Whether we are working in offices, hanging out at home, or in the car, much of the air we breathe during the day is from an inside space.
Given these facts, the topic of indoor air quality is of particular importance to home dwellers, as poor air quality can cause allergic reactions, respiratory issues, asthmatic irritation, or other health problems. Even if you don’t have allergies or a sensitivity to dust and dirt in the air, it is worth taking measures to ensure that you are breathing the cleanest air possible for the sake of your health and that of those around you. Poor air quality can also cause issues with home items including floors, wood furniture, and more.
Here are the ways to improve air quality at home that we’ll discuss:
- Keep humidity levels in the home around 40-60%
- Use air cleaners
- Replace filters in heating and cooling systems
- Keep things clean
- Decorate with houseplants (only certain ones)
- Open up the windows
- Test regularly for chemicals and pollutants in your home
We will explore some of the biggest impacts on indoor air quality, various methods you can use to clean and purify the air, as well as some ways that you can test the air quality in your home or other space.
Get ready to breathe easy.
What impacts indoor air quality?
There are many factors that can affect the level of air cleanliness in your home, from everyday substances to chemicals that can be cause for concern. Here are some of the major aspects to be aware of:
Dust particles in the air naturally float and settle throughout your home. When they accumulate on surfaces for a long time, it can affect the cleanliness of your air.
Air fresheners and candles
While air fresheners and candles can be great ways to add a nice scent to a space, the chemicals, fumes, or smoke emitted in some of these products can pollute the air.
Talk to anyone with severe allergies, and they will tell you how severe pet dander can be for someone who is breathing it in. This can be a concern even if your pets mostly live outside, as dander can linger on materials such as carpets and clothes.
Naturally-occurring chemicals such as radon have no smell and cannot be seen, but can have a huge impact on indoor air quality, as well as cause health issues.
Since bacteria, viruses, mold spores, allergens, and dust mites, among other nuisances, can spring up in high humidity environments, having your home’s air at the right level is key to protect you and your family’s health.
Amount of Fresh Air
Do you open the windows in your home? If you don’t allow enough fresh air from the outside to ventilate and help properly circulate the air, you may find that the air you’re breathing inside is stuffy and unpleasant.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
While there are many air quality pests to look out for, there are some ways to improve air quality in your home.
Keep humidity levels around 40-60%
As mentioned above, humidity can be a huge factor when it comes to controlling air quality, since it can cause so many different health issues as well as damage to your home or furniture.
You should aim to keep humidity levels at about 50%, give or take. Depending on what type of climate you live in, that may require you to purchase either a humidifier or dehumidifier in order to reach the desired level. These items are available for individual rooms or your whole house.
By keeping your humidity level in this range, as well as temperatures between 69 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit, you can set up the conditions for more breathable air where you live.
Another way to improve the air quality in your home is by installing an air cleaner. These products easily connect to your existing heating and cooling system to filter out dust particles, pollen, and mold spores from your air.
These cleaners work great if you are wanting to clean the air in your entire home, and not necessarily one particular room. They are also super convenient, as they generally only need to be changed once a year. The large amount of harmful particles removed from your air far outweigh the amount of effort required to install an air cleaner
Replacing filters of heating/cooling systems often
One of the best ways to ensure that your air quality stays in great shape is to follow the rules on your air filter replacement, and check that you are swapping them out the appropriate amount.
Another way that you can nab some of the added dust that can collect is to vacuum out the vents before replacing the filter so you can get the best results.
This one might seem obvious, but many of the air pollutants that crop up in people’s homes can be eliminated by some good old-fashioned elbow grease. If you don’t already have a cleaning routine that you stick to, break out the chore chart!
Make sure to include dusting at least once a month, as well as mopping, vacuuming and sweeping up the floors, keeping an eye out for hair from pets that should also get the boot. By having a regular cleaning regimen, you can greatly reduce the number of irritants in your home’s air.
Plants for indoor air quality
You don’t have to have a green thumb to reap all of the benefits from having plants. As nature’s air cleaners, plants absorb gases such as carbon dioxide through their leaves and roots. This process is called phytoremediation.
Be careful when selecting your desired plants, though, as a some can grow mold and actually harm air quality. Opt for a type of fern, palm, spider/snake plant or peace lilies for best results.
Open the windows!
Another obvious but necessary tip –– make sure that your home is getting enough new fresh air from outdoors. Crack open windows or leave screen doors open often so that you can have improved ventilation and air quality as well.
Testing for harmful things in the air
While many air quality concerns are visible, some harmful chemicals can go under the radar without a test.
Most homes already have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors –– two musts for anyone –– but one less common but very necessary test is for radon, a chemical that can cause lung cancer. You should aim to test your home about twice a year, and there are DIY kits available, or a contractor can run the test for you.
Better the Air Quality in your Home
When you are at home, you should be able to breathe easy.
Pesky particles and pollutants such as dust, pet dander, chemicals, humidity, and smoke can all have negative effects on your home’s indoor air quality. However, by purchasing an air cleaner, controlling the humidity, replacing your filters, regularly cleaning, and allowing fresh air in for better ventilation, you set yourself up to have clean, breathable air.
Ready to purify your air? Shop Total Home Supply’s wide selection of air quality supplies, from humidifiers and dehumidifiers to air cleaners and fans.