When you consider air pollution, you probably think about big cities, industrialized areas, and lots of traffic. However, there is increasing scientific evidence that the quality of air indoors is actually worse than outside. Smoke, mold spores, cooking residue, and chemicals from building materials and cleaning supplies can worsen pollution inside your home. To reduce contaminants, take these steps toward better air quality in your home.
For Better Air Quality, Clean the House
Keeping dust, dirt, and pet dander cleaned up is a great way to remove contaminants. When cleaning, use wet rags or microfiber dusters that collect and trap the debris. Avoid using things like feather dusters that just spread the pollutants around. Vacuum at least once a week with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.
Eliminate Chemicals in the Air
Candles and air fresheners smell nice but add unnecessary toxins to the air. To help your house smell fresh, use essential oils through a diffuser instead of chemical fragrances. Don’t use cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals and perfumes. Instead, use natural household cleaners or make your own.
Keep the Heating and Cooling System Clean
Your heating and cooling system filters should be replaced at least every 3 months. Replace them sooner if needed or if recommended by the manufacturer. When buying new filters, remember that they vary in quality.
Your ductwork may need to be cleaned by a professional. Dust, mold, pet hair, and other particles can become trapped inside. Consult an HVAC professional for duct cleaning service.
Better Air Quality through Ventilation
One way to improve the quality of the air inside your house is to bring clean, fresh outdoor air inside. Many heating and cooling systems are not designed to draw air from the outside in, and instead, circulate the same air throughout the house. To draw air inside, open the windows often and use ceiling fans to circulate the fresh air.
Using ventilation for better air quality is more than just inviting air in; it’s also about moving contaminated air out. Make it habit to run exhaust fans in the kitchen or bathroom when cooking or bathing.
Invest in an Air Purifier
There are numerous air purifiers on the market that help improve indoor air quality. These units purify the air through activated charcoal filters, UV lights, HEPA filters, or ionizers.
Air purifiers can be small desktop units, designed for an entire room, or whole house purifiers that clean the air by eliminating odors, trapping and removing allergens, and killing airborne bacteria and germs.