Indoor pollution: how do I know if the air in my home is polluted?

Let's get straight to the point: the air in your home is polluted. It is even more so than the outside air (up to 10 times more)! But to what extent, and more importantly, how do we know how polluted the air is? Indoor air pollution is a serious issue as it affects your health, it has already been discussed by scientists and is increasingly publicised in the media. So there is no shortage of sources and no shortage of solutions.

Indoor air pollution, a (very) serious issue

Indoor air pollution is no joke. Although it is invisible, its harmful effects are very real for the health of the inhabitants, yours!
In 2014, a study by ANSES ("Exploratory study of the socio-economic cost of indoor air pollutants") even revealed that nearly 20,000 deaths per year would be attributable to air pollution in the UK! This is a huge number and demonstrates the urgency and importance of the situation.
Between biological pollutants, chemical pollutants particles, moisture, fibres, radioactive gases, carbon monoxide, tobacco, volatile substances, and other VOCs, humidity, and other pollutants, your indoor air quality and health are at risk.
The air in your home is therefore probably polluted. But to what extent? That is the whole point. Knowing where this pollution comes from can help you.

Take advantage of accurate, real-time measurements of your indoor air quality to get rid of indoor air pollution. The sensors of the Netatmo Smart Weather Station give you detailed information on your smartphone so you don't miss the best time to air out or ventilate your home. Your health is important, don't let pollution damage it! Use ventilation!

Where does your indoor pollution come from?

While the pollutants are varied, so are their sources. Knowing about them can help you protect yourself from harm.
First, there are the facilities in your home. Examples include heaters and other household appliances and those related to energy production. A poorly maintained ventilation or air conditioning system can also cause pollution. The materials of your furnishings, cleaning products, scented candles, and allergens also play a role.

What about you?

Indeed, human activities produce many emissions of various volatile components and pollutants. DIY is a perfect example. The use of cosmetics too: they often contain polluting products. As for household products. As you know, toxic substances are legion. Do you smoke at home? It's even worse! This emits many pollutants. Even during and after cooking, it is recommended to air and ventilate. You know, even breathing causes the emission of carbon dioxide. To sum up, the air inside your home is polluted and all you have to do is ensure that the air is renewed.
Animals, indoor plants, and other living organisms also pollute indoor air. The floor, building, and decorative materials (e.g. insulation), varnishes, and other adhesives should also be kept in mind.
Finally, let's not forget the outdoor air: it may be fresh air needed to clean up your indoor air, but it is also yet another source of pollution: pesticides, exhaust fumes, pollen, dust, and other pollutants are well known. But this is no reason to leave the windows closed!

The Netatmo Smart Weather Station allows you to take control of your home's indoor environment and improve indoor air quality. Easily access your data, react in real-time and keep your indoor air healthy. "Very good", "Average", "Caution": the signals are unambiguous, so don't miss any warnings.

VOCs, the main pollutants of indoor air


When it comes to indoor pollution, you may have already heard of VOCs. It is an acronym for volatile organic compounds, substances of natural or human origin that affect indoor air quality. Their role in indoor pollution has been proven in recent years.
Note that in Europe, all VOCs contain carbon and other elements such as hydrogen, sulphur, halogens, etc.
These harmful components are highly volatile and easily spread, causing many direct and indirect negative effects on the environment and health.
Butane, ethanol, acetone, toluene, benzene… the list is long and their names will probably mean nothing to you. But you should know that they are omnipresent in your home, as in all homes!

How can you tackle indoor air pollution?

Now you know: your indoor air is polluted. But it doesn't have to be that way and your health is not at high risk yet.
The first thing to do to tackle indoor pollution is to air for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning and evening, to ventilate effectively, and to limit pollutant emissions as far as possible.
What about smart weather stations, purifiers, scrubbers, and other sensors? These solutions have been quite successful in the UK and elsewhere. Sales are taking off as technologies evolve.
One thing is certain, this market indicates that the British are increasingly aware of indoor air pollution and its consequences. More and more people want to reduce pollutants to improve their health.
“Weather stations" are efficient and comprehensive devices that not only measure air quality, humidity, and temperature, but also humidity level and temperature and even weather forecast. In addition, you are alerted about poor air quality that requires immediate ventilation.
Some tiles and even paints can improve indoor air quality in homes: these are the filtration, ionisation, and photocatalysis materials offered by some manufacturers.
Of course, the quality of these technological devices depends on the brand, the price level, and the effort invested in the products.
Indoor air pollution is, therefore, a subject not to be taken lightly. Indoor air pollution is harmful to health. Even if your house is clean, well ventilated, and properly maintained, the air is still polluted. Of course, it is within your power to limit this pollution. Ventilation, air conditioning, weather station, sunshine, indoor plants… you just have to choose your means of action against indoor air pollution.