Does Closing the Windows Affect Indoor Air Quality?

What’s in the air you breathe? Outdoor air can cause allergies and respiratory issues due to pollutants and allergens. You might experience coughing, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, a runny nose, a scratchy throat, and sneezing. 

The most common sources of outdoor air pollution are combustion from burning fossil fuels,  industries, and motor vehicles. Outdoor pollution sources also include bushfires, dust, mold spores, and pollen. 

Other research notes the following causes of outdoor allergies:

  • Grass pollen: This is the most common allergy responsible for hay fever. Grass allergy peaks during late spring and gets worse between April and June. 
  • Mold: This grows in compost piles and on fallen leaves, grains, and rotting logs. Mold spores can be released into the air where people can breathe and cause sickness. This is common all year round but especially thrives in moist, damp environments.
  • Tree pollen: Trees release pollen into the air that many may be allergic to. And because it’s often blown around in the wind, it easily finds its way into people’s eyes and noses at longer distances. 

When to Have Your Windows Opened and Closed

Research notes that Americans, on average, spend about 90% of their time indoors where concentrations of pollutants can be two to five times higher than outdoor levels. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy level of indoor air quality. One way to do this is to know the right time to open your windows since the air outside can affect the air inside.

Opening your windows may provide natural ventilation. But it’s not always the healthiest option as it can bring in outdoor elements that can affect indoor quality. You can keep your windows open if:

  • Things are getting too humid, moist, and steamy from showers, laundry, or cooking. This is particularly common in small homes or those with poor ventilation. 
  • You notice a musty smell from your indoor air that may be caused by mildew, mold, and other fungus problems.
  • You’ve had home improvements done. Construction materials can emit chemicals that can be harmful to indoor air quality. 
  • You are staying at home late in the evening and early in the morning when it’s cool. 

On the other hand, you should close your windows if:

  • It’s cooler inside than outside.
  • The outside air is so humid that it can create a breeding space for dust mites and other allergy-triggering particles.
  • Smog or wildfire smoke levels are high in your area.
  • You are prone to seasonal allergies, wherein a dry, air-conditioned environment suits you better. 

5 Other Ways to Prevent Dangerous Particles from Coming Inside

Opening and closing your windows at the right time are helpful ways to minimize indoor pollution. There are also other ways you can prevent dangerous particles from coming inside your home. 

1. Don’t Walk Inside with Your Shoes On

This may be obvious, but it’s one that many tend to overlook. As you go exploring the outdoors, your shoes are exposed to different elements — dust, mud, soil, and the like. You might argue that you wipe off your footwear before entering the home, but most particles don’t come off completely. There might be more than 410,000 units of bacteria on the bottoms of your shoes.

That’s why it’s essential to take off your shoes before walking inside your home. Place a shoe rack near your door where you can leave your footwear. Alternatively, take them off and clean them outside before bringing them into your home.  

2. Set Your AC to Recirculate

Your AC unit circulates, refreshes, and cools down the temperature indoors. However, it also dehumidifies indoor air – which means it’s removing moisture. 

As a rule of thumb, the ideal humidity for indoor air is between 30% and 50%. If the percentage of humidity level in your home is off, it can lead to the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and mold. Worse, it can become a breeding space for unwanted viruses. 

Setting your air conditioning to recirculate air with a healthy humidity level helps avoid this. Quality AC units also have filters that can capture particles like allergens, dust, and pollen as the air passes through. 

Be sure to change your AC filters regularly. And when necessary and at the right time, crack a window or keep a door open (after you shower or while cooking) to let some moisture out. 

3. Pay Attention to Your Pets 

Another important way to prevent dangerous particles from coming into your home is by grooming your pets regularly. Comb your pets on a consistent basis to cut down on the dust, dander, and hair in your home. Depending on their breed, consider using a de-shedding tool.

It’s also best to wipe off their feet before they enter the house to minimize the outdoor particles coming into your house. This is particularly important when you come home from walks in the park, playground, and other outdoor areas where they may have caught dust, soil, feces, and other particles on their feet. 

4. Mop and Vacuum Your Home Regularly

You may not always see and smell it, but your home has countless items that house germs — carpets, chairs and tables, floors, rugs, and towels. High-touch surfaces in your bathroom, dining area, living room, kitchen, and other common areas are also thriving spaces for unwanted particles. 

That’s why it’s crucial to clean your home regularly. Vacuum carpets and mop floors at least once a week. Wipe down high-touch surfaces like countertops, handles, and knobs every night. Swap out kitchen towels once a week (or more frequently if you’re handling fresh produce or raw meat). Be sure to also disinfect your bath, shower, and kitchen at least twice a month. 

Additionally, avoid household cleaning products that contain toxic ingredients as these may worsen the air quality in your home. 

5. Get an Air Purifier 

An air purifier is one of the best ways to stay protected in your home. Choose a purifier that captures airborne pathogens, allergens, bacteria, harmful chemicals, and mold spores. The best quality air purification system also protects you from odors, product fumes, smoke, viruses, and other volatile organic compounds

While you can’t control outdoor air, an air purifier takes control of the air you breathe inside.

How Sans Air Purifiers Can Help You

Sans air purifiers utilize a three-stage air filtration process and UV-C light to provide you with optimal protection for your indoor air. 

First, the pre-filter traps large dusts, particulate matter, and pollutants. Next is the medical-grade HEPA-13 filter. The type of filter is capable of capturing minuscule, almost-invisible allergens, microparticles, and pathogens lurking in the air. Then, the activated carbon filter works to neutralize harmful chemicals and volatile gasses commonly emitted by home or personal care products. To cap it off, the UV-C light helps everything that has been trapped to ensure it won’t grow and come back. 

With our four-step process, you’re assured that you and your loved ones breathe clean, healthy, and pure indoor air. 

Improve your indoor air quality with Sans air purifiers. Shop today and start feeling the difference. 

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HEPA 13 + UV-C + Activated Carbon Air Purification

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