Freshen Up Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your home’s indoor air quality, but it plays a critical role in your family’s overall health. If you suspect your indoor air quality isn’t as good as it ought to be, you should take swift action.
Why Indoor Air Quality Matters
The term “indoor air quality” is used to describe the healthiness of the air inside buildings and structures such as your home. It’s generally employed during discussions of the relationship between a building’s air quality and the residents or occupants.
The health effects of poor indoor air quality can be immediate and/or chronic, depending on the type of exposure and the individual’s health history. Side effects and symptoms are often generic, but may include irritation of nose, eyes, and throat, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue.
“Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure,” the EPA states. “These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal.”
Common causes of indoor air pollution include tobacco products, fuel-burning combustion appliances, newly installed flooring, cabinetry that has certain finishes, household cleaning products, central heating and cooling systems, radon, excess moisture, mold, and mildew.
Six Tips to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality
If you seek to improve your home’s air quality, here are half a dozen specific steps you may take.
Install Door Mats
Did you know that roughly 80 percent of the dirt and grime in an average house is brought in from the outside via shoes? If you want to cut the total amount of foreign germs in your home and make the air healthier to breathe, try installing better doormats at each entrance. You might impose a rule that shoes are to be removed upon entering your home.
Keep Your House Clean
Taking shoes off at the door will reduce a lot of unwanted dirt in your home, but it’s not sufficient to create a healthy house. If you’re serious about improving air quality, you’ll have to keep your house clean. This means regularly vacuuming, dusting, cleaning soft goods (like drapes and bedding), throwing away clutter, and keeping pets outside.
Use a Whole-Home Air Purifier
“The air in your home probably isn’t as healthy as you’d like to believe it is,” Green Residential suggests. “And while it may smell fine, it’s likely lurking with little invisible particles that are hurting your present and long-term health.”
A whole-home air purifier, though not cheap, boasts advanced technology designed to eliminate smoke, pollen, dust, bacteria, viruses, pet dander, and odors. With recent improvements, the newer models are also quiet, small, and create very few (if any) disruptions in your home.
Let Your House Breathe
Even with a whole-home air purifier, it’s a smart idea to let your house breathe further by occasionally opening windows and letting outside air exchange with inside air. For best results, open windows on opposite sides of the room and turn on the ceiling fan. This will encourage circulation and give stale and musty air a chance to escape.
Toss Harsh Cleaning Products
“Volatile organic compounds are a class of gaseous chemicals released from liquids and solids, such as perfume and treated wood. They can be natural or manmade,” Mountain Air Mechanical Contractors explains.
“According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor concentrations of these chemicals are two to five times higher compared to outdoor samples on average.”
Some of the most common volatile organic compounds include acetaldehyde, acetone, benzene, ethanol, formaldehyde, styrene, and xylene. And guess what! Many of these harmful compounds may be found in household cleaning products.
Reduce your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals such as these by throwing away your harsh cleaning products and only using natural ingredients to clean.
Bring Greenery Indoors
Houseplants are more than decor. Many can actually enhance your home’s indoor air quality by removing toxins in exchange for oxygen. Some of the healthiest plants include Bamboo Palm, English Ivy, Red Edged Dracaena, Corn Plan, Warneckii Dracaena, Gerbera Daisy, and Janet Craig Dracaena.
Put Your Family’s Health First
If you’re serious about prioritizing your family’s health, you may have to shift your focus further in the direction of indoor air quality. There will always be certain factors you can’t control, of course, but this article shows how we, as homeowners, may have plenty of influence over the quality of air that we breathe inside our own homes.
Be proactive and thorough, and you’ll notice the difference.