6 IAQ Tips to improve your Apartment/Condo air
Achieving healthy indoor air quality has become a priority for many homeowners across the country, especially those afflicted by allergies and asthma. People that reside in apartments and condos often assume they have less control over the quality of their indoor air because they share a ventilation system with other people that live in their building. While there may be some factors affecting overall air quality outside of an apartment dwellers control, there are measures that can be taken to improve home air quality.
Follow these IAQ tips for cleaner indoor air
Always turn on your hood vent when cooking and open a window if possible
Many apartments and condos have a smaller square footage than an average home. This means that fumes from cooking can build up indoors to severe levels quite quickly. The fumes from normal cooking contain both tars and high amounts of chemical compounds called aldehydes. Both of these indoor air pollutants are known carcinogens. Turn on your exhaust hood before you start cooking and leave it on for at least fifteen minutes after you have finished. Consider replacing an older ventilation hood with a newer more efficient model.
Use exhaust fans in bathrooms
When taking a bath or a shower, always turn on your bathroom vent. This will help protect your bathroom from humidity levels that encourage mold growth. Should you detect a musty odor in your apartment or condo, contact building management to alert them to this problem. Have leaky pipes, water leaks around windows and ceilings, and any other signs of condensation build-up investigated by a licensed professional. Building management should have ventilation systems cleaned and inspected regularly in an effort to prevent mold growth.
Limit use of household products containing chemical ingredients
Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners and products containing fragrances. Opt for cleaning solutions composed of natural ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda. Avoid buying furniture and flooring that can emit formaldehyde fumes. In a smaller space, the chemical fumes from these products can quickly reach dangerous levels that are harmful to your health.
Open Your Windows to Allow Clean Air Inside
Adequate ventilation will significantly improve the quality of your indoor air. Opening windows will allow some of the pollutants contaminating your air to dissipate while allowing fresh air in. Use a ceiling fan when weather prohibits you from opening your windows.
Purchase an Air Purifier
These purifiers are readily available in some home improvement stores and through online retailers, make sure the unit addresses chemical contaminants as well as particulates. For an a apartment, purchasing a portable unit will be your best option since you can move it from one room to another based upon your personal air quality needs.
Purchase a Home Air Test to alert you to harmful levels of air pollutants
Many indoor air pollutants cannot be seen or detected by smell. For peace of mind, test your indoor air to identify any potential threats. The only way to be certain that your indoor air is healthy and safe for you and your family to breathe is by having a professional analyze a sample of your home air.