Safe Vacations & Celebrations: Air Quality in Summer
Last Updated on July 15, 2021
For many families, summer means more outdoor playtime, more picnics with BBQ and more fresh air in general. The ability to comfortably meet up with friends and family in outdoor spaces is a much-appreciated reprieve from the past year in quarantine. However, outdoor air doesn’t always equal clean air, which is why it’s important to make a plan for breathing easy during the summer months.
Air Quality in Summer
Many people make the mistake of thinking that, because an activity takes place outdoors, the air is cleaner than indoor air. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Summer air brings with it a unique set of challenges, including seasonal allergies, wildfire smog, grill smoke and poor air quality. Although you can’t do much to control outdoor air quality, Air Oasis air purifiers ensure that you can control the air quality where it counts the most: your home.
Keep reading to learn about summer air quality challenges and pollutants, as well as how Air Oasis can provide you with the best air purifiers to keep your indoor air as safe as possible.
People generally associate spring with the worst seasonal allergies, but that isn’t true for everyone. For many allergy sufferers, summer can be the most brutal time of year. Here are three allergens that wreak havoc during the warmer months:
Grass pollen. In late spring and early summer, grasses begin releasing their pollen into the air. It’s microscopic and can travel miles on the wind, which makes it especially bad on dry, windy days. If you suffer from grass allergies, certain fruits and vegetables (melons, tomatoes, peaches, celery and more) can actually trigger your symptoms because they contain proteins similar to those found in pollen.
Fungal spores. Just when June’s grass pollen subsides, July brings the advent of fungal spores. Ubiquitous and occurring in greater concentrations than grass pollen, fungal spores function like seeds do to plants, causing fungus to grow wherever they land. These spores play a critical role in decomposing organic waste, but they can also cause allergy symptoms.
Mold spores. Mold and mildew are a type of fungi, and they peak during the hottest, most humid time of year, generally in August. They grow and spread in both outdoor and indoor spaces, feeding on decaying material. The best way to protect against mold in the home is by using a HEPA or ionic air purifier.
Summer Allergies Symptoms
Summer allergy symptoms vary from person to person but generally include a runny nose, watery eyes, congestion, sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes and nose. However, some people experience more serious symptoms, including wheezing, rhinitis and lung complications.
Summer Allergy Relief
If you’re suffering with summer allergies, here are some ways to find relief:
- Buy a certified HEPA air purifier for your home.
- Limit outdoor time, especially on hot, windy days.
- Explore antihistamines or natural remedies, such as nasal irrigation.
At Air Oasis, we know that getting summer allergies under control is easier said than done, especially without the right tools. We make it easier by providing the best air purifiers for allergies on the market. Explore our large selection of air purifiers and start breathing easier in your business and home.
Pollution Levels in Summer
If you don’t suffer from summer allergies, you may be thinking you’re in the clear. Unfortunately, allergies are far from the only factor affecting air quality in the summer. As it turns out, all of that “fresh outdoor air” you’ve been getting may be a lot more polluted than you think.
Air Pollution Summer vs. Winter
When it comes to air pollution, neither summer nor winter is definitively worse; rather, they both present unique challenges to air quality. Although cold winter air is denser and traps more pollution at lower levels, increased sun radiation during the summer can create hazardous breathing conditions by spiking ground ozone levels.
Warm Weather and Ozone
In the summer months, increased radiation from the sun causes ozone levels to spike at the ground level, which can lead to painful breathing, coughing, asthma symptoms and more. Ozone mixes with other pollutants in the air, such as vehicle and power plant emissions, creating especially hazardous air. Air pollution is worse in large cities with lots of vehicles. Pollution may even increase in places like national parks that see a sharp increase in tourism during the summer.
Wildfires and Smog
Wildfires pose one of the largest threats to air quality. In 2020 alone, there were approximately 59,000 wildfires in North America, burning 10.1 million acres. This year, record-setting heat in northwestern regions such as British Columbia are already fueling massive wildfires, which experts say are just the beginning. As climate fluctuations fan fires across the continent, it’s never been more important to invest in the air quality of your home.
Smoke and smog from wildfires don’t just stay outside; they quickly permeate homes and cause breathing problems where the air isn’t properly filtered. The best air purifiers for smoke will utilize HEPA filters, ionization, UV light, or some combination of those processes.
Charcoal Grill Air Pollution
Firing up the charcoal grill may be a classic American pastime, but it can come with an environmental cost. Charcoal grills may boast the best flavor, but they also release heavy greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, compared to propane gas grills, charcoal grills release nearly twice the amount of carbon dioxide per grill session, averaging a whopping 11 pounds per barbeque.
Grilling with charcoal should be done in moderation because it could also present health challenges. Charcoal grills discharge fumes loaded with carcinogens, and breathing them can lead to respiratory issues for some people. Even if you’re wearing a mask, you’re still exposed. A recent study found that skin absorbs even more carcinogens from grill smoke than the lungs.
If you’ve ever been to a BBQ, you know that the smell follows you home. The best way to protect your home from lingering particulate matter is by running an air purifier with the ability to filter the smallest pollutants from your home’s air and surfaces.
Pool Air Quality
Few summer activities excite kids more than a trip to the swimming pool. Most people think of chlorinated pool water as being safer than other types of water because of its ability to kill bacteria. While that may be true, chlorinated pools come with a little-known downside — potentially toxic air.
When a swimmer’s body oils or other bodily fluids come into contact with chlorine, they create compounds called chloramines. Chloramines settle on the surface of the water, and when agitated, they release a gas heavier than air which causes coughing and irritation.
If you or a family member regularly swims at an indoor pool, encourage the pool’s owner to invest in an air purifier that can filter out these dangerous gasses. Air Oasis can help outfit any size space with the appropriate air filter to suit your needs.
Cleaner Air in Summer
With increased physical activity, more relaxation and more family time, summer has the potential to be the season of healthy living. However, as you may be realizing, you’re only as healthy as the air that you breathe. Here are some suggestions for keeping your air pure:
- Schedule a time to clean your air conditioner. With heat waves pummeling many parts of the country, air conditioners are running non-stop and accumulating debris at the same pace. Make it a priority to clean your furnace fan and air ducts.
- Splurge on indoor plants. Plants are nature’s original air purifier, and many of them have the ability to improve the air quality (and beauty) of a room.
- Wash and brush your pets. Cats and dogs shed more hair during the summertime. Unless you’re consistent about hair removal and disposal, that hair will end up in the air you breathe.
All of the above-mentioned techniques can improve air quality, but they’re not enough on their own. The fastest, most efficient way to dramatically improve the air quality of a room, home or place of business is to outfit it with a high-quality air purification system.
Shop Air Oasis purifiers today and start breathing easier during every season.