We Spend 90% of Our Time Indoors. What Does That Mean for Indoor Air Quality? - Ernst Heating & Cooling

We Spend 90% of Our Time Indoors. What Does That Mean for Indoor Air Quality?

A man sneezing into his elbox

Did you know that the average person spends 90% of their time indoors? That’s a lot, and it means that we need to be thinking more than ever about indoor air quality.

The study

Just to provide a bit of background information on the credibility of this figure, it comes from the study, The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): A Resource for Assessing Exposure to Environmental Pollutants.

So the study was actually done to assess how much time people spend indoors in order to see how MUCH they are being exposed to indoor pollution. One interesting fact is that the amount of time we spend indoors – whether at home, at work, or somewhere else – has remained pretty consistent over the last several decades. So, even though we spend a LOT of time indoors and, unfortunately, exposed to a myriad of uniquely indoor pollutants, at least we aren’t spending more time indoors nowadays than we used to!

Indoor vs. outdoor pollution

Your next question might be, “Even though I spend a lot of time indoors, isn’t the air inside my house safer and cleaner than the factory-polluted, car-polluted air outdoors?” Unfortunately, no! When it comes to outdoor air pollution, there are higher concentrations of pollutants like toxic gases and fine particles caused by industrial manufacturing. However, your indoor air will suffer from a bit of that leaking into your home … and also, many more sources of pollution coming from within the home.

Even though indoor air avoids to a great extent the chemical vapors and ozones coming from factories and cars, indoor air is polluted by household products, building materials, and furniture. For example, household cleaners and personal care products emit dangerous chemicals that stay trapped inside your home. Also, paint pigments and other synthetic building materials release toxins that remain in your home. Last but not least, even your furniture emits harmful organic compounds – from cabinets to carpets.

What can you do?

This is probably not what you wanted to hear about the quality of your home’s air! However, there are solutions. (Other than, just, “Get out of the house more, to drop that figure down from 90%!”) One solution is to have more indoor plants. According to a study done by NASA, many species of plants actually help clean indoor air pollution! For example, peace lilies, florist’s chrysanthemum’s, aloe vera, and bamboo palms get rid of formaldehyde and benzene lurking in your home!

However, despite how effective plants are, they only get rid of chemical vapors – what about odors and the dreaded germs? The Lennox PureAir™ system is a whole-home solution that doesn’t just filter fine particles that get in your lungs … or filter germs … or reduce chemicals … it does all three of those things, whereas most other air purification systems only do one or two! If you want to have a truly pure home, then you want to filter out 95% of fine particles down to 0.3 micron in size, and also filter out 99.9% of dust and pollen!

If you want to learn more about how whole-home air purification can protect your health and your family’s health in Hamel or the Metro East area, call Ernst now at 618.217.1836 or contact us online … Ernst puts you first!

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