How clean is your home? Do you dust, vacuum, and clean often? That’s great! Before you go patting yourself on the back, ask yourself just one more question: how clean is your home air? Even houses that are cleaned often can experience indoor air pollution. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) has declared indoor air pollution the fourth biggest threat to health in North America today. The truth is that circulating air in your home tends to be far more polluted than the air outside. This is thanks to airborne particles like dust and dirt.
Unclean air in your home doesn’t just reduce the quality of air you’re breathing. It can also affect the health of you and your loved ones. Some of the most common symptoms of indoor air pollution include things like allergies, asthma, constant cold-like symptoms, headaches and migraines, and respiratory issues. This can affect men and women of any age, but is particularly problematic for young children and senior citizens. Want cleaner air and a healthier home? Pay attention! These 5 ways to improve your indoor air quality will help make it happen.
Have a Professional Carpet Cleaning
It’s not uncommon to forget about your carpets. Sure, you vacuum them regularly and manage to spot treat glaring issues when you notice them…. but most of us don’t do a whole lot more than that. They look fine, right? Wrong! Stop settling for carpets that just look fine. Your carpets could look better, smell better, and be a real asset to your home. Clean carpets can make your home healthier – and improve your indoor air quality, too.
A professional carpet cleaning should be performed at least once or twice a year. This depends on the number of people living in your home as well as the level of foot traffic. Use your judgement. Add a professional cleaning in every so often to compliment your regular vacuuming. How does this impact your health? Carpet cleaning can target more than just the surface area. Professional tools have more power than your everyday vacuum cleaner – and work to remove deep down dust and dirt. This is important. Since your carpeting is able to trap contaminants that cause air pollution (like dust, dirt, pet dander, debris, and other allergens), their removal is a necessity. It is an essential part of improving your indoor air quality!
Let In As Much Fresh Air As Possible
During the winter months, the last thing you want to do is open up all of your windows and doors. That’s okay! Once the warmer weather comes around, though, give your home a chance to breathe. When the circulating air is full of contaminants, it can lead to health problems and even cause your home to be dirtier and harder to clean. That is why it’s important to let new air in.
Something as simple as opening up your windows and doors for a couple of hours on a nice day can make a big difference. This will help bring in cleaner air and let out some of that dust and dirt. Aim to do this once every week or so during the spring and summer months. It won’t take long for your indoor air to be cleaner and safer to breathe.
Avoid Too Much Humidity
Want to improve your health? Then you may want to give a little thought to your humidity. If your home is kept quite humid, it can cause too much moisture in the air. The result is more dust mites, allergens, and mold growth. That can dramatically impact the quality of air you’re breathing. The average home should aim to keep the humidity between 30 and 50%. This will make your home air healthier for the whole family!
How can you make sure your home isn’t too humid? Invest in a dehumidifier. There are plenty on the market to suit any budget. A dehumidifier will remove moisture from your air, reducing allergens and letting you breathe a little easier. You can also reduce humidity by running a fan while you cook and being careful not to over watering your houseplants.
Keep Dust and Dirt Out
Many homes have welcome mats sitting out on their front porch or in their main entryway. Sure, they look great….but those mats aren’t just for decor purposes. They are also great at keeping out dirt, pollen, and other pollutants that can contaminate your circulating air. Whenever contaminants are trapped, it means they are unable to get into the air you breathe – improving your overall level of air quality.
Like it or not, dirt is tracked into the home every day. When you go from outside to inside, things like mud, dirt, and dust can be brought in on your shoes. Thankfully there is a solution. Put a welcome mat outside your front and back doorways. This will let your family members and visitors know that they should wipe their feet before they come in – and it will also trap harmful chemicals, like pesticides.
Don’t Allow Smoking Indoors
It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. Smoking in your home can be just as bad, though. One of the leading causes of indoor air pollution is second hand smoke, according to the Children’s Environmental Heath Centre. Second hand smoke doesn’t just impact the overall quality of your home air…. it can also lead to serious health problems like asthma, infections, chronic coughing, and more.
If someone in your family is a smoker, remind them to butt out indoors. Put an ashtray on the back porch and encourage them to avoid smoking inside your home at all costs. (Yes, even if it’s cold and rainy outside!) This can dramatically affect the quality of your home air as well as the health of you and your family members.
You deserve to be healthy and happy. So, take steps to improve your indoor air quality. A few changes can eliminate dangerous airborne particles and let you say goodbye to health problems like coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. Take care of your home. It will help you take care of your physical well being, too!