With more people interested in air quality, a variety of products are coming onto the market aimed at removing fine dust as well as sources of pollution such as viruses, bad smell, harmful chemical gases (including volatile organic compounds), carbon dioxide, and radon. Many of them claim they can effectively remove bacteria that affect people’s health, and in many cases, consumers simply decide to turn to specific products for managing air quality. However, only a few products have had their effect actually proven, and even if so, they are likely to work differently in labs and in reality.
You can get infected with bacteria not only via direct contact but also through places where patients have been or things they have used. This is related to the viability of a virus, and fortunately, most viruses cannot survive in the air for over five minutes. We are thus recommended to wash our hands as soon as we return home. Still, the flu virus, which is common during winter, can survive for hours in the air, and some viruses can even last for 72 hours. In such cases, indoor spaces are rather an infection route, not a safety zone.
The most effective way to improve indoor air quality is ventilation. Many do not know that they can quickly get rid of viruses piled up in indoor places through ventilation. By ventilating spaces, you can not only remove viruses but also tackle sources of pollution like carbon dioxide, radon, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and bad smell.
In addition, humidity is often ignored in the wintertime while people mostly care about the room temperatures. Yet, low humidity weakens the motility of cilia within mucous membranes of a nose and bronchial tubes, making one’s immune system weaker against viruses or dust. Ventilation can be also a solution for this case, but you should do it the right way to make the most of it.
First, indoor spaces should be ventilated for over 10 minutes, three times a day. Doors and windows need to be opened at the same time so that winds can come in all directions, and the daytime is better than the morning or evening to do so, as polluted air sinks to the ground at dawn and night due to low air circulation. While many are reluctant to open windows when the level of ultra-fine dust is high, ventilation is also recommended in such circumstances as well. Still, you have to use ventilating devices to maintain an appropriate level of air quality, temperature, and humidity. In the wintertime, the optimal room temperatures are between 18 to 20 degrees Celsius, and the ideal humidity level is around 50 percent.
We often put a filter, an oxygen concentrator, and chemicals in a fish tank to make water clean, but the fastest and easiest way to do so is to pour new water. As such, the most effective way to improve air quality in a closed space is to ventilate and have the space filled with new air. It is hoped that more people can realize the importance of ventilation and put it in practice to stay healthy through the winter.