Some people believe that staying home is healthier than going out in a big polluted city, but that is not always true. Indoor air may be just as damaging due to the quality degradation caused by harmful chemicals. This is because contained areas enable potential pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), to grow more and faster compared with open spaces.
VOC is a gas that is generated by many indoor resources, and its concentrations are much higher in indoor rather than outdoor air. This gas includes a variety of chemicals that can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and skin problems. In more serious situations, lung irritation, liver and kidney damage, or central nervous system dysfunction may occur.
It is suspected that some VOCs cause cancer. The health effects of VOCs depend on their concentration and the length of one’s exposure to the chemicals.
Indoor dust and air pollutants are often generated by environmental sources, such as tobacco smoke, building materials, furniture, cleaning and hygiene products, and air fresheners, or some electrical devices, such as computers, printers, and a number of household appliances like microwaves and ovens. Humans can generate VOCs as well.
Indoor temperature and humidity also play a big role in infant skin problems, influenza, mold growth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death.
Overheating a room may increase the risk of SIDS in 1-12 month-old babies. Many experts recommend that babies’ rooms be kept at 68–72°F (20–22°C).
High humidity is not healthy either. It can lead to a runny nose and create favorable conditions for the development of fungus or dust mites, which result in allergies. Doctors recommend keeping the humidity level in a baby's room somewhere between 50 and 70%.
Moreover, some studies assert that the influenza virus is most stable in cool, dry temperatures and that the coating of a flu virus becomes tougher at temperatures close to freezing, making them more active, more resilient, and easier to transmit in the winter. However, cold temperatures are not the only thing causing illness; sudden changes in temperature may also weaken human’s ability to fight off illness.
Another problem is mold. This type of fungus can damage health and belongings, resulting in allergies, asthma, and other respiratory disorders. Some people are allergic to mold, but mold can irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs regardless of allergies.
Mold can also damage furniture and other household items. The real challenge is that it can “hide” inside walls and under carpets. Mold requires four things to grow: mold spores, mold food, the right temperature, and moisture. Mold spores are everywhere inside homes and in outdoor environments, and mold can eat anything, so it is not practical to eliminate spores or mold food.
Mold grows well within the same temperature range that makes us feel comfortable – about 60-80°F (16-27°C). When warm, moist air comes into contact with cold surfaces and creates condensation (cooler air can’t hold as much moisture), this condensation may provide the ideal conditions for mold growth. Because it is almost impossible to control mold through temperature alone, humidity monitoring and control is critical as well.
To prevent mold growth, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an indoor humidity level no higher than 50%. This can be accomplished through the use of a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
There are many technologies for monitoring temperature and humidity, and they give buzzer alerts if humidity or temperature reaches a certain level. Many of the sensors available on the current market are products of this technology.
There are some more advanced sensors that also monitor carbon monoxide or VOCs in air.
These sensors can be stand-alone devices or part of a more advanced automation system. They have the capability to send messages alerting users to mold growth or high temperature or give daily reading information.
While IoT products mainly focus on remote controls, security, lighting, and dimming, other smart home systems go further by covering air conditioning control for even greater energy savings. Nevertheless, health care is somehow neglected in most home automation systems.
But is there a technology that can cover all of the previously mentioned factors? Is there one single device that can take action to protect your home from air pollution and maintain proper temperature, humidity, and air quality levels?
The TIS Smart Home Company is proud to have made this possible. Its functional and elegant ceiling sensor—Health Sensor—includes carbon monoxide and VOCs sensors, temperature and humidity sensors, a motion sensor, lights harvest, a microphone, 2 digital inputs, and 32 lines of logic and timers. This smart solution incorporates each and every important health factor to bring you peace of mind.
Here are some of this device’s most impressive features:
We are honored to be among the pioneers in smart home health care products. We believe our costumers deserve the best, and we are happy to enrich their lives with smart products that keep them safer and healthier.