How To Ensure The Best Indoor Air In Your Baby’s Bedroom
Your baby is the most precious part of your life, and you work day and night to make a safe environment. Many parents think of some components of air quality and the effect they might have on helping keep their little ones healthy. However, many parents do not understand all the components of air quality they can control and what those potential pollutants may do.
To ensure your baby has the healthiest environment while sleeping, consider these six ways to improve air quality.
1. Use Non-Toxic Paints
The first thing to consider is the paint you use to decorate the nursery. Most people know they need to limit direct contact with the fumes while the paint is drying. However, what is less commonly known is that the paint continues to produce gas well past when the paint is dry. This is called off-gassing. This includes chemicals such as formaldehyde, which is known to cause respiratory irritation.
When choosing your paint, look for one that has zero VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) and is non-toxic.
2. Choose Organic Cotton Linens & Mattresses
Similar to paint, linens can off-gas from the chemicals in the material. Consider polyester, which contains VOCs and chemicals like formaldehyde, bleach, and fire retardants. These continue to off-gas, especially as the sheets and mattress warm up.
Babies sleep an average of 16-17 hours a day. That means they are inhaling these toxic fumes more than they are not if they are sleeping in their cribs. Choosing organic cotton sheets and mattresses limits their exposure to these chemicals and fumes. This reduces the risk of respiratory problems, and it also reduces skin irritation like contact dermatitis.
3. Optimize Humidity Levels
The human body requires humidity to function properly, especially the respiratory system. That means that controlling the humidity is critical to proper health. It is even more important for little ones with delicate respiratory systems.
The optimum range is 30-50% humidity. Less than 30% is too dry and causes respiratory irritation. It also causes more dust to remain in the air, which is another issue for babies altogether. Over 50% humidity encourages mold and mildew.
During the dry winter months, you should run a cool-mist vaporizer. During the humid summer months, consider a dehumidifier. With the use of both, keep an eye on the actual humidity so it does not swing too much in either direction.
4. Remove Pet Dander
If you have pets, you will want to remove as much pet dander as possible, even with hypoallergenic pets like poodles. This dander can cause allergic reactions, including trouble breathing and eczema.
Cleaning regularly, like vacuuming and dusting, is the best way to control how much dander is around the home. However, no matter how well you clean, there will remain some in the environment unless you go another step further in filtering your air. You can use a whole-house filter or a room filter. Either option will help you remove more of this potentially dangerous air contaminant.
5. Purify the Air
Even if you do everything you can to keep the best air quality possible, there are still contaminants. This is why air purifiers have gained popularity. The most common purifier that people think of is the ionic air purifier. This uses negatively charged ions that attract and bind to positively charged ions like dust, allergens, and bacteria. Once bound, they become heavier and fall out of the air.
Another type of purifier that has gained popularity is the UV purifier. This uses ultraviolet light to render VOCs and biological contaminants inert. It does not pull the contaminants out of the air but makes it so they are not harmful.
Both ionic and UV purifiers come in models that combine the purifier with a filter. For a baby’s room, a small room unit will probably be sufficient.
6. Clean Your HVAC System
Your furnace and cooling system can create problems when neglected. For optimal performance, you should have regular maintenance performed twice annually, once in the spring and once in the fall. One of the components of regular maintenance is cleaning areas where dust, allergens, and VOCs accumulate and then end up recirculating.
In addition to annual maintenance, you need to have your air ducts cleaned. This should be done every two to three years to keep the collection contaminants to a minimum.
All Temp Co., Inc. has been serving the Charlotte, NC, area for nearly 40 years. Our team of NATE-certified technicians offers a full line of heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance. Our team has also developed expertise in air quality improvement. Give us a call to schedule your consultation today!
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