When you think of air quality, your mind may instead go to factory smokestacks belching clouds of toxic gasses or bumper-to-bumper traffic. But you may not immediately think of the air inside your home. However, the air we breathe inside of our homes is the most important invisible atmosphere.
Taking care of the air quality in your home is a crucial step in looking after yourself and your loved ones. Less-than-optimal air quality can result in minor yet persistent issues like coughing, headaches, dizziness or irritation of the ears, nose and throat. In the worst case scenarios, poor indoor air quality in your home can even lead to long-term conditions like cancer or asthma.
Here are some quick and easy ways to improve the air quality in your home without spending too much time or money to solve it. Your lungs will thank you.
Install a high-quality air purifier
As with most household chores, it’s always best if you can delegate the work to a machine. If you want to improve your air quality inside your home, an air purifier can vastly improve the situation.
Air purifiers remove pollutants from the air, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Look for an air purifier with a HEPA filter to get the best results.
Open your windows regularly
A fresh breeze clears many contaminants out of the atmosphere. If you’ve been experiencing any ailments like coughing, headaches or dizziness, you may want to crack your windows to help aerate your rooms on a regular basis.
One important note: If you live in an area with high levels of air pollution, try to open your windows during the morning or evening when the air is cleaner.
Keep your home clean and free of clutter
Dust and dirt can contribute to poor air quality. When people or animals travel through areas with a lot of dust, their passing stirs up the dust for others to inhale, which can pose a health problem if persistently ignored.
We all want to keep our homes clutter-free, simply because it creates a more pleasant environment. But there’s an important health reason to declutter as well. Too much clutter can introduce more surfaces for dust to settle. So, vacuum and dust regularly, and keep surfaces clean.
If you have pets, make sure to vacuum and clean up pet hair regularly. Brushing them outside is a great step in reducing the amount of pet hair you find in the corners and underneath furniture; if you can’t do that, do-it-yourself pet washing stations are a great option.
Avoid using harsh chemicals
Although keeping things clean at your home is one of the best ways to improve your air quality, you don’t want to use products that are made of harsh chemicals. Cleaning products and other household chemicals can release harmful pollutants into the air, causing irritation and reducing your air quality.
To reduce exposure, try to use natural cleaning products whenever possible. But even when you’re using natural options for cleaning, make sure to ventilate your home by opening a window (and letting in some fresh air as well) for at least a little while.
Plant some plants
All plants take carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen as part of a process known as photosynthesis. But some plants can even soak up harmful toxins in the air. Choose plants that are known for their air-purifying properties, like spider plants, aloe vera and peace lilies.
Get rid of mold and mildew
Just like dust and dirt, mold and mildew can pose a problem to the people in your home. But instead of regularly vacuuming and laying down entryway rugs, mold or mildew mean you have to solve the problem at the source.
Mold and mildew grow in damp areas of your home, such as the bathroom or basement. They can release harmful spores into the air, which can cause serious respiratory problems. If you have mold or mildew in your home, take steps to remove it immediately. That means solving the issue of leaks or pooling water, which often involves the expertise of a professional plumber.
Use a dehumidifier
Mold and mildew only grow where there is plenty of moisture, so it’s a good idea to make sure there is as little moisture as possible in your environment. Like an air purifier, a dehumidifier can reduce the amount of moisture in the air, which in turn can help to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Don’t smoke indoors
We all know cigarette smoking is bad for you, but there’s increasing evidence as to how bad it is for everyone around you. Smoking cigarettes releases harmful pollutants into the air, which can cause respiratory problems, even for the people in your home who don’t smoke. So, if you smoke, make sure to do it outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
Keep your HVAC system in good working order
Your HVAC system can circulate pollutants throughout your home if it’s not properly maintained. That’s why it’s critical to have it cleaned and serviced regularly. One of the easiest things you can do to improve the air quality throughout your home is to swap out the air filter regularly — at least once every few months.
Get a home air quality test
If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, you can have it tested by a professional. The results will help you to identify any potential problems and identify the next steps to improve your home’s air quality.
The air quality inside your house is key to your family’s overall health and well-being. If you’re concerned that the air quality of your home isn’t as good as it could be, don’t wait. After all, prolonged exposure to poor air quality can result in long-term health problems, so start doing something about it today. Contact At Home Pros, and get connected to prescreened home service professionals in your area who can help you solve your air quality issues right away.