CINCINNATI -- Would you ever have guessed the air inside your home can be far more polluted than the air outside? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s true: Indoor air quality is usually between two and five times worse than outdoor air.
How could that be? Brian Arlinghaus, owner of Arlinghaus Heating and Air Conditioning, said it’s all about lack of circulation. When you keep your doors and windows tightly closed -- to keep the heat in or out, depending on the time of year -- the chemical byproducts generated by activities like cooking, cleaning and burning candles don’t have a chance to leave. Pollutants build up over time, layer upon layer, and dust and mold can accumulate in airless spaces.
“It’s all trapped inside,” Arlinghaus said. “Those pollutants within the indoor air affect the human body.”
With this in mind, Arlinghaus said it’s no surprise asthma rates have steadily risen among Americans since the turn of the century.
Luckily, he said, it’s easy to improve the quality of your indoor air. Here are some tips for making sure the oxygen you’re breathing is actually -- well -- breathable.
- Open your windows. Shocking, right? There's no better way to circulate air, getting the stale out and the fresh in.
- Replace your air filter regularly. It can be easy to forget, but swapping out your filter every six months can make a big difference.
- Moderate your use of candles and plug-ins. They'll make your home smell nicer, but they do so by releasing chemicals into the air. You don't have to stop completely, but it's a good idea to be mindful of how much and how often you're using.