This guide serves as a quick resource on how to improve indoor air quality in your home or office.
If you'd to improve the indoor air quality of your home, you're not alone. Indoor air quality issues can pose as environmental and health hazards for those living there.
When people think of air pollution, they usually think of outside air, but indoor air pollution is an even more serious issue. Thanks to allergens such as dander, house dust mites, mold, cigarette smoke and cleaning solvents, bad quality air can pose as a threat to you and your family.
Cleaning solvents contain chemicals that can trigger an allergy or an asthma attack in one or more of a home's inhabitants. Check out the tips we have for you below for ways you can improve the indoor air quality of your home.
1. Be a cleaning machine
One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality is to keep your floors perfectly clean. There are often corners of your home where dust can accumulate for years - this is especially common with carpet. If you see unclean floors in your home, this is a sure sign that your air is also unclean.
Take a Saturday afternoon to:
- Clean deep into every corner of your space.
- Clean and wash the top of tall cabinetry to kill all the dust that accumulates there.
- Use a vacuum that has a HEPA air filter so you can trap all the allergens that can threaten your family's health.
The HEPA filter holds all the dust inside so that it doesn't get blown back out of the vacuum and into your room. Another important factor to keep in mind is to find a vacuum that has a strong suction mechanism. Make sure that your vacuum comes with attachments so that you can clean as many surfaces as you can, including your sofa, upholstery, curtains and walls. Make sure to empty out and wash your filter regularly.
2. Install and maintain an air conditioner
Another great way you can improve air quality in your home is via the air conditioner you choose. An AC unit can be responsible for releasing a lot of toxins into the air if it's not cared for properly. You may think you're safe because your air conditioner has a filter, but filters often only block a small percentage of toxins. Air conditioning units
tend to be moist and damp on the inside, creating the perfect environment for mold to build up.
Before you install a home cooling system, check with an HVAC contractor to make sure the model you chose rates highly in terms of air quality. The installer can also help you keep your AC system well maintained over time.
If you have a central AC unit, have a specialist clean the ductwork with an EPA-registered biocide at least once a year. The entire unit should be cleaned every three to seven years for best results.
Although air conditioner prices can be high, this cost is to maintain a clean and healthy home for you and your loved ones - the importance of this makes it well worth the cost. Choose the very best model you can afford. If you're looking to hire a contractor, make sure to get an air conditioner estimate that also includes installation. Check to see if your warranty helps with maintenance.
3. Invest in a humidifier
Related to air conditioners, having a dehumidifier can be very helpful for keeping good air quality. Dehumidifier's are especially great to remove excess moisture in your home, which can cause mold. This is especially true in certain climates of the U.S. such as many states in the Northwest. Because mold spreads through spores in the air, it can irritate allergies quickly.
Unfortunately, dust mites are attracted to humidity too. They can be in your carpet, curtains, bedding and so forth. Dust mites not only hurt those with allergies, but also those with asthma as well.
One of the most important factors in purchasing a dehumidifier is selecting one with the correct capacity. In other words, it has to handle the room size in order to function properly.
Once you have a dehumidifier, keep the humidity level in your home or office at 30 to 50 percent.
Another important factor to consider is making sure your home gets plenty of ventilation. Poorly installed heating or cooking appliances that are run by gas can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Make sure that your gas appliances are installed by professionals who know exactly what they're doing. The appliances need to be directly vented to the outside of the home.
5. Green it up
Add indoor plants to your space. Plants are an easy and inexpensive way to improve your indoor air quality. Plants naturally clean the air for you by filtering out volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are found in a number of products.
Some plants that are easy to care for:
- Spider plant
- Snake plant
- Golden pothos
- Chinese evergreen
Indoor plants also add the extra bonus of creating a nice, homey atmosphere and can adhere to your particular style. They also convert the carbon dioxide you breathe out to oxygen, produces an airy, calming effect.
You will literally be able to smell the difference in your home once you take these few, simple steps to improve your indoor air quality!