Green Gizmos: How We Can Use Technology to Improve Air Quality
By Hannah Whittenly
Most people thinking about air pollution will automatically think of city smog or industrial emissions. You likely spend the majority of your time indoors, but that can mean poorer air quality. Especially when the house is sealed up to maximize the AC, your interior air could be accumulating lead, radon, mold, chemical vapors, pesticides, carbon monoxide, and more. Household contaminants cost the Australian economy about $12 billion annually in healthcare. Because of this, utilizing new technology is necessary to help us to maintain greener, cleaner air in our homes and businesses. Here is how:
Green Building Products
Using safe, low-emission products such as panels and insulation in your next home remodel can reduce these health risks. Green products are designed without the use of dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde and hydrocarbons, are low in particle and vapor emissions, and also severely limit the growth capacity of volatile organic compounds such as mold and bacteria.
Energy Recovery Ventilators
An ERV system recycles your indoor air through mechanical scrubbers or filters while adding fresh air from outdoors. This removes stale air and reduces the build-up of indoor pollutants. Note that these systems rely on several electrical fans to pressurize and circulate the air, and may add a little extra to energy costs. It can be well worth it to your family, as ERVs are an effective means of removing particulates and chemicals from household air.
Radiant Hydronic Heating Systems
Most modern homes rely on forced air systems for heating. The problem is that they are drawing in and pushing out the same stale indoor air, as well as adding any contaminants in the vents or ductwork such as dust infected by insect or pest waste. A radionic system heats the home by forcing hot water through pipes within the floor. The heat naturally radiates upward into the room. Radionic systems are fairly easy to install in either new or existing floors.
Clean Air Check-up
Before investing in new gadgets or technologies you should seek out the services of an air quality specialist, such as those from Stephenson Environmental Management Australia. With proper training and tools, they can identify specific contaminants you should worry about, and suggest ways to correct them that are the best fit for your lifestyle and budget. Expert analysis, monitoring, and regulatory observance can provide the most suitable and cost-effective means for your specific situation.
While using green cleaning products and materials can reduce the health risks significantly, modern technology provides solutions for better indoor air quality on a constant, reliable, whole-house basis. Hopefully, the above points has been insightful in showing you what technical measures you might want to take to improve your home’s air quality.