We usually think of air pollution as a matter of worry for the outside life, maybe in cities, streets and busy areas. The air outside may be polluted with carbon compounds like monoxide, dioxide, smog, and dust. All these pollutants are harmful to humans and cause breathing problems (if exposed beyond a limit). Do you really think only the outside air is polluted? Do you believe air indoors is safe & good to breathe? Well, the truth is that air inside our homes, offices and other buildings could be more polluted than the air outside.
Indoor air can be polluted by dust, fire retardants, or even some fragrances used in conventional home cleaning solutions. You may not believe, but new furniture or newly coated paint can pollute your indoor air.
Small children, people with asthma and the elderly may be sensitive to indoor pollutants. But other serious health problems may appear years later with continued exposure. If you’re prone to allergies, use a good air purifier which can remove allergens from your room.
Proper care of indoor air is very important because we spent more time indoors, especially we relax and get a good nights sleep in our home indoors. Since modern homes are airtight, built upon minimal area, these pollutants may not easily go away even if you clean frequently. In this article, we offer you 10 tips to maintain good air quality in your home.
So let’s begin and see the different methods to keep your indoor air fresh.
- Maintain a healthy level of humidity
High levels of moisture help dust mites and mold co-exist together happily. A dehumidifier or air conditioner can help reduce moisture in the indoor air and effectively control allergens.
Keeping humidity levels in the range 30%-50% can keep pollutants and other allergens under control. Be cautious of seasons like winter.
More ways to reduce humidity:
- Fix plumbing leakages to avoid moisture.
- Empty drip pans in your air conditioner and dehumidifier.
- Use an exhaust
- Don’t overwater houseplants.
2. Keep your floors clean
Allergens and other chemicals can accumulate in household dust for decades. You can reduce these accumulations by using a vacuum with HEPA filter, which will also get rid of toxins and other allergens. The dust left behind after vacuuming can be removed by mopping.
A lot of pollutants can enter your home from the dirt on shoes worn by people entering your home. The remedy is to keep a large doormat on the entrance floor, which can reduce the amount of dust entering your home.
3. Open the Windows
It is a good practice to open your windows frequently. It can lower the levels of toxic gases like Carbon Dioxide (CO2) inside your room. In certain situations (like when the home was not occupied for a full year or so) the indoor air quality can be several times poorer than the outer air. In these kinds of cases, you shouldn’t wait until next morning to open the windows. Opening up your doors for 5-10 minutes daily can help improve your indoor air quality.
4. Never Smoke Indoors
Exhaled cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 different chemicals. Cigarette smoke is a dangerous factor that affects indoor air quality. If you are not ready to quit smoking and nonetheless worried about indoor air quality, it’s better to step outside and take your puff.
5. Avoid Using Synthetic Fragrances
Many gases evaporating from products we use every day like air fresheners, perfumes, laundry products, and hand soaps are volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).
In fact, while these fragrances undergo safety tests, the only concern addressed is about skin irritations.No test is made to evaluate potential dangers caused by inhalation.
6. Place an Air Filtering Plant in Your Home
Studies show that some houseplants can be used to eliminate toxic agents like benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde from indoor air. Apart from this the foliage and roots of these plants can absorb certain VOC’s. Note that the pollutant removal rate of these plants is relatively small.
The English ivy (Hedera Helix) or the variegated snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata “Laurentii”) has the same pollutant blocking skills. These plants can effectively filter out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.
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The peace lily (Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa”) or a florist’s chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) are even more effective; they filter out all the pollutants above, even ammonia. Be careful not to ingest either the English ivy’s or the peace lily’s leaves and berries, as they are toxic.
7. Beeswax Candles are Perfect Air Purifiers
Beeswax candles have perfect air purifying qualities. When these candles burn they release negative ions. The pollens, dust, pollutants and any other junk released to the air carry a positive charge. So, when a Beeswax candle is burned the negative ions released into the air cause these positively charged particles to be sucked into the candles or fall from suspension. This negative ion charging method is the principle behind air purifiers used for air purification. Beeswax candles naturally reduce contaminants in your home as well as they smell good and create a wonderful ambiance.
8. Activated Charcoal for Air Purification
Activated charcoal has been used since ancient times as a safe way to purify the air. Activated charcoal is the key ingredient in HEPA filters that comes with home appliances like air conditioners, vacuum cleaners etc. Inside our home, using activated charcoal can be a fast and effective way to reduce contaminants.
9. Choose Natural Home Renovations
Some kind of paints and carpets we use for renovating our homes may contain gases that continue to emit even after installation. These gases (in some cases) can cause allergic reactions and reduce the overall indoor air quality.
If you are planning to renovate your home, be picky about the materials you choose, especially the paints. Buy from a reputed brand and ensure it has no components that can cause any health hazards or reduce your air quality anyway.
10. Get Your Appliances Serviced
Make sure your gas based appliances are serviced regularly. Proper timely service can avoid leakage of gas into the air and ensures the efficient working of the appliance.
We’ve covered 10 tips which may be seemingly simple, but these simple steps can improve your indoor air quality significantly. You feel like breathing fresh air all day. Keep in mind outdoors are equally important as well. And if you’re prone to air allergies, you should definitely take the necessary steps to improve your home air quality. If you feel we’ve missed out on a great tip here, please feel free to post your idea in our comments section.