How To Improve Indoor Air Quality Naturally
When people talk of air pollution, the first things that come to mind are industrial fumes, traffic and power plants among others. Only a small percentage of people know that some of the worst pollutants are within our walls and can cause serious health problems. The air conditioner in your home, if not properly checked, can be as bad as the air pollution you read about. And with the average American spending a total of 87% of their life indoors, life can get quite messy!
Air pollution in your home can be up to 10 times worse than the outdoors, and it occurs in many ways. Pollutants may enter through open windows, doors or ventilation systems. Similarly, carbon monoxide that leaks from furnaces, dryers and other heating surfaces leads to air contamination.
Cleaning or disinfecting agents, air fresheners and paints as well as other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) also contribute to the poor air quality in your home. There can also be issues with pet dander, dust mites and mold, which trigger asthma and other allergic reactions among family members.
That said, here are ways of easily improving the quality of your indoor air for a healthy and safe home:
Maintain Good Airflow
Maintaining a healthy airflow in your home can easily be done by opening the windows and doors. Keeping them opened minimizes the buildup of pollutants in your home, and the stagnant air is driven out.
While ventilating your home this way, it’s important to consider where you live. If your home is in a busy urban area, you risk inviting pollutants into your home during certain hours of the day. It’s, therefore, important to open them early in the morning and late in the evening when traffic has subsided. Perhaps, you should also consider investing in a ventilator to allow the outside air to flow into your home through filters that rid it of impurities.
Keep Your AC Filters Clean
HVAC systems are a lifesaver throughout the year. Whether it’s cold or hot, they keep your indoor air quality safe and healthy. Apart from regulating the temperature in your home, air conditioning systems also dry out the air by lowering its humidity for comfort during summer.
During the process, they filter impurities and other pollutants such as molds, dust, dirt and pet dander, and before long, the air filters begin to clog. When this happens, the efficiency of your system is affected. What follows next is the poor quality of the air in your home and an uncalled for maintenance service of your appliance, not to mention the rise in energy costs.
Luckily, all of that can be avoided by cleaning the system’s air filters regularly. The best way to ensure maximum efficacy of your HVAC system is by getting an air conditioning service plan from a reputable provider. A professional will do regular inspections and maintenance.
Dust Your Home
Over time, chemicals and other pollutants may accumulate in hidden spaces around your home. They can settle on windowsills, cabinets, the ceiling and other crevices. As a result, it’s highly recommended that you do a monthly general cleaning of your home to improve your indoor air quality.
Clean Your Fabrics and Clothing
If you have pets at home, then there is no escaping the buildup of pet dander on your rugs, cushions and beddings. Dust mites can also stick to these items, including the curtains. Using a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters is an excellent way if you want to reduce common indoor pollutants. Most vacuums even have different attachments so that you can get into spaces on your furniture.
Dehumidify Your Home
Controlling the humidity in your home discourages dust mites and mold attraction. These two types of pollutants thrive in moist spaces. Keeping your home’s humidity between 30% and 50% is optimal.
Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. As a result, summers have high humidity. Excessive humidity provides breeding grounds for the growth of molds, mildew and sometimes fungi. It can also warp the wooden pieces around your home, making it less attractive as years go by. Luckily, if you have invested in a good dehumidifier, you can strategically place it in hot spaces around your home.
You can also dehumidify your house by doing the following:
- Open a window or use exhaust fans while doing house chores
- Have the clothes dryer vent facing outside
- Keep in-house plant watering to the minimum
- Repair leaking water pipes
- Regularly empty the drip pans of your dehumidifier or HVAC system
Utilize Air Purifiers
Air purifiers come installed with a fan that sucks the air in, traps impurities, traps pollutants in the filters and pushes clean air out into your home. Investing in one of these systems is the best way to ensure that you and your family are breathing clean and safe air while at home.
Using salt lamps or beeswax and activated charcoal are also proven ways of improving the quality of your indoor air. Beeswax candles and salt lamps produce negative ions that attract the positive charges carried by most air pollutants, thereby removing them from the air you breathe.
Don’t Use Air Fresheners
Air fresheners are not necessarily bad, but they mask the foul odors in your living space. Some also contain synthetic chemicals that release torrents of impurities into the air. Although they smell good, much like fabric softeners and laundry detergents, they emit harmful gases since they are made from petroleum products. These gases are not generally tested to determine how toxic they are to one’s health.
Swapping fake air fresheners with all-natural ones is highly recommended. The commendable options include organic room diffusers or essential oils. To get rid of unpleasant smells in your kitchen, you can make your fragrance by mixing water, lemon juice and baking soda.
Place Indoor Plants
Plants are natural air filters. The same way they make the air outside breathable is the same way they can improve the quality of air in your living space. Indoor plants take in the toxins found in the air to produce oxygen. By detoxifying the air in your home, indoor plants help increase mood and productivity while enhancing concentration and memory. They also contribute to reduced stress and fatigue.
There are a lot of things you can do to improve the quality of air in your home. While avoiding smoking in the house is another option, that alone won’t be enough. You need a bit of commitment and regular maintenance to ensure that you and your family always remain healthy and are free from allergens.
Contact C & C Heating & Air Conditioning
C & C Heating & Air Conditioning has more than six decades of experience, helping the Southern Michigan area, including Detroit, Berkley, Bloomfield Hills, Macomb Township, Mount Clemens, New Baltimore and other surrounding areas. We work hard to achieve your air conditioning goals. Apart from offering quality installations and servicing all models and makes of HVAC systems, we also offer other products and services. These include duct cleaning, generators, humidifiers and water heaters. Contact us today!