indoor air quality (IAQ)
is a major issue for our health and well-being. As we spend most of our time indoors, it’s essential to adopt simple everyday gestures to improve the quality of the air we breathe. In this article, we’ll explore different ways of contributing to better IAQ, focusing on everyday gestures. By taking these steps, we can create healthier indoor environments for ourselves and our loved ones.
1 – Ventilate buildings daily
One of the first steps in improving Indoor Air Quality is to ensure adequate ventilation in our indoor spaces. Regularly opening windows to allow fresh air to circulate is essential. This renews indoor air and reduces levels of pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Here are some concrete actions you can easily take:
- Air living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms for 10 minutes each morning and evening;
- Clean the VMC vents every quarter and have them checked regularly by a professional;
- Do not block grilles or extract units.
2 – Use eco-friendly cleaning products
Common cleaning products can contain harmful chemicals that can affect Indoor Air Quality. Opting for ecological and natural cleaning products is a healthier alternative. They are generally made from non-toxic, biodegradable ingredients, reducing the amount of chemicals present in indoor air. Avoiding artificial fragrances and air fresheners can also contribute to better air quality.
Discover our tips for avoiding pollutants :
- Use as few different products as possible;
- Choose labels (Ecocert, NF, Nature et Progrès or Ecolabel);
- Choose natural, unprocessed products (white vinegar, black soap, baking soda, lemon, etc.);
- Avoid cleaners with “danger” pictograms, those said to be overpowering, bleach, sprays and aerosols;
- Use electrostatic or damp textiles to avoid resuspending dust;
- Maintain wallpaper, rugs, carpets, sofas and other textiles regularly.
3 – Check the humidity of your structure
Maintaining the right level of humidity is crucial to good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Too much humidity can encourage the growth of mold and bacteria, while air that’s too dry can lead to respiratory problems and irritation. Using a humidifier or dehumidifier as needed can help maintain optimum humidity levels in our interiors. It’s also important to repair water leaks and air bathrooms and kitchens regularly to prevent moisture build-up. A balanced relative humidity level is between 30% and 70%.
For a healthy building, the following actions are necessary:
- Removing traces of mould;
- Ventilate after a shower, during or after cooking, and turn on the hood while cooking.
4 – Eliminate the main sources of pollution
Identifying and eliminating sources of pollution is an important step towards improving Indoor Air Quality. Common pollutants such as cigarette smoke, construction chemicals, floor coverings and furniture, as well as combustion products, can all contribute to deteriorating indoor air quality. By limiting or eliminating these sources, we can significantly reduce the presence of harmful pollutants in the air we breathe.
To eliminate the main sources of pollution, you can :
- Do not smoke indoors, even with the window open: pollutants remain in the air and are absorbed by the room’s textiles, then gradually released;
- Choose second-hand or solid wood furniture;
- Ventilate in the event of an unpleasant odor, and avoid scented candles, incense or home perfumes, which are sources of VOC emissions.
5 – Embellish your home with depolluting plants
In addition to providing a decorative element, introducing depolluting plants into our interiors can also be beneficial. Plants naturally absorb atmospheric pollutants and help improve air quality.
De-pollute your home with plants in just a few simple steps:
- Avoid insecticides and pesticides and use natural methods instead;
- Change the potting soil, as mold can accumulate in it;
- Avoid allergenic plants (pollen, grasses).
Improving indoor air quality is an ongoing process that requires the adoption of simple but effective everyday gestures. By properly ventilating our indoor spaces, using eco-friendly cleaning products, controlling humidity, eliminating sources of pollution, using air filters and depolluting plants, and educating others about the importance of IAQ, we can create healthier indoor environments and preserve our long-term well-being.