When it comes to air pollution, most of us think it happens outside due to smog, haze, or ozone floating in the air. However, in reality, the air inside our homes could be more toxic or polluted.
It means the indoor air quality in your home can be equally bad or even worse than the air outside. When most people spend almost 70% of their life indoors, the air quality inside becomes important as well.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US, poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the major environmental risks to public health.
Indoor allergens have become a serious issue during the past decade. It is because people are spending more time indoors in airtight conditions, where allergens cannot escape.
The indoor air in your home may carry lead pollution (with dust), formaldehyde, pet dander, radon, fire-retardants, and also toxic chemicals from fragrances in the cleaning solutions.
These days, a little less than one-third of households in the world have air conditioners. Particularly, in countries such as Japan and the US, more than 90 percent of homes have air conditioning.
Air-conditioning systems work to give your home an ideal temperature, be it summer or winter. However, when cycling through the air, ACs filter out some common air pollutants. After some time, the air filters are clogged up and stop functioning.
When air filters do not work, it affects your indoor air quality, and it may also wear down your AC. So, make sure to change your AC filters from time to time. Your air conditioning service plan usually includes a filter change. If you are allergy-prone, get regular servicing done for your AC.
To keep the air inside your home clean, and improve the air quality, make sure to check the air filters in various appliances. Inspect your vacuum cleaner, kitchen vents, and clothes dryer and maintain them periodically. It is important to clean or replace the air filters of these appliances every few months.
The air ducts distribute warm and cold air throughout your home and provide a comfortable environment in the rooms. However, poorly installed or maintained ducts can distribute air pollutants and make your indoor air contaminated.
Over a period, dust, dander, pollen, and even mold can gather in the air ducts, reducing the indoor air quality. In such a case, hire a professional to clean up or replace your air ducts so that they circulate fresh and clean air.
Second-hand cigarette smoking is perhaps one of the major reasons for indoor air pollution. Cigarette smoke has more than 4,000 harmful chemicals.
Studies show that second-hand smoking increases the risk of developing respiratory infections among children, along with asthma, cancer, and infant death syndrome (SIDS). Even for adults, the toxic smoke can cause breathing problems, cancer, stroke, and even heart attacks.
Carpets and rugs do much more than increasing comfort and aesthetic appeal in your home. They also trap dust mites, dirt, pollen, pet dander, and various particles in their fibre. This is why clean your carpets and rugs at least once or twice a month to improve the indoor air quality in your home.
Different allergens and chemicals can gather on the carpets and rugs for days. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to suck up all the harmful particles. You can also keep off toxins, like polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs.
Quality vacuum cleaners have rotating brushes, strong suction, and the HEPA filter will make sure that dust and dirt do not blowback in the exhaust.
Spaces with humidity and moisture are the happy hunting grounds for mold and mildew. These fungi can cause breathing problems like asthma. Depending on where you live, the hot and humid summer months can foster the growth of mold and mildew.
To get rid of such unhygienic conditions, try reducing moisture in the air by installing a few dehumidifiers in the right places. You have many humidifier options that can maintain a consistent humidity level in your home. Also, they will create a healthy and comfortable living condition.
Plants work as natural air filters. You can buy a few indoor plants to purify the indoor air quality and enhance the appeal of your home with a splash of green.
Small plants such as lilies or ferns and palm trees Areca or Chamaedorea are good options to clean up pollutants from the air.
Maintaining the purity and breathability of the air in your home needs consistent effort. The simple ways listed in this post can help you get rid of indoor air pollutants.
The more you focus on preventive maintenance to keep off allergens and other harmful particles, the better quality of life you will get.