Did you know that the air inside of your home can be nearly 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors? Indoor air quality is a major concern because Americans spend as much as 90 percent of their time indoors.
If that’s not enough to make you cringe, just think about some of the health ailments poor indoor air quality causes. Besides sniffling, sneezing, coughing and the like, poor indoor air quality can cause serious respiratory problems. The health of you and your loved ones is obviously your highest priority, so it’s only natural to want to boost the quality of the air you breathe.
In order to protect health and quality of life, air quality is an absolutely essential issue for all homeowners to address and routinely maintain. Fortunately, improving the quality of the air inside of your air is relatively simple – here are ten ways you can improve your home’s indoor air quality.
1. Invest in Houseplants
A simple step you can take to improve your home’s air quality is to add plants to your indoor space. Many indoor house plants have air purifying qualities, meaning not only will your home look more beautiful, but it will also have improved air quality. Plants produce oxygen from carbon dioxide, and the filtering process helps to remove contaminants from the airstream in your home.
Here are 10 NASA approved houseplants for improving your air quality:
– Aloe Vera
– Peace Lily
– Spider Plant
– English Ivy
– Boston Fern
– Heart Leaf Philodendron
– African Violets
– Chinese Evergreen
2. Change Your Air Filters
Air filters are designed to trap pollutants and improve the overall efficiency of your air conditioner. Instead of using the most inexpensive air filter you can find, opt to install high-efficiency particulate arresting filters that remove more than 99 percent of the tiniest particles that pollute a home.
Experts recommend changing your air conditioner’s filter at least once a month to maintain your home’s air quality. When your filter isn’t regularly changed, it becomes clogged with dander, dirt, dust and the like. Regularly changing your air filter will do wonders when it comes to improving the efficiency of your AC and your home’s air quality in the process.
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3. Clean Your Home’s Air Ducts
When was the last time you cleaned your home’s ductwork? Many homeowners have never cleaned the ductwork inside their home, and the vents and hoses are lined with debris. If you can’t do this job on your own, then contact an air duct cleaning professional.
For more information, check out our blog: Is Air Duct Cleaning Worth the Time and Cost?
4. Use an Air Purifier System
If you live in an area with a lot of dust from traffic outside, then using an air purifier system is recommended. There are small portable air purifiers that you can move from room to room or large systems that are installed near climate-control devices.
5. Ditch the Air Fresheners
Limiting or completely eliminating air fresheners may also help your family breath more easily.
Air fresheners, candles, scented laundry detergents and the like may make for a more pleasant smelling house, but these smell-enhancing wonders can drastically decrease the quality of the air inside of your home. Synthetic fragrances emit dozens of various toxic chemicals, which get trapped in the air within your home. As a result, your indoor air quality suffers.
Fortunately, you don’t have to forgo the fresh scents altogether. Instead, opt for all-natural options, like essential oils or candles made from soy or beeswax.
6. Say Goodbye to Aerosols
Are you a fan of cooking oil spray, aerosol deodorant, hairspray or Febreze? These aerosols might be doing more damage than you think. Studies show that frequent use of aerosol sprays containing certain chemicals had a negative effect on indoor air quality in the homes of 10,000 participants. These increased VOCs were directly related to an increased risk of diarrhea, earache, headache, respiratory issues, and other symptoms.
This study looked at the effects of chemicals known as volatile organic compounds in infants and found that exposure to VOCs in the home may contribute to asthma in toddlers. And according to Dr. Farrow of Brunel University, “air fresheners combined with other aerosol and household products contribute to a complex mixture of chemicals and a build-up of VOCs in the home environment. Pregnant women and babies up to six months may be particularly susceptible because they spend around 80% of their time at home. There may also be implications for other groups who are at home a good deal, such as old people.”
7. Clean Your Home with Green Cleaning Products
Another step to better air quality is to give your house a good cleaning, which helps to remove allergens. But with cleaning can also come toxins. So, you will want to stop using harsh chemical cleaners and choose to either purchase green cleaning products or make your own DIY household cleaners instead.
There are some inexpensive and readily available household items you can use as effective—and natural—cleaning products.
Here are the top seven natural cleaning essentials all homeowners should use:
– Baking Soda
– Washing Soda
– Soap Flakes
– Oil Soap
While opting for “all-natural” cleaning products can help reduce the risks associated with synthetic cleaners, it’s important to read labels on cleaning products. The Environmental Working Group took a look at companies guilty of greenwashing (i.e., cleaning products labeled “safe,” “non-toxic,” and “green”) and found almost all of them contained hazardous ingredients. Scary enough, many of these products are things we often use in our own homes. Simple Green, for example, is labeled “non-toxic” and “biodegradable” yet it contains 2-butoxyethanol — a solvent that is absorbed through the skin and can damage red blood cells. Check out the entire list of EWG’s Hall of Shame here.
8. Shampoo Your Carpets
The fibers in carpets collect a lot of debris from foot traffic and dirt that enters through air-conditioning systems. You can rent carpet shampooing machines that extract dirt from carpets that is then poured down a drain to eliminate contamination in the air.
9. Never Smoke Indoors
Cigarette smoke has a negative effect on the quality of the air inside of your home. If you or someone else smokes inside, the chemicals from the secondhand smoke become trapped in the air and on the surfaces in your home. The result? You and your loved ones will constantly be breathing in these cancer-causing chemicals. By not smoking indoors, you can improve your home’s air quality and your health.
10. Use Mite-Proof Mattress and Pillow Covers
Another easy and inexpensive step is to use mattress and pillow covers to guard against dust mites, which are a significant allergen.
Call Blair’s for Better Air Quality in Clearwater, FL
One final easy step that can help you care for your air is to have properly functioning air conditioning maintained by qualified professionals. At Blair’s Air, we put your family’s health above anything else. That’s why we provide various products and services that seriously boost your home’s air quality. We can change air filters, install air purification systems or clean ductwork to improve the air quality in your home. Call us today to restore health to your home and to breathe easy this spring.
Call (727) 800-4148 to schedule your appointment.