11 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality Year Around
What comes to your mind when you think of air pollution? Industrial smokestacks or traffic-clogged roads? They are heavy pollutants, but right now, it could be where you live, your home.
Indoor air could be as polluted or even worse than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Unfortunately, most of us don’t give it a second thought, but it is just as important. The dust piling up in your air duct could exacerbate skin conditions, allergies, and similar problems.
Common sources of indoor air pollution are harmful elements like asbestos, carbon monoxide from HVAC ducts, tobacco, and any pollutant introduced into the air. Poor ventilation, chemicals in cleaning products, dander released by your pet, or you all contribute to the poor air quality.
We tend to spend more than 80% of the time indoors, and the air quality could be fatal to our health if not taken care of. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain clean air. Let’s dive into 11 ways to improve indoor air at homes.
1. HVAC Indoor Air Quality Products
Many products can work in conjunction with your HVAC system to clean your air before your HVAC system blows air over you and your family. Many of these indoor air quality or IAQ products use advanced technology to clean your air and keep your air ducts clean.
One of the more popular products is a UV lamp. These are installed in your HVAC system near your coil, and the UV light stops airborne contaminants from entering your air ducts and spreading throughout your home or office.
Air cleaners are another popular form of indoor air quality products that can help clean your HVAC system by stopping pet dander, bacteria, pollen, and pathogens from entering.
These HVAC products are the single most effective way to improve your home’s air quality and make you and your family healthier. Our comfort advisors here at Absolute Airflow can provide options that will work for your home.
2. Stop Smoking
Say absolutely no to smoking. It’s essential to try to keep your home smoke-free. Even if you don’t personally smoke, secondhand smoke contains about 7000 chemicals and causes around 3000 deaths per year. Tobacco smoking not only degrades the air quality, but it is also fatal to health. You may have heard it many times already by now, but yes, “Smoking is bad.” Politely request any smoker to take it outside.
Smoke from incense sticks and candles might also be detrimental. They release plenty of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the air in fine particles.
3. Invest in an Air Purifier
An air purifier is probably the first thing to buy for anyone struggling with indoor pollution. The job of an air purifier is to take in the polluted air, filter, and release it back, only much cleaner. The filter helps absorb the harmful pollutants in the air, and it would need replacement depending on the capacity.
Choose one based on the size of your room to help you breathe easier. If someone at your home is allergic, look for High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) certified, it helps to remove finer particles and allergens.
However, remember that air purifiers don’t clean the air 100%, even though they say so. This is because those are lab test numbers, while the real environment results may vary.
4. Keep the Air Ducts Clean
Not sure when was the last time you cleaned the air ducts? Don’t panic. It’s common with most homeowners. The potential contaminants are dangerous. Your HVAC ducts may be residence to dust, dirt, dander, allergens, and mold that has been building up for a long time without you knowing. They can ruin the air quality and worsen any allergy.
The best way out would be to keep it clean and well maintained. You could either do it yourself or get a technician for help. If there are visible marks of dust build-up or an allergy outburst, it’s time to get started.
5. Stay Away from VOCs
Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are constantly released into the air by certain products at our homes. VOCs like toluene and benzene are given off by construction materials, glues, paints, and fabrics. They react with the sunlight and may cause problems in the atmosphere. New furniture, like a sofa, or a recliner, generally emit VOCs in the initial years and then wear off.
To minimize the VOCs, keep the windows and doors open when you get new furniture and strengthen your air filtration system. It might be better to go for secondhand furniture. VOCs are also heavy in paints and certain petrochemical products. Try to avoid the usage of these products and always use the non-toxic alternative.
6. Avoid Toxic Cleaning Products
Most store-bought cleaners contain harmful chemicals that degrade the air quality and irritate allergies. Whenever possible, use natural household cleaners like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, or essential oils. They are not toxic and are also fresher and healthier.
Industrial cleaners may leave out a residue that negatively affects air quality. If they still have to be used, make sure to provide proper ventilation while you use them.
7. Clean Your AC
The good news is that air-conditioning helps in cleaning the air at your home. It works by sucking in the air, cooling it, and releasing it back out. During this process, it also filters the air that goes in. Therefore, the more the AC is running, the better air you get.
The bad news is that it’s the filter that traps those air particles, and it needs to be cleaned. So regularly cleaning and maintaining the AC filter is crucial to the air quality. Also, keep an eye out for leaks and drips around the AC, as that’s an invitation to mold and dust mites.
8. Get Beeswax Candles
Have you ever heard of these amazing types of candles? Beeswax has the quality of purifying the air.
Most pollutants like dust, dirt, pollen, and other harmful elements in the air, carry a positive charge. Beeswax Candles, on the other hand, when burned, release negative ions. The negative ions help in binding the potentially harmful substances and neutralizing them. And, positively charged ions either get sucked or lose their ability to sustain.
Beeswax candles are non-toxic and natural. They will help maintain air quality and release a pleasant smell, bestowing a good vibe all around.
9. Keep the Rugs and Carpets Clean
By now, you must have understood that cleaning is critical. A vacuum cleaner would be handy against dust particles and pollutants, especially if you have pets. Use a vacuum as much as possible; it can get into those nitty corners in sofas or otherwise unreachable places.
Cushions, rugs, bedsheets, and pillows should all be kept neat. Carpets and rugs are mainly among the favorite places of pollutants as they are a good hiding space. Try to minimize carpet usage. In addition, taking your shoes off outside the house can also be an excellent way to keep away the dirt carried by them.
10. Restrict Damp Areas
Moisture promotes the healthy growth of dust mites, mold, and viruses. Therefore, maintaining control of humidity is key to a positive airflow. Allow proper ventilation and keep wet clothes or anything damp out of the door.
Buy yourself a decent quality humidifier to remain protected against dampness. There are plenty of options around, and humidity levels of 30-50% are a good start.
11. Pile Up on Houseplants
Houseplants, like Beeswax candles, help eliminate toxins from the air; and add up oxygen to the air. Some plants that can help are aloe vera, dragon tree, bamboo plan, mass cane, Janet Craig, spider plant, and English ivy.
They aren’t expensive, but you might need many of them for any significant impact. Either way, stocking up on houseplants can only be beneficial.
Of course, another way to help ensure your indoor air quality is up to standard is to schedule a maintenance check on your HVAC system.
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