Homes should be places where we feel safe, rested, and secure– not a place we get sick from the air that surrounds us. When we think of pollution and bad air quality, the outside air comes to mind. However, the air you breathe at home can also be filled with pollutants and particles that are bad for your health.
Contaminants are brought into your home each day through a variety of sources. Dust mites, pet dander, mold, harsh chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners, formaldehyde, fire retardants, radon, lead, and many other invisible pollutants constantly filter into homes.
Admitting reports that air quality inside homes can be worse than the one outside, engineers have gotten ways to improve your indoor air quality to minimize the factors that lead to indoor air quality problems. For tips to improve indoor air quality, visit this website.
What is Indoor Air Quality?
Although the air in your home appears to be clean, you may be surprised at how many toxins it has. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that the air within homes or places of business could be more polluted than the outdoor air.
Carpets, fiberboard furnishings, clogged furnace filters, and many other household cleaning products can pollute the air your family breathes daily, which leads to respiratory ailments such as asthma and COPD.
Polluted air can also cause allergic reactions and skin problems. Understanding ways to improve indoor air quality — like clean air filters, natural cleaning products, and growing specific varieties of plants— can save your family’s health.
Indoor air quality in 2020 has become a significant health and safety concern. The COVID-19 outbreak and the increased presence of pollutants in indoor air can cause many health problems and fatigue. There are specific symptoms that can arise when poor air quality affects your body that you should be aware of:
- Dryness or irritation of the nose, eyes, throat, and skin
- Coughing and sneezing
- Shortness of breath
Let’s now examine the tips on how to improve your indoor air quality.
Tip 1: Proper ventilation
You can improve your home’s indoor air quality by letting in fresh air, which is an essential component of healthy indoor air quality. Opening your doors and windows restores the stagnant air in your home with outside air. Even for a few minutes, like five to ten minutes, fresh air is essential.
Tip 2: Buy indoor plants to improve air quality
NASA researchers have discovered many varieties of plants that reduce indoor pollution. These include Boston Ivy and spider plants. They are known for breathing in toxins such as carbon dioxide, thereby allowing clean air into your house, and adding beauty to your indoor space.
Additionally, some other plants help improve air quality:
- Aloe Vera
- Boston fern
- Palm trees
- English ivy
- Bamboo palm
- Chinese evergreen
- Weeping fig
- Gerbera daisy
- Dragon tree
- Peace lily
Tip 3: Change your air filters regularly
Asking yourself how to improve your indoor air quality?
Constant cleaning and replacing well-fitting air conditioners filters, plus other ventilation systems, is one of the most efficient and affordable ways to maintain clean air in your home.
Air filters can cost only a few dollars to change and can save you 15% on electricity bills when replaced regularly.
Air filters should be cleaned or replaced based on usage than the general claim stamped on the side of the filter. A furnace filter can be touted as a “30-day filter.” But in reality, it can last only 15 days with heavy usage or in a home with severe amounts of dust, dander, or other pollutants.
There are also different capability level ratings for air filters. These MERV ratings most times range from 1 at the lowest to 16 at the highest level of filtration; most home air filters are between 6 and 13.
Tip 4: Don’t smoke in the house
Smoking in your home spoils the air quality. Smoking is one of the unhealthiest pollutants in indoor air.
Cigarette smoke holds thousands of chemicals that can cause cancer, breathing problems, and heart attacks. Second-hand smoke can be highly detrimental to children in addition to causing overpowering odors in your home.
If you or your guests feel like smoking, it’s advisable to take it outdoors to improve home indoor air quality.
Tip 5: Keep your floors and furniture clean
Indoor air can transfer many different allergens, including dust mites and pet dander, that resides on floors, furniture, carpets, and even bedding or sheets—regularly washing sheets and cleaning floors, even if they are hardwood, helps to get rid of these pollutants.
Tip 6: Regularly check your indoor radon levels
Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that is a product of decaying uranium found in soil. Any home can have a radon issue, which can have severe adverse effects. Radon is the second main cause of lung cancer in the US.
Testing for radon can help to ensure there are no harmful chemicals or gases in the air.
Tip 7: Use natural cleaning products
Many household cleaners are harmful to respiratory and skin health. Ammonia, chlorine, aerosol sprays, and other cleaners can be absorbed into your home’s carpets, upholstery, and drapes. Even mothballs, once commonly used in closets, are classified as carcinogens.
By converting to natural cleaning products like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice, your home can be just as clean without the added harmful chemicals and toxins in the air you breathe.
Tip 8: Use ionic & HEPA purifiers
Most ionic machines found in electronics stores attract and hold pollutants. You should clean the metal plates regularly to remain functional, and only a limited space can be cleaned. HEPA filters are nicely woven filters that can capture particles as small as 0.3 micrometers, making them useful in hospitals.
Tip 9: Control the humidity in your home
Humidity can spawn mold and mildew, triggering flare-ups in asthma and allergies. It’s recommended to keep the moisture in your home between 30% and 50%. It’s too dry to keep it below 30% and too moist to keep it above 50%.
Your location can drastically affect the humidity in your home, especially if you live in a warmer or more tropical environment, so adjust appropriately. Regulate your humidity in cases of a basement or areas in your home that are generally damp.
Tip 10: Try out beeswax candles
Believe it or not, most types of candles contain chemicals that can affect indoor air quality. When lit, these candles can spread these chemicals throughout your home. On the contrary, Beeswax candles hardly emit any smoke when they are burned.
This creates a better atmosphere for those with asthma or breathing problems. Beeswax is a great air purifier. It emits ions that pull allergen particles like pollen and dust into the candle itself.
Getting an air purifier shouldn’t necessarily always be the first step you take towards minimizing indoor air pollution. It’s better to address the issues first at their source by minimizing any pollution you’re producing, then get into the habit of ventilating. This is one of the best responses on how to improve indoor air quality.