Do you know the air inside your house could be more polluted than the air outside? Most people spend around 90% of their time indoors but don’t often think about the air they are breathing. A few simple steps can drastically improve the air quality inside your home. Try these ten tips to breathe easier in your home.
Remove air pollutants
Start by moving some causes of air pollution. Cleaning chemicals or paint buckets may be releasing their chemicals into the air, which will impact your air quality. Simply moving these chemicals to a garage or a shed helps improve the purity of the air you are breathing.
Regularly clean your home
Bad air quality usually comes from contaminants not visible to the human eye. Small particles of dust, mites, and dandruff are everywhere in our homes. Cleaning weekly or bi-weekly keeps them under control and your air cleaner. Fabrics such as carpets, bedding, drapes, clothing, and furniture provide a space for contaminants to increase, especially for pet owners. Regularly vacuuming, dusting, and washing these things keeps pollutants at bay. Add dust mite covers to pillows, mattresses, and box springs to reduce the number of mites in your sleeping environment.
Select hard flooring
Carpet fibers hold onto allergens and contaminants. As we walk on the carpet, we stir up the allergens and allow them to become airborne again. Hard-surface flooring in the home removes one of the most significant allergen trappers. Wood, laminate, or tile floors are easier to clean and won’t hold allergens the same way carpet does. If you prefer carpet, an area rug is a better option than wall-to-wall carpet as long as you vacuum it regularly.
Change air filters
Changing the air filters in your home’s central air system every two to three months keeps your air quality in check. Filters usually cost only a few dollars, and they provide cleaner air for you and your family. Electrostatic filters help trap more dust and other allergens to prevent even the smallest particles from being recirculated into your home.
Having your air ducts cleaned every few years will help remove dust built up and trapped inside. This may not be necessary, so reach out to a professional for advice.
Have an air purifier
Air purifiers, especially ionic air purifiers, act as filters to remove airborne allergens and irritants while constantly filtering and moving air. These filters won’t remove gaseous pollutants such as chemical fumes, but they effectively remove dust particles and mites. Keep in mind, air purifiers won’t remove 100% of the airborne pollutants, but it will help reduce them.
Occasionally open windows
Opening windows allows fresh air to move through your home. Outside will not have the usual contaminants that you typically breathe, so letting some inside adds new air to your environment. It is important to consider high pollen counts may affect those who suffer from allergies during the spring and fall. In those cases, it may be better to keep windows closed. Instead, crack a window for a few minutes in winter or high summer to add the dose of fresh air into your environment.
Use cooking vents
Cooking on gas stoves and even electric stoves releases contaminants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Particulates from food, oil, and chemicals from various kitchen wares also are added into the air. Using cooking vents helps to remove these contaminants.
Another option is to open a window in your kitchen and if possible, place a fan in the window to blow the air out. These contaminants may not have a smell, taste, or be visible, but they still impact your air quality.
Excessive humidity and moisture in your home create environments where mold can thrive. Untreated mold in the home can lead to major health problems. As mold grows and spreads, it releases spores into the air, which will cause respiratory health issues. Using dehumidifiers in your house keeps the humidity levels in check and your air clean and healthy.
Place a floor mat by every door
As we walk into our homes, we bring in the dirt, dust, and chemicals on the soles of our shoes from outside. A floor mat helps prevent some of those contaminants from getting into your carpet or onto your floors.
Taking off your shoes before walking through your home is another way to prevent tracking contaminants into the house. Remember to regularly vacuum and clean your floor mats.
Limit scented items
Many people love scented candles, air fresheners, diffusers, or even incense. These products smell great, but what are you actually smelling? Most of these products release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These compounds include formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene. These chemicals won’t kill you in the quantities found in normal home use, but they definitely contaminate your air quality. Limit your use of them.
Breathe fresher air at home
Keep your indoor air pollution in check and improve your home’s air quality. It’s amazing how a few free and low-cost measures can drastically reduce the level of indoor air pollutants. Pick a few of these steps; you will soon be breathing healthier and cleaner air.