Understanding Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

First things first, indoor air quality (IAQ) is precisely what it sounds like: the measure of the quality of air inside a building or other structure meant for occupation. It is widely known that our planet suffers from a significant amount of pollution, but this pollution isn't limited to the air we breathe outside our homes. In fact, studies show that the air we breathe inside our homes and other buildings, where we spend most of our time, can be anywhere from two to five times as toxic as outdoor air due to a variety of chemicals included in paint, cleaning agents, etc. 

From a feng shui perspective, indoor air quality affects the energy flow in your home. You want the most positive and supportive "qi" around you to support your health and livelihood.

Since, as I mentioned, humans spend the majority of our time inside, it is extremely important that we improve the condition of our IAQ. Poor IAQ can lead to many negative side effects including nose bleeds, asthma, upper respiratory irritation and much more. In addition to physical ailments, polluted IAQ can be very costly, whether in company terms, where it can cost in the form of employee compensation and negative publicity, or on a more personal level, which can lead to increased medical bills and purchasing of excessive products to eliminate symptoms. 

Fortunately, as with most environmentally unfriendly issues, there are ways to reduce the level of harmful substances in your indoor air and increase the quality of the air your family breathes. 

One of the easiest ways to increase your IAQ is by monitoring the chemicals that are used, and subsequently released into the air, in your home. Rather than using commercial, toxic cleaning supplies, try switching to non-toxic, DIY cleaning agents, as they provide a much cleaner, safer air quality for your home's inhabitants. Oh, and they're easier on the wallet. 

Another easy way to control the quality of your home's air is by ensuring that atmospheric conditions are optimal for human living, not life of micro-organisms. Keep humidity in the home between 30% and 50% by taking steps like venting your dryer outside your home, using a humidifier or air conditioner in the home and taking care not to overwater houseplants

Taking time to ensure your home is properly cleaned and free of dust particles and other tiny organisms will also help with controlling the amount of allergens in your family's indoor air. Mop often with just water or non-toxic soap to ensure that dust doesn't settle on hard floors, and vacuum on softer floors. Clear your indoor space by opening windows and letting in fresh air, and instead of harmful chemical air fresheners, try the naturally refreshing scent of lemon or other citrus peels (like orange, feng shui's favorite!). 

IAQ is becoming increasingly important as we face growing danger due to pollutants in our atmosphere. Bettering and maintaining a high quality for your family's home is as easy as changing a few patterns and trying new things. You have nothing to lose, except for allergens and ailments!

by Anjie Cho