How outdoor air gets inside our homes?
Unfortunately, many homes are not well-designed from an air quality perspective. These homes will have problems with air pollution and can lead to serious health problems. This is particularly a problem in Indonesia, where cities and even rural areas are highly polluted.
Seepage - When Outdoor Air Comes Inside
Outdoor air not only enters our homes through windows and doors but also through a process known as seepage. This is where air comes inside through cracks in the walls or gaps between walls, windows, doors, pipes, and exhaust fans. Most houses and apartments experience seepage.
This means that when the outdoor air is polluted, that pollution will also enter our homes. Dust and chemical pollutants like PM2.5 from busy roads, factories, and construction sites can significantly reduce indoor air quality, especially if the indoor air is already dirty from cooking, smoking, or sweeping.
How To Reduce Seepage
Reducing seepage is a very effective way of improving the health of our homes. If we use air conditioning, reducing seepage also reduces electricity costs because the cool air remains inside the house and hot air does not enter. Our energy bills could be reduced by as much as 25% if we improve our houses so there is less seepage.
It is easy to fix any seepage locations you find. We can start by sealing the biggest cracks and gaps in our homes, such as between walls and windows, before moving onto smaller leaks. It may not be possible to fix every leak but each alteration will help improve air quality.
Only When Outdoor Air Is Good, Open The Windows
It is also important that we pay attention to outdoor air quality. When it is a sunny day and the air quality is good (we can use the AQI rating to determine this), we can open the doors and windows to let fresh air inside. This will help make our homes less stuffy and will reduce mould. But we should only do this when the AQI is good. If the AQI is poor, then outdoor air pollution will also enter our homes.
The nafas app provides up to date information about outdoor air quality, and can even tell you when to open the windows based on real-time recommendations.
To learn more about the myths of indoor air quality, click here!