Are you worried about the indoor air quality in your home? Indoor air quality can be as bad or worse than the pollution outside. And with the average American spending 87% of their entire life inside, this is a huge issue.
But what can you do to improve indoor air quality and reduce air pollution in your home? It's not like you can see it. That's where we come in!
Please keep reading for our guide on improving indoor air quality to clean your home.
Table of Contents
- Common Air Pollutants
- How You Can Improve Home Air Quality
- Change Your HVAC Filter
- Check & Clean Air Ducts
- Use a Cooking Vent
- Keep Carpets & Rugs Clean
- Control Humidity
- Use Indoor Plants to Filter the Air
- Open Your Windows
- Choose Second-Hand Furniture, Not New
- Dust, Dust, Dust!
- Choose Non-Toxic Paints
- Stop Using Air Freshener
- Consider an iWave Air Purifier
- How to Improve Indoor Air Quality Made Easy
Common Air Pollutants
- Air pollutants can come into your home on your pets or your clothes.
- They can also come from a dangerous gas leak and other harmful substances.
- Carbon monoxide is a common pollutant. It comes from natural gas escaping into the air without getting burned off.
- In older homes, you might find asbestos and particles of lead.
When released into the air, they can cause massive, permanent damage to your lungs. In kitchens, bathrooms, and other moist areas, mold and mildew can be common issues. If it gets to a high level, the spores in the air can get into your lungs and body, making you unwell.
How You Can Improve Home Air Quality
With this in mind, you might look around your home for these new, hidden dangers. So, what can you do to reduce the risks and improve air quality indoors? It's your home and sanctuary, and you deserve to breathe clean air, so check out these tips.
Change Your HVAC Filter
Your heating and cooling system works to keep your home at the perfect temperature. Chances are, it's always running year-round.
But while they cycle through the air, their filters take out many common pollutants. If you don't change those filters, though, they won't be able to do their job right at some point. Not only does this bring the quality of your indoor air down, but it could cause wear and tear on your HVAC unit.
If that remains ignored, you're looking at costly repairs. Make sure you're changing your AC filters regularly as per the manual. It's also worth signing up for an HVAC service plan with a reputable HVAC technician who usually includes filter changes if you're uncertain how to do it.
Check & Clean Air Ducts
Air ducts take hot and cold air and distribute it through your home. It's what helps keep each room at a stable, comfortable temperature. But ducts you don't maintain well can distribute contaminants from room to room.
This issue is even worse when you pair it with dirty filters that aren't removing the pollutants. Over time, the dander, dust, and even mold can build up in the ducts.
As this mixes with circulating air, it will reduce your air quality. Cleaning out your ducts may not be included in the HVAC maintenance plan - but worth the investment.
Use a Cooking Vent
Many indoor pollutants come from the kitchen. Gas stoves are notorious for harmful pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. Even electric burners give off those pollutants, only in lower amounts. The particles both cookers give off are easy for your bloodstream to absorb.
Keep Carpets & Rugs Clean
Carpets and rugs increase how comfortable your home looks and feels. But they also act as a filter as dust, and other particles get trapped in their fibers. Clean your rugs and carpets each week, and you can use this to your advantage.
Humidity and moisture are the fuel for mildew and mold. It can trigger and irritate conditions like asthma and allergies if left unchecked.
You might experience extreme humidity in the summer, depending on where you live. Use a few dehumidifiers that will lower those moisture levels in the air.
Use Indoor Plants to Filter the Air
Plants are nature's air filters, and they're a solid strategy for getting clean air. Getting a few indoor plants will do wonders for boosting indoor air quality. They'll also boost your home's decor style. Choose small plants like lilies and ferms (which will bloom and thrive indoors).
Open Your Windows
This one might seem obvious, but it's easy too, open your windows to let fresh air circulate into your home. It might sound counter-productive to open them in winter, especially when you want to be warm and not spend too much on heating. But it's essential to let oxygen get into your home and let all those nasty pollutants out. It also helps to reduce humidity levels which pests like dust mites thrive on—when decorating or cleaning chemicals, keeping them open is even more critical.
Choose Second-Hand Furniture, Not New
That new sofa may look luxurious, but it could let chemicals into your indoor air. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases that come from many paints, glues, and fabrics. They have a reaction to sunlight and other chemicals in the atmosphere.
This reaction forms particles that get into the lungs, causing irritation and damage. But you can combat this by searching for second-hand furniture instead. After a few years, affected furniture will stop giving off VOCs.
The same applies to flooring too. It might be worth swapping the carpet out for a hardwood floor or concrete. Both are easy to clean and won't trap dander, dust, and dirt. If you've moved into a new build, there are things you can do to absorb some of those VOCs.
Ikea, for example, has air-purifying curtains. They have a mineral coating that reacts with sunlight which breaks down pollutants.
Dust, Dust, Dust!
A good quality vacuum may be costly, but they're worth the investment for indoor air quality and will help combat things like:
- Pet hair
These are all pollutants that can build up fast, soon irritating your lungs and nose. When you're vacuuming, don't only focus on carpets and rugs. Get your hardwood and tile flooring, and get under the sofa and bed too.
Take cushions, throws, and rugs outside and beat them to get even more dust out.
You should change your bedding each week and wash it at 60 degrees to kill off any germs they hold, dust mites, and eggs. If dust is a persistent problem, try to reduce the clutter on your surfaces.
Choose Non-Toxic Paints
If you're redecorating, look for paints with low VOC levels and don't have the new paint smell. Paint brands stating they're non-toxic should show the ingredient on the tin, or you can ask them. You want to avoid paints with plastic in them as it forms a barrier on the wall that will trap air and could cause mold to set in, growing beneath this layer, and you might not see it immediately.
Also, avoid petrochemicals that come from acrylics, ammonia, oil, and formaldehyde. You want to avoid synthetic dyes too.
Stop Using Air Freshener
Air fresheners cover up bad smells, but they're still synthetic chemicals. Swap that fake vanilla smell for a natural product instead. If you do want to scent your home, an organic room diffuser is a good alternative. Or you could use an essential oil burner, but be careful with pets as this can cause harm to them.
For robust cooking smells, leave a bowl of white vinegar in your kitchen overnight. Or you can microwave lemon slices soaking in water.
You can make an air freshener with baking soda, hot water, and lemon juice.
Consider an iWave Air Purifier
We are continuously surrounded and affected by pollen and mold, whether from trees, grasses, weeds, or damp basements, bathrooms, and window sills.
No matter how clean your home is, if you use a microscope, you may find those little nasty dust mites hiding in your carpet, bedding, and furniture.
Even though a finely tuned air conditioner will help, the most effective way to have the best indoor air quality is to install a whole-home air purifier.
With an iWave Air Purifier, a patented process called needle-pint bipolar ionization creates equal amounts of positive and negative ions.
As a result, these ions break down the pollutants in your home's airstream into harmless compounds such as oxygen, nitrogen, water, and carbon dioxide.
One of the primary differences between the iWave air purifier system and nature is that the iWave air purifier does it without creating harmful ozone!
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality Made Easy
So, there you have it! Now you know the best tips to improve indoor air quality in your home. You deserve to be safe and healthy in your own home, and the issue is the air isn't something you can see. But if you keep a clean house, keep up with maintenance, and use natural products and materials, you'll be able to improve the air quality.
At Crystal Heating and Cooling, we've got the experience to help with all your HVAC needs.
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