrease the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home. Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house – compromising the air quality for you and your kids. So, open a window and start breathing cleaner air.