Most people associate poor indoor air quality
with outdoor pollution. This is especially true for those individuals that live in, near, and around big manufacturing cities. It is true that power stations and industrial exhaust emissions and wreak havoc on indoor air quality
, but poor IAQ is not always the result of poor outdoor air quality. The truth of the matter is, indoor air just isn’t as natural as clean as most people want to believe. Even a home unaffected by big-city pollution wouldn’t have the indoor air quality that you’d expect. As a matter of fact, it is likely to contain more contaminants than the air outside. Why is this?
There could be several reasons. Some might be but are not limited to pets, smoking, and cleaning chemicals. You probably already realize this, but it is worth noting that poor indoor air quality
can significantly impact one’s health and mood. This would be especially troublesome for households with asthmatic individuals or others that suffer from respiratory illnesses. Poor indoor air quality
is also harsher on the younger and older, as they have weaker immune systems. The good news is, there are things you can do. You are not left to struggle and your local, friendly, neighborhood HVAC tech
can help you with this. However, there are things that you can try on your own as well.
Maintaining A Clean Home
This one might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t maintain a clean home. Even just a slightly dirty home can wreak havoc on your indoor air quality
as it won’t help with dander, mites, dirt, dust, debris, pollen, and other contaminants. Not cleaning the home won’t cause these contaminants to occur, except for dust, but it also won’t do anything to eliminate them. It’ll just allow them to compound. The best way to combat this issue is by cleaning the rugs, carpets, and hardwood flooring at least twice a week.
The utilization of a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is the best way to go. Along with this, keep vinyl and tile mopped. You can use plain water to eliminate lingering dust or pollen and then utilize a vacuum cleaner to pick up anything that’s left behind. Microfiber mops are also another excellent option. Using these items weekly will kill mites as well as other dangerous germs.
A simple shoe mat placed outside the front door will go a long way to helping you maintain a good, clean home. Dusting is also a good idea. Be sure to hit the throws and cushions against a wall to knock loose the dust contained within.
Control That Humidity
If you don’t already know it, mold and mildew can trigger attacks in people with asthma and other respiratory issues. What you probably don’t know is, moist conditions encourage the growth of mold and mildew. If your air conditioner isn’t operating properly or isn’t operating at all, it’ll increase the humidity levels in the home, which will in turn increase the chances of mold and mildew growth. A recipe for disaster. Aim for a humidity level of 30 to 50 percent.
Another way to keep moisture under control is by making sure you don’t have any leaking pipes. Empty any dehumidifiers or window air conditioning drip trays. You don’t want water sitting around anywhere. Limit the hot showers and cover your pans while cooking. Both can go a long way to reducing the humidity in the home.
An additional exhaust fan wouldn’t hurt either, especially not when you are running the dishwasher, cooking, or taking a shower. Even just running a box fan when you are performing these actions can go a long way, as it’ll pull out the moisture from the air.
Ventilate That Home
Speaking of ventilation, your home needs to be properly ventilated at all times. This will encourage good airflow while also driving out pollutants. Even on cooler days make sure you open your doors or windows to drive out stale air while also bringing in the fresh air. This might sound counterproductive, opening windows on a cool day, but it’s necessary for the reduction of humidity levels. It’ll also help remove stagnant air while refreshing the home at the same time.
Consider Some New Life In The Home
Looking for a natural air filter? Consider bringing in plants. The right plants will not only make your home more aesthetically appealing, but it’ll add a natural filter to your home, improving the overall indoor air quality.
However, be extremely vigilant in the type of plants you choose because some will only promote the growth of mold and mildew. Something you want to avoid. Lilies, spider plants, ferns, and corn plants are amongst some of the most effective at removing chemicals and carbon monoxide from the air.
The Right Furniture
You wouldn’t think that the furniture you choose could impact the indoor air quality
in your home. Unfortunately, this is the case, as some manufacturers use specific wood glue to hold pieces together. This is a common practice in the industry, but some of these glues release toxins. What’s even more troubling is, the toxins can react with sunlight as well as other chemicals in the atmosphere. Some might have adverse reactions and form irritants that lower the quality of the air in your home.
In addition to this, most quality furniture items will be varnished or lacquered, which is only asking for trouble. You’ll also want to overlook pieces constructed with particleboard and formaldehyde. All in all, second-hand might be your best option, as the gasses are already likely bled off.
Double Think Your Paint
Did you know paint products also gradually emit gases after being applied? They do and they can be incredibly troubling for irritant-sensitive individuals. Whether you are renovating your entire home or just a room, you’ll want to make sure you opt for low or zero VOC paints. This will help cut down on exposure to chemicals.
Keep in mind that there are likely a handful of options available today that contain non-toxic ingredients. Switching from oil to water-based paints is always a good way to go, as less powerful. In addition, look to avoid formaldehyde, ammonia, synthetic dyes, and acrylics. You also do not want any plastic.
Don’t Smoke In The Home
Just because you are a smoker, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to smoke in the home. Smoking in the home, also known as second-hand smoke, is the most common cause of indoor air
contamination. Any time you smoke in an enclosed area those tobacco particles are going to remain harmful for at least five hours. A single cigarette can contain more than 4,000 harmful chemicals, so you don’t need anyone doing the math for you.
All this is just going to increase the chances of asthma attacks, cancer development, and infant death syndrome. It’s also a good idea to skip incense and candles, as they release carbon monoxide and dioxide emissions. If you must use candles, you always have the option of beeswax. These types of candles only emit negative ions.
Stay Away From Chemical Air Fresheners
Air fresheners can be a great way to get rid of unwanted smells, but they do a long way to contributing to synthetic chemicals. If you feel like you must use air fresheners, consider the fragrance-free products or the ones constructed of natural products like natural lemon. These items can help eliminate and neutralize cooking smells and other unwanted odors. Lemon juice with hot water and baking soda is also another all-natural solution that can help with unwanted smells.
All In All
There are no two ways about it, your home is going to attract pollutants. Dust, pollen, dirt, and debris, it’ll all be drawn to your home. This in conjunction with other harmful particles and you aren’t going to do your indoor air quality
any favors. If you truly want to maintain healthy indoor air conditions, you’ll take advantage of the methods mentioned above.
Your local friendly neighborhood HVAC tech
can help as well. He or she will have a whole tool belt of products and services that can reduce the pollutants in your air. With the technology available today, you’d be surprised by all the options available. All you have to do is pull out your New York phone
book and look for the appropriate providers.