What do you imagine when you think about air pollution? Probably smog covering an entire city, black smoke from a truck’s exhaust, or the hole in the ozone layer, right?
But did you know that the concentrations of some pollutants are two to five times higher indoors than outdoors?
What those numbers say about the home air quality is alarming, to say the least. Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors on average. Those who are even more susceptible to the adverse effects of air pollution, such as sick or older people, often stay longer indoors.
Now that you’re aware of what might be happening, you can take steps to reduce and prevent indoor air pollution. Read on to learn about some of the best ways to improve indoor air quality in your home.
Keep Your Home Clean
Focus your cleaning on keeping indoor air pollutants at bay.
Carpets and rugs attract and trap dust, pet dander, pollen, and other particles. It’s best to vacuum them at least once or twice a week to reduce the accumulation of allergens and other pollutants.
Other items of concern are beddings, drapes, pillow covers, and mattresses. Wash them in hot water (at least 130ºF) at least twice a month to get rid of dust mites.
In general, a squeaky clean home is a healthier home.
Your indoor air quality depends on how well the air circulates and how the air entering your home gets filtered. That’s why your HVAC system, including the ducts, vents, and filters, is vital in maintaining clean air.
One of the essential components of your HVAC system is the air filter. It’s there to trap dirt, pollen, and other contaminants and prevent them from circulating throughout your home. But you need to change the filter periodically, or it will become saturated and stop doing its job.
Experts also recommend regular duct cleaning to remove trapped dust and improve airflow. Taking care of your HVAC system isn’t only for air quality but also to make your home more energy-efficient.
Invest in a Portable Air Cleaner
One of the recommendations by the EPA to improve indoor air quality is using portable air cleaners. Also called air purifiers or air sanitizers, these devices can filter the air in a single room or area of the house.
Houseplants for Home Air Quality
Some of the harmful air pollutants include formaldehyde, tetrachloroethylene, and benzene. These chemicals are examples of volatile organic compounds or VOC.
Household items like cosmetics, upholstery, and detergents can release VOC into the air. Exposure to VOCs is linked to health issues such as asthma, irritation, and even cancer if chronic.
Indoor air contaminants are silent killers. Follow the tips in this article to improve home air quality. You can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you and your loved ones are safe from the dangers of indoor air pollution.
For more health tips, please feel free to browse our site.
Rachel Dixon works on travel and features at Daily Mid Time