5 ways to reduce air pollution in rental homes

The quality of the air we breathe in cities has long been under the microscope. But if you think escaping indoors provides momentary respite, think again. Residential homes play host to dangerous contaminants too, something that as landlords, agents and sellers, we need to take seriously. The news comes courtesy of a study into air pollution by Currys PC World and Dyson.

To capture data, Currys PC World and Dyson followed four everyday Londoners – Owen, Ana, Emma and Cecile – who headed off on an ordinary day in the name of science. Well, mostly ordinary. The quartet also carried around elaborately-named TSI 7575 Q-Traks, handheld air quality monitors that recorded the cleanliness of the atmosphere on an hourly basis.

As a construction worker, it’d be safe to assume that Owen would encounter the most amount of pollution out of the four. But, to the contrary, he encountered the least, and it was actually the air
pollution levels stay-at- home mum Cecile was exposed to that truly raised an eyebrow. Carbon dioxide levels naturally hover around 400 ppm (parts per million) but Cecile’s home presented a ppm reading of 1172. At those levels, the gas impairs alertness and can cause headaches, nausea and an elevated pulse if it rises to 2000.

“Our homes are becoming more sealed – to keep noise out and heat in,” says Paul Dawson, Global Product Development Director at Dyson. “But it’s not just warmth that gets trapped inside. It can be pollutants and allergens too.”

As property experts, the notion of protecting residents from the air circulating inside a well-ventilated house can seem well beyond the limits of our control. But according to the Royal College of Physicians of London, a staggering 99,000 people died from indoor air pollution in Europe in 2012. Warning symptoms include asthma, headaches, tiredness, and even death – often caused by heart disease or cancer.

“Indoor air pollution can be up to five times worse than outside air pollution,” Dawson notes.

Keep these 5 steps in mind to minimise the pollutants your tenants encounter:

  1. Install an air purifier
  2. Ensure kitchens have extractor fans
  3. Dispense with carpets
  4. Be strict on a no-smoking policy
  5. Give tenants a doormat – seriously

To read the study in full, and understand the bigger picture of air pollution in the home, head over to TechTalk, the home of Currys PC World’s latest gadget news.

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