Indoor air pollutants are two to five times higher than outdoor levels and come from seemingly harmless sources.
Poor indoor air quality can cause an increased risk of COPD, pneumonia, and lung cancer so eliminating them is crucial. Perhaps you’ve noticed a change in your home’s air quality but you’re not sure how to improve it.
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Sounds familiar? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six ways to improve your indoor air quality.
- Review Your Ventilation System
If you’re unsure how to improve indoor air quality, start by reviewing your ventilation system. This includes your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), or anything else that affects the airflow in and outside of your home.
Hire an HVAC expert to examine each component so contaminants aren’t getting pumped into the air. You should also regularly check your air filters as they could be old and inefficient. As a general rule, replace these every three months and consider its efficiency reporting value (MERV) to determine how well it performs.
And don’t forget to schedule an AC duct cleaning to tackle dirty air ducts so clean air flows through your home.
- Keep Your Rugs and Carpet Clean
Once you’ve arranged for an AC duct cleaning, figure out when you last cleaned your carpet or rug.
Vacuum every room once a week with a machine equipped with a HEPA filter. You should also regularly mop hardwood, tile, or vinyl floors. If you’re remodeling, choose hard-surface flooring as it’ll reduce the number of allergens in your home.
Further, clean your bed sheets and clothes to remove dust-mites. These insects are the leading cause of poor air quality and irritate your eyes, make you sneeze, and leave you with a stuffy nose. So invest in dust-mite-proof mattresses and pillow covers to reduce the problem.
You should also consider your furniture as many manufacturers use harmful glues that continually release toxins into the air. Before making a purchase, ask about the production methods and avoid items made from particleboard.
If you’ve got furry friends, keep them off the bed and couch. Still, shedding? Then get several pet blankets and regularly wash these to minimize a build-up of pet hair.
- Invest in an Air Purifier
Invest in a high-quality air purifier as it eliminates surface bacteria, mold, and harmful viruses like E. coli.
Place the device near the worst air pollutant such as a mildew-covered wall or a room that a family member smokes in. Also, keep the air purifier next to a window or door as it has the highest airflow so it purifies the room faster.
Or get beeswax candles as these have air-purifying qualities. This is because dust carries a positive charge and beeswax releases negative ions which eliminate them. Plus, it smells great!
If you’ve got asthma or don’t want to burn candles, get a salt lamp. The light activates the negative ions in the Himalayan salt which combats the air contaminants.
Further, keep your home’s humidity between 30% and 50% to prevent harmful allergens. You may need a humidifier in the summer to reduce these levels.
- Use Cooking Vents
Turn on the cooker hood when you’re whipping up your favorite dishes. The kitchen is riddled with contaminants such as the gas stove which produces carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Electric burners emit these at a lower rate but they still seep into your bloodstream so always crack open a window when you cook.
When you’re wiping down surfaces, use eco-friendly cleaning products as industrial cleaners leave behind harmful toxins that affect the indoor air quality. You can even make your own by mixing white vinegar with water and using that as a spray.
- Ventilate Your Home
Constant airflow is the key to great indoor air quality. Opening your doors and windows helps refresh the air but this isn’t possible for homeowners who live in cities.
To make this effective, install a trickle ventilator as it filters outdoor air so it’s purified when it reaches your home. You can either attach this to your window or get a stand-alone frame if you don’t want the hassle.
- Buy Indoor Plants and Try Essential Oils
A fantastic way to eliminate indoor pollutants is by introducing air-purifying plants into your home.
These remove formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethane and replenish the air’s oxygen levels. So dot bamboo palm, Chinese evergreen, and English Ivy around your home to reap these benefits.
You should also diffuse essential oils to eliminate the bad odors associated with poor air quality. Tea tree, lemongrass, and citrus battle airborne bacteria while leaving your home smelling fresh.
If the fragrance is too strong for your taste, mix one cup of water, one cup of alcohol-free witch hazel, and eight drops of your favorite essential oil. Pour this into a spray bottle to make the ultimate all-purpose cleaner.
You should also consider preventative measures. For instance, ask guests to smoke outside to avoid unpleasant odors. Further, consider indoor air quality testing so a professional can conduct an assessment so you fix or catch anything you’ve overlooked. This will factor in the airflow, dust levels, humidity, and potential contaminants in your home.
That’s How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know how to improve indoor air quality.
Get your ventilation system routinely checked, keep your carpet spotless, and ventilate your home especially while cooking. You should also diffuse essential oils, invest in houseplants, and an air purifier to eliminate indoor pollution. Good luck!
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