Since indoor air quality (IAQ) is closely tied to productivity, we are bringing you five ways to improve your home environment.
I have been managing my asthma my entire life. As a child, I spent many nights in the ER. Gasping for air in the middle of the night has become a consistent experience. The most alarming aspect of having an asthma attack is that it can be almost impossible to predict. I’ve learned to anticipate the awful dread that comes over me, while asleep, when I wake up in a panic as my body alerts me to the fact that I must do something because I am not able to inhale enough oxygen.
The Awair AQI Map Beta is a new feature in the Awair Home app that gives you a quick glance at the PM2.5 indoors and the neighborhood time-weighted averages outdoors. In the image below, the number on the top in the larger circle is the average outdoor AQI in your area. The smaller number represents the neighborhood average indoor air quality in the same area.
While it’s easy to visualize “air pollution” as images of cars idling or toxic gases coming out of smokestacks, the indoor environment can also be impacted in subtle ways. Since air quality is largely invisible, it’s crucial to monitor its effects at home and in businesses because pollutants can come from inside sources, such as household cleaning chemicals and upholstery polishes, or outdoor air can enter buildings and impact human health. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has said that “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.” Everything from aerosol sprays to building materials can play a role in releasing harmful byproducts that pose threats to health, safety, and comfort.
While it can be easy to view extreme weather events as only impacting the outdoor space, this is far from the truth. When natural disasters hit, they affect our indoor air quality (IAQ) and can increase the risk of health conditions. In fact, in 2020, “36 counties in Washington, Oregon, and California experienced very unhealthy air quality ratings due to particulate matter from wildfire season,” according to NPR’s analysis of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.
In these pandemic-stricken times, it’s paramount to stay healthy as we prepare for the end of the year. Doing so helps ensure that we can enjoy ourselves and see loved ones safely. One way to stay healthy during the holiday season has always been to ensure your indoor air, whether at home, school, or work, is optimized for health. Now, with the persistence of COVID-19 restrictions, monitoring your indoor environment is even more critical, as is following safety protocols from your local and state governments.
We know. It's difficult to believe the winter solstice and the holiday season are already here. Unfortunately, the cold season is one of the worst times of year for indoor air quality, either at home or at work. People huddle inside tightly-sealed buildings and trade ventilation for heating. This traps pollutants and moisture in, which is a recipe for bad air.
This year’s wildfire season is record-breaking. In the US, millions of acres of land and property have burned, with tens of thousands of people evacuated. In early October, the California Fire Department reported more than 15,000 firefighters relentlessly working to contain 22 major wildfires throughout the state.
Long-term exposure to high concentrations of fine dust – specifically a size of particulate matter known as PM2.5 – has been linked to increased COVID-19 mortality rates. This makes minimizing house dust in your home a particularly important step in reducing risk over time.
TFW you see an acronym you don't understand. We’ve all been there. For those new to indoor air quality monitoring, we’ve compiled a list of frequently used terms to help keep you in the know.
Are you working at home part-time or full-time? We’ve compiled a few air quality tips to help you stay healthy and productive.
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, more people are stocking up on hand sanitizer, staying home sick from work, avoiding unnecessary travel, and doing everything the Center for Disease Control (CDC) begs us to do every flu season with newfound dedication.