Because modern homes are well-sealed, the air indoors can become more polluted than the air outside. Contaminants inside your home become trapped and there is no way for them to be circulated out of the environment. Use these simple tips to improve indoor air quality. Cleaner air is especially important if you or someone in your family suffers from asthma or other respiratory problems.
Wipe Your Feet
Wiping your feet when you come inside helps to reduce contaminants. Keep a rug outside your door for guests to wipe their feet and limit particles that are tracked into your home. A thick doormat that can be hosed off once a week is perfect for removing dried mud, grass, and other contaminants that get carried in from outside.
Vacuum Floors to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Vacuum carpets at least once a week and use a damp mop for hard floor surfaces. Vacuum cleaners with a HEPA filter trap particles and keep them from settling into carpets and furniture. Vacuums without filters can recirculate dust and pollutants back into the air.
Keep Humidity Down
To keep germs and microbes to a minimum, reduce humidity to no higher than 50%. The ideal range is between 30% – 50% and can be achieved with a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air, helping to prevent mold and reduce allergens that can cause respiratory irritation.
Improve Indoor Air Quality by Changing Filters Regularly
Your HVAC system uses filters to help keep the air clean. Change them often so they efficiently remove pollutants. Depending on the size of your home, the air filter may need to be changed monthly or once every 3 months. Use a quality brand with a high rating. If you live in an apartment, your building maintenance person may do this job for you as part of their routine service.
Encourage Natural Ventilation to Improve Air Quality
On nice days, place a fan in the window to draw air inside and help circulate fresh air throughout the home.
Bring the Outdoors In
House plants produce oxygen and contribute to cleaner air. If you don’t have a green thumb, shop for hardy varieties that don’t require much upkeep. Do some research into plants that are known for improving indoor air.
Things That Affect Indoor Air Quality
You may be generating pollutants inside your home. The following contribute to poor indoor air quality.
- smoke-producing heat sources like fireplaces and wood stoves
- indoor cigarette smoking
- cooking with fats or frying indoors
- the fur and dander of household pets
- mold growth in the home
Maintaining a clean environment and changing your air filters regularly goes a long way towards improving air quality. Designate a place outdoors for smokers and keep humidity under control to prevent mold growth. Following these simple steps will keep the air cleaner and reduce the number of irritants in your home.