As it goes with all technology for the home that promises to deliver life-changing improvements to everyone, you just can’t believe everything you read and hear. Any time you are getting ready to purchase much more than a pack of gum, it will always pay to do a little investigation to check out the facts behind the fluff. Lofty words do little to enhance the performance of any device, and buyer’s regret is likely to occur most frequently among the members of the population who are disinterested in spending time to investigate actual consumer reports.
Due to the nature of how most consumer reviews are provided, it’s always a good idea to check out the reviews of the same “thing” from a few different sources, just to make sure that what you are reading is authentically from consumers, and not a merchant.
Your home is your oasis, the place where you go to unwind and shed the cares of the day. You can dress in your most comfortable jammies, flop down on the bed or sofa to read, veg or catch up on all your DVR titles. After you are home and comfortably dressed, the point at which you lay your body to rest is when you probably fully exhale, for the first time of the day–after which you probably take a deep breath in, and go about the business of whatever comfort-activity you have chosen.
You probably never give a second thought to the fact that the act of breathing in the air cleaner of your “castle” may be doing you more harm than anything You may be surprised to learn that often it’s the indoor air cleaner, found in homes and buildings everywhere, that can actually contain more pollutants than the outdoor air–and even outdoor air cleaner in industrialized zones and big cities.
The average domicile hosts numbers of potentially harmful pollutants, upwards in the range of hundreds. And these unwanted pollutants are not necessarily from dirt and the likes. They can occur naturally in carpets, furniture, cleaning supplies and more.
Some Are Affected More Than Others
People who suffer from COPD, Asthma, and allergies are especially sensitive to irritants in the air, but other than that, unless there is someone in your home who is being adversely affected by the air cleaner quality enough to become sick, there is no reason for you to become full of fear. There are, however, some steps you can take to substantially reduce the risk potential within your home, and avoid future problems that could occur.
Obviously, all forms of indoor pollution were not created equal. There are health risks most often associated with air pollution, which are mostly calculated upon the actual levels of exposure, together with the amount of time of exposure. There is simply no way to completely avoid coming into contact with air cleaner pollutants during the course of a day. And while we have actually evolved to a point of developing a tolerance for low exposure levels, not everyone has the same tolerance capabilities.
When it comes to the average pollutants most frequently found in homes, studies show that you would have to inhale tremendously voluminous levels of these contaminants over an extensive period of time to ever suffer any life-impairing or long term adverse health effects. And even during periods when one or more otherwise healthy members of the family have been at home for the majority of their time, there was no resulting health risk.
Some pollutants, however, such as carbon monoxide, can be lethal. And Formaldehyde is one of the most prevalent air contaminants found in homes today. Formaldehyde is a common ingredient in cosmetics, glues and adhesives, fingernail polish, pressed wood products like furniture, shelving, and paneling. Also, insulation materials contain Formaldehyde, though we aren’t usually in direct contact with these, they are in our homes. Unfortunately, it’s colorless and odorless.
While the U.S. government regulates Formaldehyde content in products, the more items that contain it within a home varies. Among other common sources of Formaldehyde are Wallpaper, Permanent-press fabrics, and foam insulation. Formaldehyde is not the only VOC (volatile organic compound) in your home. VOCs are found in air fresheners, clothing that is dry-cleaned and even your tap water.
While VOCs are present in the air cleaner, everywhere, they are typically found in higher concentrations inside of homes and buildings. Elevated levels of VOCs can be detected in homes that have had rooms painted within a 12 month period, new carpeting, indoor smokers, and new furniture. Many products in common household use today contain benzene, methylene, and chloride, or trichloroethylene. Exposure to these contaminants can include irritation of the ear, nose, and throat. You may develop a headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, loss of coordination and rashes on the skin.
Occurring naturally in soil and rock, radon is a radioactive gas. It is found in well water and some buildings that are made of earth or stone. The radon in the soil is the worst culprit. It can enter a home through cracks in the foundation, gaps in flooring and openings around pipes. Once in a home, it gets trapped and builds up to dangerous levels in some situations.
Now we proceed to biological contaminants like dust mites, animal dander, mold spores, certain insects and pollen. Scary, isn’t it?
Get a Good Air Cleaner System
Also referred to as an air purifier, an air cleaner machine helps to remove irritants from the air. First, look for one with a good CADR (or Clean Air Delivery Rate.) This indicates the maximum amount of square footage that the machine will be able to handle, and how quickly it can remove the contaminants from the air. Make sure HEPA is a component, as a HEPA filter effectively removes the tiniest of particles from the air cleaner. Look for allergy and asthma-friendly commendations, which is relatively new, but on the increase.
Any air filtration system that boasts of delivering air cleaner, sweet-smelling air or generating Ozone should be avoided. Ozone is a known lung irritant.
Also Read: Selecting a Washer: Top Load or Front Load?