Creating a Healthy Haven with Indoor Air Quality

Experts review indoor air quality and other trends.

By Ryan Donovan

Every year, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery carefully reviews and curates a selection of innovative products in plumbing, lighting and appliances for Trends & Influences. Working from market research and with industry insiders, they assess current trends. 

Of course, having a healthy home is on everyone’s mind these days, and for a good reason. In this year’s Trends and Influences, the Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery experts identified a trend called “Healthy Haven.” 

Implementing innovative technologies like a hands-free faucet or light switch, clothes sanitizer or antibacterial exhaust fan—along with healthy practices—can help homeowners clean faster, cook smarter and rest easier. Additionally, with studies linking poor indoor air quality (IAQ) to serious health problems such as asthma and allergies, IAQ is also top of mind. 

Homeowners have never had to think about IAQ in the way they are now, and it goes beyond their homes. They want contractors to recommend the right IAQ solution for the buildings where they work, shop and where their children go to school. An IAQ solution is an investment in peace of mind in themselves and their family’s well being for years to come.  

There are many ways to make this investment, both simple and complex. For instance, an easy and cost-effective way to reduce indoor pollution is to open a window or door for five minutes each hour. However, that may not be a great solution if you live in an area with poor outdoor air quality. 

Today’s homes are much more energy-efficient but this efficiency also means that they can allow very little fresh air to get in and stale air to get out. Know your home’s needs. 

Products & Tips

Humidifiers (and dehumidifiers depending on where you live) and other IAQ solutions are starting to be part of the entire HVAC ecosystem. Work with an HVAC professional who can establish a baseline of what’s going on and provide data-driven solutions that address the problem areas using IAQ solutions.

For example, suppose you live in a dry climate. Your HVAC-IAQ professional may recommend upgrading to a whole-home humidifier since it only requires yearly maintenance of filter and canister replacements. 

Keeping your humidity at the proper levels improves your IAQ. It has many proven benefits, including relieving nasal congestion, stopping the spread of colds and flu, improving hair and scalp health, preventing dry skin and protecting flooring and furniture. 

Another way to enjoy the benefits of hydration is steam. Steam is known to help clear congested sinuses, great for chronic allergy sufferers. 

Keep the air cleaner with a ceiling fan that keeps you cool and circulates the air, as well as uses ultraviolet technology, verified through independent laboratory testing to kill viruses and other airborne pathogens while safely neutralizing allergens, odors and fumes. 

 

Keep the laundry room clean and fresh, beginning with the air. A lighted exhaust fan prevents mold, bacteria and fungi growth on surfaces in your bathroom, laundry room or other humidity-prone environments.  

 

Maintain clean water right at the source with an under-sink filtration system. Effectively reduce contaminants including bacteria, virus, lead, mercury and chlorine select pharmaceuticals in your family’s cold drinking water. 

 

Health is a top priority for all. Homeowners are savvy and look for ways to increase the comfort and safety of their home environment significantly. To reduce indoor pollutants, homeowners need to review and discuss their HVAC system’s filtration, purification, humidification and/or ventilation (the main four) with their contractor. 

Now is the time to proactively adopt healthier, cleaner habits. Just a few small changes can make a world of difference in the health and safety of your household for you and your loved ones. 

Ryan Donovan is Senior Category Manager of Indoor Air Quality for Ferguson, headquartered in Newport News, Virginia. He may be reached at Ryan.Donovan@Ferguson.com