When most people think of pollution they tend to think of the outside air, but the air inside your home can also be polluted. And when air inside your home is polluted, such as air in your home office, it can be a major problem because you spend a good deal of time there. If you don’t improve the quality of air inside your home/office, it can be an invisible killer.
Indoor air that has become polluted contains particulate matter and chemicals like arsenic and even metals like lead. When you are exposed to these microscopic particles in the long term, it can trigger asthma and increase your risk of developing health complications, such as lung cancer.
The air inside your home can become polluted from dust accumulation, fire-retardants, radioactive gaseous element like radon and chemicals that are found inside household cleaners. You can also get chemicals and pollutants in the air from new furniture, carpet and when you paint the walls.
Pets are other major contributors to air pollution. Most people don’t realize it, but even if you don’t have pets in the home there is a good chance that you still have pet dander. People that do own pets carry this dander around on their clothes, and it falls off them throughout the day. The dander can easily find its way onto your clothes and home.
Exposure to poor quality air in the short term can cause breathing problems, dull the mind and negatively affect your productivity – especially true if you have a home office and regularly work from home.
It's scary to think about it, but all these indoor pollutants can adversely affect your health. Younger people, people with allergies, individuals with asthma and the elderly might start displaying poor health symptoms right away. However, it might take years before other individuals start showing signs of exposure.
Fortunately, there are several different methods you can use to tackle these pollutants. Here are some of the easiest and most effective ways to improve the air quality in your home, office and other buildings.
Even if you clean your home office on a regular basis, there is a good chance that there is some hidden dust hiding somewhere. Maybe it is behind the bookshelf, maybe it is in your ductwork or maybe it is in your carpet. Whatever the situation is you should know that chemicals and allergens could accumulate in household dust for decades. One great way to tackle this is by using a vacuum cleaner and thoroughly vacuuming the home office. However, not just any old vacuum cleaner is going to work. You want to make sure that you use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate arresting) filter. This is the same type of filter that air duct cleaners use when they come out and clean your vents.
Mopping is also a good tactic to practice after you have performed a good thorough vacuuming. This is especially true if your home office uses hardwood flooring. Microfiber mops and dust cloths are fairly new to the market and can pick up any dust that the vacuum cleaner failed to capture. Even if you have wall-to-wall carpet in the office, taking a cloth and wiping down the furniture and walls can help. You don’t even have to break out all the chemicals and soaps. Just a simply cloth and water can capture whatever allergens and dust particles that are lingering behind.
Now that you have thoroughly cleaned the home office, you want to make sure that it stays clean. One good way to do this is by placing a floor mat at the door to the home office. This mat will greatly reduce the amount of dirt, pollutants and allergens that enter the office. Even if every individual that enters the offices doesn’t wipe their feet, this mat is going to capture a lot of the pollutants for their shoes.
If your home office had pollutants and allergens, there is a good chance that the rest of the home has as well. When the heating and air system comes on, it actually sucks and blows. This means any pollutants or allergens that are/were in the home office are sucked through the vents and distributed throughout the home. However, don’t worry because air duct cleaning companies can help to eliminate all these pollutants and allergens by performing an air vent cleaning. When a cleaning company comes out to perform a vent cleaning, they will hook up a large HEPA vacuum cleaner to your HVAC system. The vent cleaners will then clean out each vent in the home that coordinates with the unit that they are cleaning.
When an air duct cleaning company comes out to your home to perform a vent cleaning service, ask them about IAQ products that they offer. Most companies will offer HEPA filters and UV (ultra violet) lights. A HEPA Filter will be installed in-line with your ductwork and it will replace your one-inch filters. This HEPA filter is usually around 8-inches thick and usually only needs to be changed once a year. A UV light, on the other hand, will be installed inside the HVAC system and it will kill out any mold or allergens that build up on the coil of the unit.
Another great tip is to introduce indoor plants into your home office, such as Jade (Crassula ovate), African violet (Saintpaulia) and peace lily (Spathiphyllum). Plants help to brighten up your interior décor, naturally remove air impurities and keep your home office smelling and looking fresh. Better yet, plants can add a focal point to your work environment and inspire creativity, focus and peaceful contemplation.
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by Hugh MacLeod
Ever wonder what it really takes to make a living as a creative person in today's complicated world?
MacLeod presents some witty keys for creative success, including "ignore everybody. Why should you "ignore everybody"?
Because, he writes, nobody else can tell you whether your idea is worthwhile. People can give you advice, but at the end of the day, it's your decision. The more original an idea, the less helpful the advice is going to be.
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