The quality of the air you breathe has a direct impact on your overall health and well-being. In fact, according to the EPA, indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air, and poor air quality can cause health problems, including headaches, fatigue, and respiratory issues. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to improve indoor air quality in your home and protect your family’s health.
1. Keep the House Clean to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Dust, mold, and animal dander are common sources of indoor pollution. To reduce the amount of these particles in the air, dust regularly and vacuum at least weekly, using a machine with a HEPA filter, and wet mop hard-surface floors. Set a reminder to clean or replace the HVAC filters at least once every three months.
2. Introduce Plants into Your Home
Plants help purify the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They also trap airborne pollutants and release moisture into the air, which can help alleviate dryness caused by forced-air heating and cooling systems. Some of the best plants for improving indoor air quality include aloe vera, spider plants, pothos, and peace lilies.
3. Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Products like cleaning sprays, aerosol air fresheners, and scented candles can introduce harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air, like formaldehyde and benzene. Opt for natural alternatives or make your own cleaning solutions using ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. If you need to use harsh chemical cleaners, adhesives, or paints in your home, open the windows to let fresh air in and improve ventilation throughout your home.
4. Improve Indoor Air Quality: Don’t Smoke Indoors
Cigarette smoke is one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution. If you or anyone in your family smokes cigarettes, do it outside to avoid exposing others to harmful toxins.
5. Test for Radon
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is a byproduct of decaying uranium in the soil. This gas can enter homes through cracks in foundation walls or flooring joints. It’s estimated that radon exposure is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the US each year, so it’s important to test for it in your home. Purchase a testing kit from your local hardware store or, for best results, hire a professional to test for radon levels in your home
Improving the air quality in your home isn’t difficult or expensive. Following these simple tips can create a healthier environment for yourself and your family.