Most people think about the air outside when it comes to air pollution. The truth is, indoor air can be even more polluted. This article will discuss why improving indoor air quality at home is important and some tips on how to achieve cleaner indoor air.
Why is improving indoor air quality at home important?
Confined indoor spaces are more susceptible to air pollution than outside. This is because most of our exposure to pollutants occurs while we are indoors. The air inside our homes is typically 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. And when you consider that the average person spends most of their time in confined spaces, sleeping, working, eating, etc., it’s important that the indoor air you breathe is clean. Here are some tips for improving indoor air quality at home.
1. Improve Your Home’s Ventilation
Indoor air must be recirculated so that it stays fresh and dilutes indoor pollutants. Therefore, use exhaust fans whenever you can and run the air conditioner. You can also keep the windows open so long as you are not affected by outdoor allergens such as molds and pollen.
Consider using an air purifier with a HEPA filter to trap fine particulates and keep them from circulating inside. Even though central systems are typically the most efficient, an air purifier can come in handy if you spend most of your time in a particular room.
It is also essential for every home to have an active carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and toxic gas that can kill if it builds up to dangerous levels. Make sure that you regularly clean or change the filters in your AC and furnace, too.
2. Keep the Humidity Levels Between 30 and 50 Percent
Controlling indoor humidity will help with improving indoor air quality at home by inhibiting the growth of molds and dust mites which pollute the air. Some types of molds produce mycotoxins and allergens, which can have adverse effects such as allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues. These health problems may occur in people without allergies.
When improving indoor air quality at home by checking your humidity levels, follow these guidelines:
• Track your home’s humidity levels and keep them between 30 and 50 percent.
• Use a dehumidifier in areas that are susceptible to high humidity.
• Open windows and use exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen when showering or cooking.
• Make sure that you do not have water leaks.
• Always empty your AC’s drip pans.
3. Avoid Synthetic Fragrances
Another way of improving indoor air quality at home is by avoiding synthetic fragrances. These fragrances are found in many household products such as hand soap, laundry products, air fresheners, and perfumes. However, most of the gases that evaporate from these products are listed as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are harmful. The only safety tests these fragrances go through before being introduced to the market are for skin irritations. There is no consideration for the potential dangers they might pose when inhaled. Use the following tips to avoid using such products:
• Only use fragrance-free products or those with scents of natural origin for your cleaning and laundry needs.
• Use baking soda to eliminate odors.
• Avoid aerosol spray products, i.e., those that create a mist of liquid whenever you spray.
Improving indoor air quality at home has a positive impact on the long-term respiratory health of your family. The best way of keeping your air fresh and clean is by keeping your home well ventilated, humidity levels optimal, your house clean, and refraining from using products that emit VOCs. Use this article as a guide to improve your indoor air quality.