The 7th Annual Housing Symposium, organized by non-profit association, The Active House Alliance, took place recently in Toronto, with a focus on how to make life healthier and more comfortable for Canadians. One topic that was heavily discussed was indoor air quality - a vital consideration, bearing in mind that most Canadians spend 90% of their lives indoors.
The air quality in your home can be worse than the air quality outside. If you exercise outdoors, especially near nature, you will get plenty of fresh air. However, maintaining the air in your home is still important as you spend at least a third of your day sleeping in your home or doing other activities. Staying active is part of a healthy lifestyle - but we have to keep in mind about the air quality as well.
Skylight company, Velux, was joined by architects, corporations, and Active House groups from across the globe. Participants gave vital yet simple advice on how to improve the air quality of the home while lowering your carbon footprint.
Ventilation Is Key
It is important to regularly open windows for at least 10 minutes per day - even in the winter. This is because homes have a plethora of items that emit gases regularly - including pressed wood furnishings, soft furnishings containing flame retardants, biological waste, and water vapor.
Bedrooms, in particular, should be aired out, because you probably spend seven to nine hours within this relatively small space every day. If renovation work is in order, try to accommodate new opportunities for ventilation. You may choose to add more windows, make existing windows larger, or add a skylight that can be opened to let in fresh air.
Damp And Moisture Should Be Limited
Dark, humid areas are breeding grounds for mold, which can have a big effect on your respiratory health and well-being. This is especially true for people who have allergies, asthma, and suppressed immune systems. Keep areas dry and light by allowing natural sunlight to make its way into as large an area of your home as possible.
To effectively remove mold spores without increasing toxin levels in your home, opt for natural solutions instead of chemical ones. Small amounts of mold between tiles and in shower spaces can be removed with hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, vinegar, or a mix of baking soda and water. Spray affected areas, and allow to dry, spraying twice to ensure no residual mold is left.
If you have various areas affected by mold-infested areas, professional testing is necessary. You will need to ensure that there are no structural leaks or cracks (and that your HVAC system is in working order) to tackle a major mold problem.
Reduce Your Reliance On Chemicals And Plastics
It is easy to keep your home clean without relying on bleach and other harsh chemicals. Floors, carpets, curtains, and other large surfaces can be effectively cleaned with a steam vacuum cleaner. Smaller surfaces and furniture, meanwhile, can be wiped down with natural sprays and DIY sprays made with clove-based therapeutic grade essential oils. Plastics should also be avoided because when they are warmed, they can emit fumes that are detrimental to human health.
The recent 7th Annual Housing Symposium put health first, emphasizing the importance of good indoor air quality. Canadians spend up to 90% of their time indoors, They should, therefore, give due priority to ventilation, natural light, and simple yet powerful cleaning methods that do not rely on chemicals.