In this day and age, most people know clean indoor air is essential for good health. However, many fail to realize the true ramifications of repeated exposure to poor indoor air quality in the homes they frequent. With levels of pollutants in indoor air 2-5 times more polluted than the air outdoors according to the EPA, and the majority of Americans spending 90% of their time indoors, the need to improve indoor air quality in homes is critical.
Not Feeling So Good? It Could Be the Air in Your Home
Those constantly exposed to polluted indoor air suffer frequent allergies and illness, also struggling with worsened asthma symptoms. Frequent congestion, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and headaches are all common in buildings with poor indoor air quality. Health effects may occur after a single exposure, or cause complications years later. Long-term or repeated exposure to poor indoor air quality has even been linked to serious respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?
It is important to try and improve the air quality in your home even if you aren’t noticing health symptoms. Luckily, homeowners can improve indoor air quality with a few simple tricks….
- Replace air filters regularly.
Dirty air filters contain contaminants that can be easily distributed through your ductwork and your home, forcing your system to work harder to distribute air, and sabotaging performance. One of the easiest tricks in the book, replacing your HVAC air filter every 1-3 months ensures clean, fresh air. While you’re at it, take care of those gross exhaust fans with the help of Mr. Electric, a Neighborly company: “Spring Cleaning: Dust Exhaust Fans and Fan Blades.”
- Install HEPA-rated air filters.
HEPA-rated air filters with a MERV rating of 10 or higher are capable of removing smaller particles of debris from the air, doing a better job of controlling indoor pollutants than traditional, run-of-the-mill, air filter replacements.
- Clean air ducts regularly.
Clean, sealed ducts ensure the delivery of fresh air. Having your ductwork regularly inspected by a professional HVAC contractor safeguards against leaks that can expose you to allergens and pollutants, and can alert you to the need for duct cleaning to remove dirt, pollen, mold, and dander buildup that can negatively impact air quality.
- Decorate with indoor plants that improve air quality.
Houseplants not only provide a beautiful ambiance, but are a great way to clean the air in your home when the right species are included. Improve the air quality in your home with these air purifying options…
- English Ivy
- Bamboo Palm
- Corn Plant
- Gerbera Daisy
- Janet Craig, Red Edged or Warneckii Dracaena
- Leave shoes at the door.
A significant amount of allergens and toxins sneak into your home on your shoes. Leave pollen, dander, dirt, feces, and other pollutants at the door, ditching your shoes at the entryway with a shoe rack or bin.
- Steam clean carpets and upholstery at least once a year.
Everything that’s in the air (or on your shoes) eventually ends up on the carpet, including highly offensive allergens and pollutants. Steam cleaning carpet and upholstery once a year is a great way to remove these contaminants and improve the air quality in your home.
- Ditch toxic cleaners.
Commercially-available cleaners and air fresheners contain a host of offensive, VOC-producing agents. Leave them at the store in favor of safe and natural, kid and pet-friendly, homemade solutions comprised of vinegar, lemon, and 100% essential oils.
- Buy wisely.
Cheap furnishing made from toxic glues release VOCs and toxins that are known air quality offenders. Avoid particle board furnishings, seeking out production methods that support a healthy home. Get-to-know certifications such as GREENGUARD, and vote with your dollar.
Not feeling so good? Boost the air quality in your home, keeping your family safe and healthy with the expert help of Aire Serv® today.