Indoor vs Outdoor Air Quality


Taking a deep breath and inhaling clean, fresh air is one of the simplest things in life that gives us joy and peace. Unfortunately, when we walk into our homes we don’t often have that same satisfaction. Instead, we stand in our kitchens wondering where the funky smell is coming from and who’s to blame (side-eying the dog…). So wouldn’t it be great if our indoor air was as fresh as the outdoor air usually is?

If you find yourself wondering why your indoor air quality is lacking, there are a few simple reasons (and none of them include the leftovers you shoved down the garbage disposal, although we don’t recommend that).

Volatile Organic Compounds Floating Around

Don’t panic! It’s a scientific term for gases in both solid and liquid form that are emitted through household items like aerosol sprays, air fresheners or disinfectants. They can also off-gas from items like new carpet, furniture and cabinetry. So chances are good you’ve come into contact with a volatile organic compound (VOC) today and still lived to tell about it. However, the EPA found that the levels of common VOCs in most homes can be about 2-5 times higher than that of outdoor air.

The problem with VOCs is that they have nowhere to go inside your home  –  especially now that modern homes are built more airtight than ever – so they just float around and probably irritate your sinuses. If you’ve ever walked into a department store and immediately gotten a headache or watery eyes, you know how powerful VOCs can be.

Natural Gas Emissions

We all roll our eyes when we see a big truck going down the highway emitting exhaust into the air because it’s terrible for the environment. But believe it or not, your gas stove might be emitting high levels of natural gas as well. The EPA estimates that homes with gas stoves have emissions that often exceed outdoor levels.

When you turn on your burner, it emits nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide, which worsens air quality and can be an irritant to your eyes, nose, throat or respiratory tract. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?

Pet Dander from Your Furry Buddies

Pet lovers adore everything about their furry friends - except for their shedding and odor. They can’t help it, but it can certainly add to smells and allergens in your home. While this isn’t necessarily dangerous to your health, it can make breathing more difficult if you have allergies or asthma. Plus, who loves the smell of a dog that needs a bath or a litterbox that needs cleaning? Anyone? No? That’s kind of what we thought, too.

New Building Materials

Nothing infuses life into a tired, dates space like a home reno. We all love the fresh look of new flooring, painted walls and new furniture. But did you know the fumes from new building materials and fabrics (VOCs) can really make your indoor air quality worse. Chemicals like formaldehyde are often used in building materials and can irritate your sinuses, eyes and skin. So that lovely new hardwood floor you had installed may be driving your nose crazy or making your eyes water. (Send your regards to formaldehyde if that’s the case.)

Improving Your Air Quality

Did you really think we were going to present all these indoor air quality problems to you without a good solution? Think again! We really believe air quality is so important, which is why we created our Large Room Air Purifier. This beautiful air purifier includes a True HEPA filter that removes VOCs, odors and other particles floating around your house and gives you happy, clean air that you can feel safe breathing. Say au revoir to bad air quality and hello to a fresh home.