Are you spending more hours at home than you did previously? – Very likely.
The pandemic has forced many employers to adapt, reorganizing their operations to facilitate work from home arrangements. As such air quality has come into sharp focus. Air quality has always been essential for optimal health. However, since you are spending a large amount of your time at home, improving the air quality indoors should be prioritized. An air purifier could be the perfect solution.
Why is air quality important?
If you have respiratory issues or allergies, you should certainly prioritize your home’s air quality. We know that your family’s health is uppermost in your mind during this pandemic and air quality is a good place to start. Good air quality can be categorized as follows:
- Contaminant containment
- Good ventilation – adequate air circulation
- Optimal temperature – temperatures that promote good air quality
Modern homes and indoor air quality
Air quality can be affected by several factors that arise in your home. As a result, your health can be compromised. What affects air quality can be divided into three groups:
1) Indoor environmental concerns
These issues affect your home environment:
Humidity – This factor affects your general wellness in two significant ways. If there is excessive moisture in the air (high humidity), you may notice an increase in your asthmatic episodes. If there is little moisture (low humidity), you may notice an upsurge of respiratory tract infections.
Inadequate air circulation – This is essentially when there is little to no airflow in the rooms of your house. This often occurs when there are not enough windows. This may happen if you live in a neighbourhood where it is impractical to leave doors open.
Temperature irregularities – Elevated temperatures can increase the risk of contamination in your home. The breathability of your air may be seriously affected.
Ventilation system problems – If your HVAC system has not been serviced in a while; your home’s air quality can be adversely affected. Additionally, the HVAC system may have unevenly distributed the air throughout the house. Another common issue is insufficient exhaust ventilation. Contemporary homes are particularly susceptible to this kind of problem.
2) Common indoor air contaminants
There are several air contaminants that can potentially affect your home. Below is a comprehensive list of air contaminants that directly affect healthy breathing.
– Aerial contaminants – perfume and tobacco smoke.
– Construction materials – formaldehyde, dust, fibreglass, asbestos and dust.
– Odours/Vapours – disinfectants, pesticides, cleaners, glue fumes, solvents, furniture, carpets, and paint fumes.
– Dust mites – certain fabrics, carpets, and foam cushions.
– Microbial contaminants – moulds, fungi and bacteria.
Now you have a pretty good idea about what may be affecting the breathability of the air in your home.
3) Inadequate outdoor air intake
There should always be a regular flow of air coming from the outdoors. Stagnant air increases the risk of allergens and contaminants.
Top 10 reasons to get an air purifier
We know that there are countless reasons why an air purifier would be a good investment for your home. However, these are our top picks.
Allergy sufferers know how overwhelming an allergy attack can be. It cannot be ignored. Aeroallergens usually cause the following symptoms in patients:
– Runny nose
– Itchy nose
– Itchy eyes
– Itchy throat
– Postnasal drip
– Nasal congestion
– Allergic shiners (dark circles under the eyes)
– Weepy/watery eyes
– Allergic salute (upward rubbing of the nose)
– Conjunctivitis/Pinkeye (Inflammation that causes crusty eyelids and puffy eyes.)
An air purifier will help ease your symptoms if you choose to get one. Air purifiers are a great investment for hypersensitive allergy sufferers since it offers added protection against brutal allergy attacks. Air purifiers are highly effective at removing harmful allergens from the air.
If you have allergies, you know that having a pet is sometimes extremely challenging. An air purifier makes having a pet possible. It cleans the air from dander. Dander, the term given to the dead cells from skin and hair) tends to accumulate in your home exacerbating allergy symptoms.
3. Respiratory problems
An air purifier is an excellent idea for those who suffer from conditions like asthma that reduces lung capacity. Attacks are often unpredictable. As such keeping the air filtered can minimize attacks and make the air significantly more breathable.
Microbes and various particulates tend to aggravate asthma and other respiratory complaints. As such installing air purifiers are highly recommended.
4. Newly constructed house
You should buy an air purifier if you move into a brand-new home. It will remove paint fumes and formaldehyde from the air allowing you to breathe with ease.
5. Smoker at home
If you have allergies and someone in the house smokes, it can be difficult. However, an air purifier can allow you and your loved one to exist in the same environment.
6. Construction being done in the neighbourhood
It is expected that there will be a lot of dust near construction sites in Singapore. Construction involves the use of heavy tools that constantly disturb the soil. Dust can aggravate sinus issues and cause watery eyes. These minuscule dust particles emanating from nearby construction sites can cause emphysema disease and other pulmonary complications.
Additionally, sand particles can cause physical damage to the lungs and respiratory mucus membranes if the exposure continues over a prolonged period of time. This type of injury can lead to infections and breathing difficulty. However, an air purifier will rid the air of these harmful particles once filters are replaced regularly and the device is maintained.
7. Water damage
Water damage in structures built with untreated wood and stone may be a haven for the growth of mould. Black mould also known as Stachybotrys is particularly harmful when inhaled. The spores can trigger severe allergic reactions. Additionally, this mould can also cause nausea.
The mould often grows in hard to detect places like inside walls and floorboards. From their hidden breeding ground, they release spored that infiltrate your home through the ventilation system. Your air purifier will remove mould spores from the air.
8. Babies and small children
If you have little ones, an air purifier should be on your priority list. Children do not have well developed immune systems as yet. An air purifier in your home can help protect your children from airborne diseases that may cause respiratory complications.
9. Home office
Working from home has become way more prevalent in Singapore as the pandemic continues to sweep the globe. What many people do not notice is that the fans in laptops and desktops produce fumes and dust. An air purifier will keep your air clean as you work, allowing you to focus on being productive.
All expectant parents want to give their unborn child the best chance to develop in a healthy environment. While it is important for an expectant mom to get optimal nutrition and supplements, it is imperative that she breathe clean air. Studies have shown that fetal growth can be affected by air pollution, namely second-hand smoke, cooking fumes and Pm 2.5 particles. If you are unfamiliar with Pm 2.5 particles, they are very small particles that are typically found in smoke. They are small enough to be inhaled into the lungs. If you use an air purifier, these particles will be removed, leaving you with healthy air that is beneficial to you and your unborn baby.
On an even more serious note, microbes such as Toxoplasma gondii have been known to cause developmental issues.
If you are pregnant, you should try to protect yourself from air pollutants as much as possible and an air purifier can be instrumental in this endeavour.
A suitable air purifier
When choosing an air purifier, you should be aware that portable air cleaners do have a cost attached. There is the initial purchase price and the maintenance cost to consider. Air purifiers need a constant supply of electricity. Severe allergy sufferers typically use their air purifiers constantly. As such it can be a bit expensive. Unfortunately, these expenses may put air purifiers out of the reach of some.
Air purifiers may not perform optimally in temporary or poorly built structures that have high air exchange. They may also be less effective in warmer climates where windows are generally kept open.
As such, while air purifier may be effective on a household level, it cannot protect an entire community where air pollution is prevalent. Especially, if there are vulnerable members among them. As such air pollution should be tackled at a national level and strategies put in place to reduce exposure across the board.
Nevertheless, air purifiers can offer relief on a personal level, especially if you can manipulate your home environment for optimal results.
As we all learn to navigate this new normal and the hours at home have increased, we urge you to pay attention to your indoor air quality. An air purifier is the perfect solution during these uncertain times. We encourage you to continue to take charge of your health and make the necessary adjustments as needed. We wish all to be healthy on the other side of the pandemic.