What You Need to Know About Indoor Air Quality

Did you realize that people typically spend 80–90% of their time indoors? This means that your indoor air quality has a direct impact on your overall health. Medical research suggests that long-term exposure to poor air quality can have significant health impacts, especially for sensitive groups, elderly persons and people with pre-existing health issues. Read why your indoor air quality may be poor and what you can do about it.

Contents
  1. What is poor indoor air quality?
  2. Why Might You Have these Harmful Gases in Your Home?
  3. Spring and Summer Are the Time of Pollen and Dust Allergies
  4. What You Can Do to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
  5. AirMax10L Pro Is a Powerful, Smart Indoor Air Cleaning Device
  6. What Kind of Air Pollutants Are Removed?
  7. Other Technical Details
  8. In a Nutshell
  9. References

Disclosure: Sponsored. The AirMax10L Pro is a sample of my choice from Okaysou. The post is not endorsed by them. I wrote it entirely myself and it represents my own 100% honest opinion. I am an atmospheric scientist, but not a medical doctor.

What Is Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Scientists have examined the relationship between specific diseases and various air contaminants and indoor conditions for years. Based on the investigations national governments set air quality standards that should not be exceeded outside. In some countries, there exist also air quality standards for business or public buildings. Once a harmful gas or particles of a certain size exceed these standards air quality is considered to be poor.

Contaminants found to be harmful are, among others, ammonia, smoke, benzene, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), particles of 10 micrometer or less in diameter (e.g., PM10, PM2.5, PM1).

That’s all fine, but how would you know the air quality inside your home? And more urgently, how to solve the problem, if you have one?

Signs of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can be lack of concentration, headaches, fatigue, eye irritation, runny nose.

scientific diagram of indoor air quality in various months
Monthly mean diurnal course of indoor air quality averaged over measurements in various homes. The curves illustrate how indoor air quality changes in response to residents’ activities. For instance, peaks occur around breakfast, lunch and dinner times. In the cooler months, concentrations go up due to lightening the wood stove. Concentrations of particles get higher in summer due to smoke from nearby wildfire. Opening and closing doors as well as ventilation lead to exchange of indoor and outdoor air. From: Edwin and Mölders (2020)

Why Do You Have these Harmful Gases and Particles in Your Home?

You wonder why you should have these gases in your house? Well smoke is obvious when someone in your household or your visitors smoke inside. Here a brief list of the most common sources:

  • VOCsA build-in or attached garage yields to benzenes and VOCs in your indoor air. The same applies for some scented candles and other scented products. Synthetic materials in your home can emit various VOCs.
  • Ammonia. You go to the bathroom, right? Pee is an ammonia source.
  • Formaldehyde is in various cleaning products including shampoo and body wash. Some synthetic carpets also can emit formaldehyde.
  • Particle and dust. Dust can stem from various sources. It consists of small particles of all kind of compositions. Some of these particles form just naturally in air (indoors and outdoors) from gases by so-called gas-to-particle formation. Others stem from emissions. You schlep dust inside with your shoes.
  • Construction. To reduce the loss of energy, modern buildings are more airtight than in the past. The advanced insulation reduces emissions and improve outdoor air quality. However, indoor air pollutants stay inside due to the reduced exchange between indoor and outdoor air. They accumulate over time.
  • Weather. Less emissions from heating in spring/summer is no guarantee for better outdoor air quality than winter. In spring and summer, wind speed increases. More dust is taken up and carried with the wind. Also, the vegetation is in full bloom and the wind picks up the pollen as well. Whenever you open a window or door, some dust and pollen get inside.
scientific diagram showing pollen count in Fairbanks
Daily mean pollen count of Alder. This graph illustrates that there is a high variability in pollen over the duration of the pollen season even on climatological average.

What You Can Do to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

The good news is that you can do a lot to improve your indoor air conditions. And it won’t break the bank. There are many air purifiers on the market – with and without filters. They differ in prices, how they work, what they take off the air, how fast they are, which size of rooms they are able to clean, how much electricity they require, etc…

AirMax10L Pro Is a Powerful, Smart Indoor Air Cleaning Device

The Okaysou AirMax10L Pro has a smart sensor to switch the air purifier on automatically when air conditions get bad.

top of AirMax10L Pro air purifier showing the buttons for the various setting
Top view of the Okaysou AirMax10L Pro air purifier showing the switches for eco mode, fast mode. The device also has a child lock. This means your kids can mess around with the settings and accidently compromise your indoor air quality cleaning.

This new ECO mode sets the device apart of its competition. Precipitation cleans the air. However, scientific observations show a delay between indoor air quality getting better and the onset of precipitation. Unfortunately, this delay differs among building-types. Consequently, you can’t just switch it off when it rains. Moreover, science shows that other aspects like activities in the house and ventilation affect indoor air quality.

Thus, the auto mode helps saving you money and energy.

scientific graphic showing the delay between indoor and outdoor air quality
This graph shows the correlation of indoor and outdoor air quality. The highest correlation gives the time between a change in outdoor air quality seen indoors. Zero denotes to the time of outdoor air concentration. Positive values give the time when an outdoor air quality improvement is seen inside. Negative values when worsening of outdoor air quality is seen inside. The air exchange differs among building type and is also height dependent. From: Edwin and Mölders (2020)

It eliminates the need to run the air cleaner 24/7/365. Another great benefit: This new feature also protects the environment from emissions related to energy production.

Thus, the AirMax10L Pro is a win-win for both indoor and outdoor air quality!

What Kind of Air Pollutants Are Removed?

The AirMax10L Pro has a medical grade Dual-Nanois HEPA. It can capture 99.97% of air pollutants between 0.3 – 0.1 microns like hair, pet fur, dust, pollen, pet dander and hair, smoke as well as household odors. Smoke and household odors are actually a mix of gases and very small particles. The air cleaner safely breaks down harmful gases like formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene and VOCs. Most single filter fail to do so.

Other Technical Details

The AirMax10L Pro has a capacity of 250 m³/h. The TURBO mode permits purifying a room up to 1,000 sq. ft. in one hour, 600 sq. ft. in 30 minutes, 300 sq. ft. in 15 minutes! This feature comes in handy for weekend cabin owners. Young parents will love the Child-Lock mode.

closeup of AirMax10L Pro
Close up of AirMax10L Pro. The beautiful white box-like design with blue light panel well blends in the interior design of a room. See for instance, first photo in this post.

The designer added a beautiful square light panel. Thus, the device can blend in the room decor (see first photo in this post). For more technical info, see their official website.

 

Be aware that in addition to the AirMax10L Pro, which is optimized for large rooms, Okaysou offers the AirMic4S and AirMax8L for smaller rooms (see my review of the AirMax8L at the link).

Where to Buy Okaysou Air Purifiers?

Always remember the health of you and your loved ones is priceless. that medical costs might be much higher than what you pay for the device, electricity and filters.

In a Nutshell

Okaysou air purifiers can effectively remove household odors and cooking smells, which means they can help you and your family to breath cleaner air and lead a healthier life. Browse the store now to get the air purifier that is right for you and your family.

You can breath healthy air at home. #Okaysou #indoorairquality Click To Tweet

References

Edwin, S.G., Mölders, N., 2020. Indoor and Outdoor Particulate Matter Exposure of Rural Interior Alaska Residents. Open Journal of Air Pollution, 9, 37-60. doi: 10.4236/ojap.2020.93004.

Edwin, S.G., Mölders, N., 2018. Particulate Matter Exposure of Rural Interior Communities as Observed by the First Tribal Air Quality Network in the Yukon Flat. Journal of Environmental Protection, 9, 1425-1448. doi: 10.4236/jep.2018.913088.

Fathauer, T., 2012. The Relation of Spring Pollen Release to Weather in Fairbanks, Alaska. MS thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

Pope, C.A., III, Ezzati, M., Dockery, D.W., 2009. Fine-Particulate Air Pollution and Life Expectancy in the United States, New England Journal of Medicine, 360, 376-386. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa0805646

Saini, J., Dutta, M., Marques, G., 2020. A Comprehensive Review on Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Systems for Enhanced Public Health. Sustain Environ Res, 30, 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42834-020-0047-y

Photos of me: G. Kramm
Other photos: N. Mölders

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