How Indoor Air Pollution Works

Indoor-Air-QualityThe air we breathe leaves much to be desired. Coal plants belch harmful CO2, 18-wheelers spew filthy exhaust and cows add methane to the mix. Sometimes just looking out your window at all the pollution may be enough to make you shun the outdoors.

But what's inside may be even worse. Indoor air pollution, the degradation of indoor air quality by harmful chemicals and other materials, can be up to 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution. This is because contained areas enable potential pollutants to build up more than open spaces do. You can easily visualize this if you think about dumping a gallon of oil into the ocean versus dumping a gallon into your bathtub.

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Clearing the Air in Your Home

indoor-air-pollution-4Air cleaning devices such as mechanical filters, electronic air cleaners, and ion generators can help improve indoor air quality. However, alone they cannot assure adequate air quality, and should be used in conjunction with chemical reduction strategies and proper home ventilation. The effectiveness of air cleaners in removing pollutants from the air depends on the device's efficiency and the amount of air it handles.

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Improving Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

indoor-air-pollution-1According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air is often more than 10 times (and sometimes more than 100 times) more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air pollutants contribute to asthma as well as other respiratory conditions and diseases. Indoor pollutants include VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from offgassing building materials, paints and finishes, and furnishings; other toxic chemicals emitted from cleaning products, pesticides, and hazardous household supplies; mold, which grows on moist materials and surfaces; carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide gases, which can be released from gas-fueled combustion appliances; particulates from wood-burning fireplaces or cars running near the house; tobacco smoke; as well as asbestos, lead, and radon.

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Vaulted Ceilings: It's All about Space

DSC 0049More so than other design features, the benefits and drawbacks of choosing vaulted ceilings for your home are clear, immediate, and readily anticipated. Everybody tends to love the effect of a more open living space and the compliments it inevitably solicits. Yet, the increased volume makes heating and cooling more difficult and can often dramatically increase energy costs. This is why the desire for open space and the fear of its practicality can make the decision to install a vaulted ceiling a difficult one.

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The Advantages of a Vaulted Ceiling

Vaulted-Ceiling-2Dating back to the middle ages, vaulted ceiling design mimics that of Roman cathedrals. Integrating this dramatic feel into your home enhances both your space and your psyche. Often vaulted ceilings combine timberframe construction, giving your home a rustic feel and antique look. Although the cost of heating your increased space may be elevated, weighing this factor against the gained benefits is an integral part of the architectural phase.

Appearance

No doubt a vaulted ceiling gives a room a magnificent feel. The pleasant appearance of the ceiling's central high point, combined with the sloping roof line, renders a ski lodge ambiance.

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