There are many things in your home that can affect your air quality. Your indoor air is often worse than outdoor air because pollution gets trapped and recirculates throughout your house. This can cause problems for allergies, asthma, and other respiratory health issues. Listed below are several easy ways you can improve your indoor air quality.
1. Improve Your Indoor Air Quality With Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system’s acronym stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Your HVAC system is useful in increasing ventilation throughout your home. By turning on your air conditioner, heater, or fan, you can help circulate the air within your home and improve your indoor air quality.
2. Clean Your Air Ducts
Utilizing your HVAC system is a good idea, but make sure to get your air ducts regularly cleaned once or twice per year. It’s also important to change out your air filter as often as your manual says you should. For most people, this is a minimum of 4 to 6 times per year.
3. Reduce Allergens in Your Home
A big trend in home renovations is replacing carpet with hard flooring. Carpet is known to harbor allergens, dust, pet dander, and mold spores. By installing hardwood floors, tile, and laminate flooring, you can drastically reduce the number of allergens in your home. This is important because when people walk across the carpet, allergens get kicked up into the air and circulate throughout your home. Hard types of flooring can be cleaned more easily and help to improve your indoor air quality.
4. Open the Windows Periodically
Many people keep their windows and doors shut as much as possible, but this is a mistake. While you want to keep your windows and doors closed when there are a lot of allergens in the air or the outside air is otherwise compromised, it is good to open your house up during the early morning or late evening hours to let fresh air inside.
5. Avoid Chemicals in Your Home
Certain things in the house can increase indoor air pollution. If you’re painting or using chemical cleaning agents or synthetic air fresheners in the home, you should open your doors or windows so that the fumes can exit. Using natural cleaners also helps reduce fumes and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you want to clean with bleach, you can always rinse or wipe the area down afterward so the fumes don’t affect your air quality.
6. Use Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers
Air purifiers also effectively help remove allergens from the home. Air purifiers pull in the surrounding air and trap allergens and other debris that float in the air into the filter. Avoid using synthetic air fresheners.
Decreasing the humidity in your home doesn’t directly improve your home’s indoor air quality, but it decreases the amount of moisture, which helps to prevent mold and mold spores in the home. It’s not good for people to breathe in mold spores. Mold is often responsible for sinus headaches, asthma attacks, and other health conditions.
7. Keep Houseplants
Plants won’t remove allergens from your home, but they can help to decrease the amount of CO2 in your home and increase your home’s oxygen levels. Certain plants also absorb toxins that are in the air. Here is a list of air purifying plants.
Another threat to your indoor air quality is naturally occurring radon gas. Every home should be tested for this cancer-causing gas, and mitigated if the levels are found to be unsafe. Check out our blog post on radon in the home here.