If you’re like most, you take pride in making your home a safe, comfortable place for your family and loved ones to be. But when was the last time you really thought about the quality of the air you breathe while at home?
Most people think of pollutants and air impurities as outdoor problems. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution still occurs indoors – often at higher rates than outdoors – and can be significantly more damaging to your health. Here’s a closer look at what you can do about it.
1. Crack down on common allergens
Even the cleanest homes contain certain irritants, as a rule. Dust, mold, and dust mites simply come with the territory anywhere people live. (So does pet dander, if you’re an animal lover.) A little diligence goes a long way when it comes to keeping these elements at bay, though.
Vacuum, dust, clean, and do laundry regularly to keep allergens, dirt, mold spores, and other contaminants inside your home to a bare minimum. Opting for hypoallergenic bedding can be helpful, too.
2. Take steps to avoid dampness
Factors like high humidity and damp conditions can tank your home’s indoor air quality on multiple levels. Dampness encourages the growth of mold, fungi, and bacteria – all major causes of allergies, infections, and other health conditions.
So, if you live in an area where humidity is an issue, consider investing in dedicated dehumidifiers for your home. Monitor your home for issues like leaking pipes or problem areas where moisture collects, and address them promptly.
3. Improve indoor ventilation
Air that moves freely and cleanly through a space can help a great deal when it comes to keeping the air cleaner. Consider leaving your home’s windows and doors open when you can to allow air to move through your home. (Just check the air quality outdoors first.)
You’ll also want to make a habit of regularly checking and cleaning your home’s vents. Change the filters in your temperature control systems and appliances on time. Be sure to have your vents and systems professionally checked and cleaned each year, as well.
4. Add plants to your décor
Although plants shouldn’t be considered substitutes for proper ventilation practices and maintenance, some research suggests that they can help improve the quality of the air in your home. Many plants help remove fine particle allergens, VOCs, and more from the air you breathe every day.
However, you should always choose your houseplants wisely. Avoid any that members of your family might be allergic to or that could be toxic to any pets you may have.
5. Invest in air purifiers
Air purifiers can also help a great deal when it comes to keeping your home’s air clean, breathable, and healthy. A system with a HEPA filter or other option capable of clearing small, harmful particles from the air can even help eliminate viruses and other microorganisms.
The right purifier-filter combination can also rid your indoor air of allergens and irritants like:
- Pet dander
- Cigarette smoke
- Mold spores
They can help keep carbon dioxide levels in the air at optimal levels, as well.
6. Get professional assistance
Although there are lots of different things you and your family can do to keep the air inside your home nice and clean, they’re not substitutes for professional indoor air quality services.
For example, you can easily change the filters in your heating and air conditioning systems yourself and do quite a bit to keep the vents clean. But you still need to have your systems professionally serviced and inspected at least once a year to ensure they’re safe and functioning as they should.
Professionals can also help take the guesswork out of a lot of other home air quality solutions. Experts can help you choose options like electronic air cleaners, filtration systems, and more that are truly right for your home. And professional services give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re making wise decisions about your health.
Ultimately, the quality of the air you breathe is too important to leave it up to chance, so it really pays to implement the right solutions. Get started today, and it won’t be long before your entire family is breathing easier.