When most people think about air pollution, they picture billowing industrial smokestacks, traffic-clogged towns, and planes, among other outdoor air pollutants. However, indoor air pollution is just as big a concern as outdoor pollution. According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study, indoor air pollutants are 100 times higher than outdoor pollutants, meaning they could have a greater impact on your health. Indoor air pollutants could result in asthma, allergic reactions, low birth weight, pneumonia, heart disease, and cancer. Read on for seven ideas for improving your air quality at home to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
Get rid of air pollutants
The first step to improving the air quality in your home is eliminating anything that could be causing the air to decay. These include:
Some cleaning products, including bleach, glass cleaners, cleaning sprays, and air fresheners, often contain harmful chemicals that lurk in the atmosphere long after using them. For this reason, you should opt for safer, non-toxic cleaning supplies to keep your home clean.
Smoking exposes your loved ones to second-hand smoke, increasing the risk of contracting certain types of cancer. Second-hand smoke refers to exhaled cigarette smoke. While you may consider smoking outside to protect your loved one from second-hand smoke, they are still at risk of inhaling thirdhand smoke. Thirdhand smoke is found in furniture and clothes, among other surfaces.
Radon refers to a radioactive natural gas that gets into your home through cracks on the ground or buildups and could make your family susceptible to health issues like lung cancer. Invest in home test kits to protect your loved ones. You could use a home test to check the radon levels. Consider sealing cracks on your home’s foundation if you notice high radon levels. This prevents the radioactive gas from leaking into the living space.
Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound ( VOC) emitted by standard household supplies, including furniture and glues used in composite wood. Excessive formaldehyde could increase the risk of contracting respiratory problems like bronchitis.
Be sure to opt for solid wood furniture instead of composite wood to minimize the impact of formaldehyde on your indoor air quality. Purchasing used furniture over new ones can also lower formaldehyde levels.
Install air purifiers
Eliminating the source of air pollutants is the most effective way to improve indoor air quality, especially when you are allergic. However, you may be unwilling to control the problem’s source. For instance, you may not want to give up your furry friends. Why not install air purifiers in the commonly used areas in your home?
Air purifiers trap the dirty air from your living space and filter it before releasing it back into the atmosphere, much fresher and cleaner. An air purifier can eliminate smoke, VOCs, carbon dioxide, mold spores, and allergens such as pet dander.
If your budget allows, you could invest in an air purifier with a fan. This way, when the purifier releases clean air, the fan can circulate it throughout your home. If you don’t know where to begin, visit this website for a detailed HEPA filter review to help you make an informed choice.
Change the AC filters
The HVAC system works all year round to provide your home with ideal temperatures. As it operates, it also filters unwanted particles, including pet dander, dust, dirt, carbon monoxide, bacteria, and debris, from the atmosphere. Eventually, these unwanted particles build up in the AC filter, clogging it.
Clogged HVAC filters can no longer perform their function efficiently, compromising air quality in your living space. It also causes the air conditioning system to work harder to heat and cool your home, leading to high electricity bills. A clogged filter also wears down the heating and cooling system, necessitating expensive repairs. For this reason, you should consider cleaning the air filters frequently. You could also replace your AC filters every three months to improve indoor air quality, especially if you live in metropolitan areas or are allergy-prone.
Open your windows
Perhaps the easiest and most affordable way to clean your indoor air is by keeping your doors and windows open. This eliminates contaminants and allows fresh air to flow into the house. Opening windows also decrease humidity, eliminating an ideal environment for dust mites to survive.
However, keeping doors and windows open in winter allows heat to escape. This causes the air conditioning system to work twice as hard to heat your living space, raising the energy bills. For this reason, turn off the HVAC system whenever you want to open your doors and windows to keep electricity expenses at a minimum.
Use kitchen vents
The cookhouse releases most air contaminants in your home. When preparing meals, the gas stove and electric burner produce harmful pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. If these substances are absorbed into the bloodstream, they could make you and your loved one susceptible to severe health complications or even death. Ensure you switch on the kitchen vents and open the windows and doors when cooking to keep the indoor air clean.
Invest in household plants
Household air-filtering plants do not only add visual appeal and life to your home. They also soak up indoor air pollutants and help increase oxygen levels inside your house, improving air quality. Certain plants could even filter VOCs and harmful chemicals from furniture, cleaning products, carpets, wood, natural gas, and trash. Some air-filtering indoor plants include ferns, spider plants, lilies, and Devil’s ivy, to mention a few.
Invest in dehumidifiers
Your home could be vulnerable to excessive moisture, especially when living in a humid climate area. A damp indoor space allows cockroaches, cloth moths, dust mites, and fleas to breed. It also increases the risk of respiratory problems such as coughing, asthma attacks, and wheezing. To reduce moisture, consider investing in a dehumidifier.
Indoor air pollutants like carbon monoxide can cause short-term and long-term health complications. Install air purifiers, change AC filters, open windows, use kitchen vents, and invest in dehumidifiers to improve your air quality at home.