Good air quality, particularly indoors, is important. How important is it? President of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Kenneth Mendez, says the average person takes about 20,000 breaths per day and spends 90 per cent of that day inside.
Those are good reasons to make sure the quality of the air in your home is excellent. Anything less can expose you to recurring headaches and respiratory ailments and even increase your chances of getting certain kinds of cancer.
If you want to avoid this, these are some things you can do.
Keep your home clean
Tidying up can do more than just lift your mood. Regular cleaning can also reduce the amount of dust, mould, pet dander, and other allergens that accumulate in your home. It will also decrease the presence of allergens and germs brought into your home from outside.
Focus on areas where these pollutants are most likely to collect, for example, furniture surfaces, window blinds, and floors. Regularly washing bed linens, clothing, as well as cleaning cushions, will also decrease the presence of dust mites.
Carpets and mats can harbour dust and germs and re-release them into the air as well, so don’t forget to clean these too. Having a clean home will ensure there are fewer pollutants to circulate in the air within your home.
Keep your AC/HVAC filters clean and well maintained
When your AC unit is working well, it’s easy to forget that the filters are hard at work removing dust, pollen, mould, and other undesirable stuff from your indoor air.
They may work so well, you may forget they need cleaning and replacing. Cleaning or changing filters does not have to be hard work. Ideally, you should check your filters once a month to see the accumulated level of dust and dirt.
Depending on the kind of filters you have, you can vacuum or wash them and put them right back, or if they are disposable, get new ones.
Keep other vents/exhaust areas in the home clean and well maintained
Your AC filters aren’t the only ventilation equipment in your home. It’s likely your kitchen and bathroom have vents, as well as your laundry room and basement.
As time passes, all kinds of unsanitary and unhealthy materials can collect in these vents and can end up recirculated in your home’s air. Additionally, if they aren’t working properly, they may not be extracting pollutants at a sufficient enough rate to ensure your air’s quality.
This is why you have to take care of these as they are an important element in your fight against poor air quality. The installation of vents and exhaust fans, where they aren’t present, can also do much to improve your air.
Exchange as much air as possible with outside
Modern homes are sealed to create maximum insulation. This means it’s much harder to get stale or dirty indoor air out of the home. A simple solution is to open doors and windows wherever you can to introduce fresh air from outside.
Even though outdoor air has its own pollutants, swapping air regularly prevents the build-up of mould and microbes that can cause disease and aggravate respiratory problems, particularly in the winter months.
Get a dehumidifier
Air that has a lot of moisture is not only uncomfortable to breathe and live in, it’s also a haven for dust mites and mould. These two are responsible for a whole list of skin and breathing problems that can make your home quite unpleasant.
A dehumidifier will reduce and control moisture in your home’s air ensuring mould and dust mites do not proliferate.
Limit the use of artificially scented items
Many homeowners think artificial scents, in the form of air fresheners, disinfectants, cleaning products, and candles improve the quality of indoor air.
This isn’t true. In fact, they may be introducing something called VOCs or volatile organic compounds into your home. Several VOCs have known carcinogens or cancer causers. This is definitely something you don’t want to be trapped in your indoor air.
There are several natural alternatives for introducing scent while purifying the air. One of these is using beeswax candles.
Get some houseplants
Continuing on the natural theme, several plants have been shown to improve indoor air quality.
If you’re a plant person, here’s your chance to indulge that green thumb by bringing a few plants into your indoor space. Plants increase the oxygen in the air and remove carbon dioxide.
Knowing how dangerous bad air quality indoors can be, you have no excuse to allow it to continue in your home. Follow the preceding tips to improve not just the quality of your air, but the quality of your life.
Featured image: Annie Spratt/Unsplash