Poisonous industrial smoke, bumper-to-bumper traffic-these are a few things that pop up in people’s minds when anyone mentions air pollution. However, have you ever thought about indoor pollution? Is the air inside our homes any safer than the air outside? That said, air pollutants can range from dangerous gas leaks to CFC-based air fresheners to contaminants brought in by your pets.
Furthermore, unburned natural gas from your cooking stove leads to carbon monoxide, a common air pollutant, escaping into your home’s atmosphere. Moreover, older homes might contain lead particles and asbestos, which can drastically lower air quality and damage your lungs in the process.
When you take these things into account, your home’s air quality can be just as bad as the outdoors. And according to a study that states an average American spends around 87 percent of their time indoors, you would think that improving your home’s air is something that warrants your attention.
However, you need not worry! With some basic knowledge and preventative measures, you can take steps to improve your home’s indoor air quality tenfold. Here are a few things you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality right away.
1. Replace your Ac’s filters
Your AC unit works tirelessly all year round to ensure you as comfortable as possible during the summer and winters. But as your AC continuously recycles air, it also filters out tons of air pollutants. Eventually, the air filters present inside an AC unit get clogged and stop filtering the air as effectively as they should. Such a thing wears down your AC unit and leads to reduced air quality and costly repairs in the long haul.
So, ensure that your AC’s filters as clean as possible. You can clean them yourself or acquire an air conditioning service plan if you are allergic to dust and dirt. Doing so will ensure your home’s air remains as clean as possible, allowing you to stay away from airborne diseases and allergies.
Here’s a tip – You can know a lot more about how pollution affects us in the long run, contribute towards your community by suggesting ways of reducing it and ensuring you’re safe from it. How? Consider enrolling in an online MPH. This degree will also help learn more about human allergies and what triggers them.
2. Check your home’s air ducts.
Your home’s air ducts distribute cold and hot air throughout your entire home, providing a comfortable living experience inside every room. However, improperly installed or maintained air ducts might end up distributing harmful air pollutants inside your home.
It is because, over time, dust, dirt, or sometimes mold can build up inside your home’s air ducts, drastically reducing your home’s overall air quality. If you have the tools and the know-how, you can clean them yourself. If you don’t, consider hiring a professional duct cleaning service.
3. Don’t forget about your home’s air filters.
Your AC filters aren’t the only things that require quarterly maintenance. If you want to improve your home’s indoor air quality, consider checking the filters inside other household appliances as well. For example, you need to periodically inspect your kitchen’s vents, clothes dryer, and vacuum cleaner for any dirt accumulation.
That said, experts recommend that you replace these standard household filters once or twice every couple of months.
4. Keep your carpets and rugs clean
Carpets and rugs do more than provide you a comfortable living experience. They also act as air filters, trapping contaminants, dirt, and dust particles between their thousands of fibers. When you don’t clean them and walk on them, fibers can rub with each other and release contaminants and dust particles into the air.
If you have toddlers in your house, making sure your carpets and rugs are clean is crucial. It is a good idea to hire professional house cleaners to clean your carpets and rugs thoroughly, and they will continue to work in your favor by removing harmful contaminants while improving your home’s air quality.
5. Install cooking vents
Many indoor air contaminants are present inside your kitchen. For example, gas stoves release nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide- both extremely harmful air pollutants. Sometimes, even electric stoves also produce low levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other air pollutants that might enter your bloodstream.
So, to counter these issues, ensure that you install a high-quality cooking vent with an exhaust fan on top of your kitchen stove. Doing so will ensure that harmful air pollutants don’t get left behind when your cooking stove isn’t being used.
6. Purchase indoor plants
Plants are nature’s way of filtering air. Purchasing a few indoor plants will do wonders for your home’s indoor air quality while increasing its aesthetic appeal in the process. If your home lacks space for indoor plants, go for smaller ones like lilies, Zanzibar plant, snake plant, umbrella tree(which can bloom indoors) and ferns.
If space isn’t an issue, palm trees will be the best option. Moreover, indoor plants such as the Chinese evergreen, English Ivy, and rubber plants are great for pulling contaminants out of the air and providing you with fresh, breathable O2.
7. Control your home’s humidity levels
A moist and humid environment is a breeding ground for mildew and mold. These can trigger a person’s asthma and allergies. People living in hot climatic conditions are prone to moist and humid indoor conditions. However, you can curb mildew and mold growth by installing a high-quality air dehumidifier inside your home.
That said, you may not need a standalone air dehumidifier as your HVAC system might have one already. Check your HVAC’s instruction manual to ensure it can dehumidify indoor air. If it does, you’ll be able to;
- Reduce pollen, dust, and dander
- Kill viruses, bacteria, and mold
- Reduce chemical emissions and foul odor
8. Invest in a high-quality air purifier
Using air purifiers inside your home is an effective way to improve your home’s air quality and tackle foul indoor odors. You can install multiple units of purifiers inside frequently used rooms such as bathroom air purifier, kitchen, and living room purifier to help clean the air in these areas.
That said, ensure that you follow the EPA’s guide on purchasing the best possible air purifier for your home.
9. Use a diffuser rather than chemical-based air fresheners
In addition to baking and cooking, you can make your home smell fresh and improve air quality by using an air diffuser with various essential oils of your choice. It is as easy as picking your favorite essential oils, adding them to the air diffuser, and plugging it into a power source.
The diffuser will then take care of the rest. That said, place multiple air diffusers in various areas of your home, including your bathroom, kitchen, or living, for maximum effectiveness.
Your home is a place that is away from all the challenges you face in your daily life. So, it is a no-brainer to ensure that it is a healthy place for you and your family. By making a few upgrades and incorporating regular cleaning habits, you can clean out your home’s indoor air. That said, follow the steps mentioned in this article if you want to ensure that you’re living in a home that is air contaminant and pollution-free
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