Most people believe that air pollution mainly happens outdoors due to congestion in the cities, power stations, and industrial exhaust emissions. Surprisingly, indoor air isn’t as clean as we’d wish to believe. In fact, it often contains more contaminants than the outdoor air. Some pollution sources inside your home include dust, radon, chemicals from cleaners, and pet dander.
It’s worth noting that low air quality can significantly affect your health and mood. If you live with asthmatic people, indoor contaminants increase the rate of attack. Poor indoor air quality also affects the elderly, young children, and people with compromised immunity. After prolonged exposure, it might lead to heart disease or even lung cancer. The good news is there are various preventive measures you can take to reduce your exposure to contaminants. Here are some tips to improve your indoor air quality naturally.
1. Keep Your House Clean
A clean home dramatically reduces the amount of pet dander and dust particles in the air. It also helps eliminate dust mites and pollen. Clean the carpets and rugs at least twice weekly. Remember to always use a vacuum cleaner with a strong suction and HEPA filter to ensure that it doesn’t blow out contaminants through the exhaust.
Additionally, if you have tile, vinyl, or hardwood floors, use a mop with plain water to pick up any lingering dust or pollen that the vacuum cleaner may have left behind. Use microfiber mops since they can capture more contaminants than traditional fibers.
If you have pets, groom them regularly, and be sure to clean drapes, beddings, and other materials that easily attract dander. Wash the beddings at a temperature of at least 60 degrees weekly to kill mites and other germs. Also, clear all clutter since it tends to hold too many dust particles.
Remember to place a mat just outside your front door to reduce the number of pollutants getting into your house via dirty shoes. Additionally, dust your house surfaces often. Hit your throws, cushions, and rugs against the wall to reduce the amount of dust they hold.
2. Control Indoor Humidity
Moist conditions encourage the growth of mold and mildew, which triggers respiratory issues like asthma. It mainly happens during the hot summer months. The right indoor humidity level that helps keep contaminants under control is around 30% to 50%.
You can reduce the level of moisture by fixing any leaking pipes in the house. Also, empty your dehumidifier’s or window air conditioner’s drip tray. Always keep the bathroom door closed while taking a hot shower, too, and cover your pans while cooking.
You can also use an exhaust fan while running the dishwasher, bathing, or cooking to pull out moisture from such areas and vent them outside. It would be best to also vent the clothes drier to the outside or dry wet clothes in the sun outside. Further, avoid overwatering your houseplants and open your windows often to prevent condensation buildup.
3. Ventilate Your House
Proper ventilation allows good airflow, which drives pollutants out of your house and limits exposure. Therefore, you must open your windows and doors each day to drive out stale air and bring in fresh air. It might sound counterintuitive to open windows during cold days. However, it’s necessary to reduce humidity, remove stagnant air, and refresh your house.
When you use chemical-based cleaning products, keep your residence well-ventilated to drive out volatile chemicals. If you live in very congested areas or near busy roads, the air outside may be toxic. Hence, choose the most appropriate time to ventilate your house, like midday or late at night.
4. Introduce Some Houseplants
Plants act as natural air filters. Besides improving your home’s aesthetic appeal, indoor plants will also help improve the air quality. However, not all house plants work equally, and you need to make a careful selection since some species may foster mold growth and produce allergens. Lilies, spider plants, ferns, and corn plants are some options that effectively remove chemicals and carbon monoxide from the air.
5. Choose Your Furniture Carefully
Most furniture has glue that continually releases toxins, which react with sunlight and other chemicals in the atmosphere to form irritants. The accumulation of such pollutants dramatically lowers your indoor air quality. Finishing products like varnishes or lacquers can also cause problems for allergic individuals.
You can try to inquire about your preferred furniture production method and avoid those made from particleboard. Also, avoid buying formaldehyde-treated furniture fixed together with toxic glues. Alternatively, you can opt for second-hand furnishings that have already gassed off most of the contaminants.
6. Reconsider Your Paint
Paint also emits gases continually after application that can irritate sensitive individuals and even lower your indoor air quality. When renovating your house, always go for low or zero VOC paints to cut down on harmful chemicals.
There are various paint options available, and most brands outline a list of nontoxic ingredients on the cans. Switch from oil to water-based paints that emit a less powerful fresh paint smell. Also, avoid options with formaldehyde, ammonia, synthetic dyes, or acrylics. The paint shouldn’t contain plastic since it creates a barrier that traps air, encouraging mold growth.
7. Maintain a Smoke-Free Home
The most common cause of indoor air contamination is second-hand cigarette smoke. Don’t allow visitors or family members to smoke in your house. While smoking in an enclosed area, the tobacco particles can remain harmful for up to five hours. Since cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, it increases the chances of asthma attacks, cancer development, and sudden infant death syndrome.
Don’t forget that burning incense and candles can also lead to carbon monoxide or dioxide emissions. If you must use candles, switch to beeswax options. They emit negative ions while burning that sucks up the positive ions from pollen, dirt, and pollutants. This helps minimize the number of contaminants in your indoor space and creates a beautiful ambiance, too.
8. Avoid Chemical Air Fresheners
Although air fresheners help mask awful smells, they contribute synthetic chemicals into your house. Opt for fragrance-free products, and try using natural items like lemon. To neutralize cooking smells, microwave a slice of lemon in water or leave a bowl of white vinegar out overnight.
Additionally, you can mix lemon juice, hot water, and baking soda to create a natural air freshener. Better still, try using a diffuser rather than chemical air fresheners. You can add your favorite essential oil into the diffuser to freshen up your house.
Summing It Up
Your home is most likely to attract pollutants like dust, pollen, and other particles that can lower the indoor air quality. To maintain healthy conditions, remain consistent in the preventive maintenance practices discussed above. If you need help in reducing indoor air pollution, reach out to JW Plumbing, Heating and Air. We have a team of experts prepared to solve all of your indoor comfort challenges.
Our company offers high-quality services in Los Angeles and the neighboring areas. We provide various services, including air quality testing, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, installation, duct sealing, cleaning, and replacement. We also deal with air conditioning and heating systems installations, repairs, and maintenance. You can reach out to us for plumbing services, too, like water heater installation, repiping, toilet installations, and repair. Call our friendly representatives today to schedule an appointment and enjoy our services.