Lifestyle

Examining the Quality of Residential Life Post-2020

Taking a closer look at our indoor environment in the aftermath of the pandemic.  

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Two years ago, we began 2020 like any normal year. We celebrated New Year’s Day, made resolutions, celebrated our loves on Valentine’s Day, started taxes, the usual. Then we woke up one day in March, and everything changed. A nightmare suddenly became very real for us. Next enters social distancing, mask mandates, vaccines, and remote work. Before we knew it, we were spending increasingly more time at home. Time has passed, and things are fortunately trending upward. But as we still spend a lot of hours indoors, our quality of residential life is a topic that should be explored.   

Could your home’s air quality be making you sick? 

Indoor air quality at home is something most of us overlook, rarely considering how much it can affect our daily lives. According to the EPA, pollutants indoors can be 2 to 5 times more concentrated than those outdoors. This is due to the change in materials used to build new residential living quarters. We’re now relying on synthetic materials which lack the mechanical ventilation necessary for proper airflow. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to a condition called Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). SBS symptoms can include skin, respiratory, and neurological system irritation. 

There are many invisible particles floating around in our home’s air that can affect our overall health and wellness, so we must make sure that we’re taking the proper precautions to protect ourselves and our families. The easiest way to start improving your home’s air quality is to make sure you use high-quality, pleated air filters and change them regularly. 

How to select the right air filter 

Many factors can increase the number of particulates in your air. A few things to take into consideration are the number of people living in your home, how many pets you have, and if anyone in your household suffers from asthma or allergies. The first step in finding the right air filter for your home is to select which MERV rating best fits your filtration needs by using the MERV rating system. 

“Changing your air filters is recommended at every 3 months but it is beneficial to change them more frequently if you have several people or pets residing. As you increase the number of living beings in the home, you raise the amount of airborne particulates.  Choosing a higher MERV rating, like a MERV 11 or MERV 13, offers the maximum level of filtration by capturing a higher percentage of the smaller particulates in your air.” says Cartier Kirby, NAFA Certified Air Filter Specialist and Vice President of Strategy, Compliance, and People at FiltersFast.com

In addition to changing your home’s air filters regularly, a True HEPA air purifier will help add an extra layer of protection. HEPA filters will capture by capturing 99.7% of all allergens including pollen, mold, bacteria, and other airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. True HEPA filters are most commonly used in hospitals and are not recommended for use in residential heating and cooling systems. However, thanks to filtration innovation, you can enjoy the benefits of HEPA filtration by investing in an air purifier with a True HEPA filter. 

Tips for selecting an air purifier

When selecting an air purifier, it is important to make sure that you select one that is appropriately sized for the room that it will be used in. Whether you are going to use it in your home gym, your kitchen, or your bedroom, before purchasing, make sure that you review the square footage capacity that is listed. 

How safe is your tap water? 

Each person, on average, uses 80-100 gallons of water per day. We drink it, clean with it, and bathe in it. As much as you use water throughout your daily routine, wouldn’t you want to know that your water is safe? 

Although the United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world, more and more cities are finding dangerous levels of lead in their water. Lead can result in physical and behavioral health effects in children even if their level of exposure is low. 

In addition to lead, there are also several common contaminants in your home’s tap water that can cause serious health problems. Chlorine is added to drinking water by municipal water plants to kill bacteria, viruses, and other micro-organisms that cause diseases. While the amount of chlorine added to drinking water does not have any traceable health effects, when you shower in chlorinated water, it is absorbed into your skin and vaporized, inhaled into your lungs, and transferred into your bloodstream. Over time, breathing in high concentrations of chlorine can lead to severe health problems such as fluid in the lungs. 

While it is the public water system’s responsibility to treat your water and make sure that it is safe, they are not responsible for making sure that it stays safe all the way to your faucets or showerheads. To ensure that you and your family have safe and clean water to drink, cook with, and bathe in, it’s important to make sure you have the right filtration system for your home and to change the filters regularly. 

The experts at FiltersFast.com recommend that you test your water with an at-home water test to see what kind of contaminants are in your water. Once you have the results of your water test, this will help you determine which water filtration system is right for you. 

Summary

The past few years have permanently changed the way we live and work. We must stay informed about the invisible factors that can affect our lives. Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to determine what we need to do to help keep ourselves and our families safe.

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