What are the elements that cause closed environments to lack purified air?

Why is it so important to have clean indoor air? Unfortunately, events such as COVID-19 have brought to light how limited preparation there is to face this virus and avoid its spread, since most of the population has been infected by air pollution in closed spaces. This is one of the main reasons why most companies and offices do remote work, because they don’t have air ventilation to ensure the cleanliness of the spaces. The same happens with establishments whose functions are based on the concentration of masses of people such as schools, gyms, senior centres, cultural centres, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Now, this is not the only problem when talking about air pollution, what other elements pollute our air?

In most cases, air pollution is rooted in construction materials (paint, floors), dust, mites, external air pollutants (pesticides, pollen), toxic agents derived from cleaning products, gases from stoves, and mould, among many others. Moreover, we are transmitters of pollutants through particles from our hair, body, and clothing that we carry on from the outside. The same happens with pets, who are major transmitters of external particles.

Check out the following recommendations to improve your clean indoor air.

1. Install an air purifier

This is our star tip as it is the most efficient and recommended to have clean indoor air, not only for those who suffer from allergies, asthma and other respiratory diseases, but to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in enclosed spaces.

It should be noted that, given the magnitude of the virus, many of the daily activities have been put on stand-by due to the few tools that companies/offices/establishments have to ensure a place of clean air free of viruses and bacteria.

It should be noted that not just any air purifier will do, but one equipped with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, capable of trapping micro particles of up to 0.1 microns without spreading them throughout the environment, purifying up to 99.97% of harmful air particles in closed spaces.

2. Ventilate

This simple habit consists of opening windows daily, regardless of the season of the year, to circulate new air in the spaces for a minimum of five minutes and a maximum of ten minutes.

The recommended is to do it when there’s a low concentration of pollen, such as morning and evening.

It is important to understand that indoor spaces have, in most cases, a higher concentration of air pollution than outdoor spaces due to the low circulation of purified air. Another recommendation is not to overheat, since the adequate average temperature should be less than 22º C. This way, you can have a perfect clean indoor air to live in.

3. Avoid indoor humidity

In most cases, humidity is generated when closed spaces lack ventilation, that is why areas such as bathrooms and kitchens are the most prone to suffer from it due to the high levels of humidity concentrated in these places. Another cause is heating, which use generates mould if there is an interior condensation of more than 60%.

Therefore it is common for mould to appear on ceilings, wall corners and window edges. Some options to clean these fungi are to disinfect with baking soda and water and/or fungus removers.

However, it is more effective to have an air ventilation system in the kitchen and bathrooms to achieve clean indoor air.

4. Indoor plants

In 1989, NASA commissioned a study to determine which plants contribute to improving air quality. Among the options, the study suggests choosing from the following plants: Bamboo Palm, Potus, Spathiphyllum and the Rubber Tree.

Now, how is it possible that plants help purifying the air? This is because they filter pollutants such as benzene, ammonia, xylene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. Through photosynthesis they absorb carbon dioxide and expel oxygen, while humans do the opposite: they breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Since carbon dioxide in excess is not good, this feedback generated by plants generates a balance of clean air.

This option is ideal to add them in any space because in addition to clean indoor air, they decorate with an eco style and natural tones.

5. Essential cleaning

It is important to clean the enclosed spaces thoroughly and daily. This requirement is essential when combating dust mites and concentrated dust, taking into account that most of them are accumulate on carpets, sofas, bedding, daily clothes and furniture. It is highly efficient to use a hoover to clean the floor instead of a broom as the latter spread the dust around the place.

Other methods include sprinkling baking soda on carpets, leaving it to act for a couple of hours and then vacuuming thoroughly, as well as cleaning the filters of air conditioners or heaters, since they often concentrate particles inside them. Additionally, in case there are pets indoors, cleaning is extremely important since they spread hair, dander and microbes that are transferred to the home, and more precisely to places where they lie down.

Our responsibility

Claro está que podemos hacer mucho para purificar el aire que respiramos. Actualmente, hay una gran variedad de opciones para limpiar el aire de espacios interiores, desde incorporar pequeños hábitos hasta adquirir un purificador de aire. En cualquier caso, lo importante es tomar en cuenta cuan relevante es el aire contaminado en nuestra vida cotidiana. Hoy la excusa es el COVID, pero también lo son el aire contaminado, los alérgenos y otras partículas que transferimos. Una gran variedad de opciones existen cuando se trata de mejorar la calidad del aire.

Garantizar un espacio de aire limpio en el hogar y otros espacios puede reducir altamente los efectos a largo plazo de la contaminación del aire, por eso es tan importante asegurarlo.