Do you suffer from allergies or some type of respiratory condition? Does your home always seem to have stale air and bad odors? The air inside of your home could be the cause, exacerbating your symptoms and making your home a less comfortable place to enjoy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the majority of Americans spend most of their time inside of their homes. In many cases, the air quality outside of the home is significantly better than the air inside. Use these 10 tips to improve your health and the quality of air you breathe inside of your home each day.
Get an Air Quality Analysis
The first step to achieving clean air inside of your home is to get an air analysis. An air analysis will help to identify the pollutants in the air, so that you can make a better decision about how to keep it clean. You can purchase a kit to test the air yourself or you can get a professional consultation. If you decide to do your own testing, be sure to purchase a kit that detects the most common air quality offenders, such as mold, radon, pollen, dust mites, bacteria, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and humidity.
Change the Air Filters
Change the air filters in your home several times a year, preferably at the start of each season. Make sure there are not any gaps or loose edges when fitting the air filters into place. They should be snug and secure. When changing the filters, inspect them for dirt. If your filters are not getting dirty, then there is a high probability of ventilation problems within your HVAC system. Have your furnace, air conditioners, and all ductwork inspected for any leaks and problems.
Increase Air Circulation
To get rid of any musty and stale air odors, increase the circulation of fresh air inside of your home. Open your windows and doors on dry days to allow fresh air inside. Check the pollen index to ensure that the days you choose to air out your home are low pollen days, so that you do not invite these tiny allergens inside. You can also increase the air circulation in your home with an in-home air filtration unit.
Use Air Purifiers
The use of an air purifier can significantly improve the air quality in the home. Air purifiers use a special type of air filtration system to remove more contaminants from the air than a traditional filtration unit. If you have an influx of odor in the home, you will want an air purifier that not only has a true HEPA filter to capture particles but one that also has a charcoal based activated carbon filter to adsorb those pesky smells and any airborne chemicals.
Use houseplants to spruce up your décor and improve the quality of your air at the same time. Plants are natural air purifiers and placing one in each room will greatly reduce the amount carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, benzene, and other pollutants inside of your home. Consider plants that do not need to be watered too often, for easier care and to avoid overwatering. Over watering your plants can lead to an increase in humidity, bacteria, and mold growth. Popular household plants that improve air quality include the aloe plant, spider plant, and snake plant.
Reduce Humidity and Moisture
Many household toxins such as mold, dust mites, pollen, and bacteria thrive when there is a great deal of humidity in the home. Use dehumidifiers and your air conditioner to reduce the humidity in the air. Check the roof and the plumbing in your home for leaks. Insulate the pipes in your home to reduce condensation and prevent leaks. Check and clean your dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and other appliances on a regular basis to prevent moisture from accumulating. Eliminate all sources of standing water to prevent bacteria, mold, and other humidity loving contaminants from affecting the quality of air inside of your home. Don’t forget to use the exhaust fan each time you take a hot shower or bath to reduce steam and humidity in the air.
Use Nontoxic and Eco-Friendly Household Cleaners
Many chemical household cleaners have solvents that can be harsh and toxic to one’s health. These same cleaners can also pollute the air and water in your home. Use nontoxic and eco-friendly cleaning solutions to keep the air in your home contaminate free. Open the windows and increase air circulation when you are using any cleaning solutions in the home to protect your health.
Cleaning Carpets and Hardwood Floors
Homes that have carpet are more likely to have air quality issues than homes that have hardwood floors. Keep carpet dry at all times and clean up any spills right away. Vacuum carpet with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter each week to increase the amount of contaminants that are removed from the carpet. Sweep hardwood floors several times a week to keep them clean. Mop the floors at least once a week to remove any dust, dirt, and other debris that was left behind from sweeping. In the case of water damage, dry all affected hardwood flooring within 48 hours and carpet within 24 hours to prevent mold and bacteria growth. Replace any damaged flooring as soon as possible.
Ventilation for Appliances
Check the ventilation on your appliances (furnace, water heater, dryer, stove, etc.). Make sure that all vents are properly connected to the outside of your home. Clean the vents regularly so that they are free from excess dust and any obstructions. Have all appliances regularly serviced and cleaned to ensure optimal efficiency and to prevent dust, particle, and other buildup that can circulate in the air inside of your home. Unvented appliances such as space and kerosene heaters should only be used in room with open space and a fair amount of air circulation.
Get Rid of Odors
Avoid smoking inside of the home. Cigarette and tobacco smoke contain high concentrations of indoor pollutants that can adversely affect the quality of air in your home and your health. To freshen the air inside of your home, skip the commercial air fresheners and simply simmer a pot of water and a few spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, or vanilla to make your home smell good. You can also use essential oils and diffusers to keep odors out of the air, and of course use a Rabbit Air purifier to remove odors.