You may frequently encounter news stories concerning air pollution and its consequences for public health. But how often do you consider the quality of the air inside your home?
While outdoor air pollution is a serious issue, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the quality of the air you breathe at home is just as essential.
Indoor air pollution levels may be up to 100 times higher than outside air pollutants, per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and they may have a bigger impact on your health.
Indoor air pollution can have a variety of health effects depending on what type of pollutant present, but they can include:
- Low weight at birth
- Heart problems
People with respiratory or heart issues, as well as small children and the elderly, may be more susceptible to health problems linked to poor indoor air quality.
Undiagnosed respiratory symptoms may indicate that it’s time to evaluate the quality of the air. However, even contaminants with the potential to harm humans can go unnoticed for years.
Taking actions to enhance your indoor air quality can reduce your risk of developing health problems and potentially improve your overall quality of life.
We have seven simple steps to improve air quality at home.
1. Pollutants Should be Reduced.
Learning about typical pollution sources and avoiding additional pollutants when possible is a crucial part of keeping your indoor air clean.
Some of the most common contaminants are:
Radon, a naturally radioactive gas, can leak into your home through fractures in the ground and cause health concerns such as lung cancer.
Home test kits make it easy to check for dangerous radon levels in your home. If radon levels in your home are determined to be high, you may usually reduce them by insulating the foundations of your house so that the gas does not flow into the living space.
Formaldehyde is a typical VOC, or volatile organic compound, which is one of several hazardous gasses emitted by everyday goods.
Formaldehyde can infiltrate into your indoor air through glues used in composite wood and many types of furniture. Excessive exposure might lead to respiratory problems such as bronchitis.
The impact of formaldehyde on air quality can be reduced by:
Choosing used furniture over new furniture – used furniture releases less formaldehyde over time.
Solid wood furniture is preferred over composite wood furniture.
Some cleaning products include dangerous compounds that might stay in your home’s air, such as:
- Cleaners for windows and glasses
- Scented candles
- Sprays for cleaning
Using nontoxic, safer cleaning products will help you to keep your surroundings clean while avoiding the contaminants found in certain traditional cleaning products.
Secondhand Cigarette Smoke
Exhaled cigarette smoke is referred to as secondhand smoke. Anyone who has been exposed may be at an increased risk of developing health problems, including cancer. Thirdhand smoke, which is found on absorbent surfaces such as clothing or furniture, is likewise hazardous to one’s health.
Avoiding smoking indoors is the greatest approach to keep secondhand and thirdhand smoke out of your home. It’s also a good idea to cut back on the habit if you can, because thirdhand smoke on your clothes can still harm your living area and air quality.
2. Check The Quality of Your Air.
Whether you’re worried more about air quality in your house but aren’t sure what modifications might be most beneficial, evaluating your air quality is a smart place to start.
You have the option of doing it yourself or hiring a professional.
The method you select may be determined by your requirements. While doing it yourself can save money, collaborating with a professional will likely result in more comprehensive results and personalized information.
Air quality testing at home (DIY)
Online, you may get a wide range of air quality test kits. Some kits test for numerous contaminants, whereas others, such as radon, only test for one.
Because many at-home test kits aren’t comprehensive, at-home testing may make more sense if you simply want to check for one or two specific pollutants. Working with a pro may be more efficient in the long run if you want a full panel of outcomes.
At-home testing can cost up to $200, but you’ll need to spend more if you want to check for other pollutants.
Air quality testing by professionals
While hiring Comfort Time pros would almost certainly be more expensive than buying a test kit, many professionals also provide extra services to help you handle any pollution sources discovered during the test. Mold prevention and eradication may be a specialty of professionals who conduct air quality testing.
3. Take Precautions to Avoid Allergies.
Numerous allergies and irritants can be found in many indoor spaces, including:
- Dander from pets
- Mites (dust mites)
Keeping these allergens at bay will usually enhance your home’s overall air quality, as well as minimize your chances of developing respiratory problems, such as asthma.
- Throat irritation
- Tearing eyes
Controlling allergies in your home needs both prevention and maintenance.
Allergic control techniques include the following:
- Grooming and bathing your pet on a regular basis
- Dust mites can be eliminated by washing bedding in hot water twice a month.
- To keep dust mites out, choose hypoallergenic pillows and impermeable mattresses.
Allergens can also be removed from indoor air by:
- Vacuuming and dusting helps prevent the accumulation of pet dander, dust, and dust mites.
- Using a bleach or soap solution, remove mold from non-permeable surfaces such as tiles and metal.
- Removing and replacing mold-infested carpet, wood, or drywall.
4. Make use of an air purifier.
One efficient technique to keep your air cleaner is to bring an air purifier into your home. You might wish to choose an air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate absorption (HEPA) filter, as these tend to remove the most dangerous particles from the air.
In fact, HEPA filters may remove up to 99 percent of hazardous particles from the air.
Because air purifiers cannot eliminate all kinds of pollution, you may also want to consider using an air filter to reduce:
- Carbon dioxide surplus
- Allergens such as dander from pets
- Spores of mold
Even flu virus particles can be removed from the air by using an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
Are you looking for an air filter but aren’t sure where to begin? Take a look at the top-rated HEPA air purifiers.
5. Enhance Ventilation
Keeping your home’s air circulating is a simple (and potentially cost-free) technique to improve air quality. One approach to do this is to open windows and doors to let some fresh air in, as long as the outside air is clean and pollen-free.
However, air enters your home through vents and weak points such as gaps around doors. While there isn’t much you can do about the air that comes in via these openings, making sure that the air coming in through vents isn’t adding to the problem might help.
- Replace any filters in your home’s heating and cooling systems on a regular basis.
- Inspecting and replacing the filters in air-bringing appliances according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Ensuring that any air ducts in your home are clean and clear, as dust can accumulate over time.
6. Reduce Moisture
Indoor moisture can cause a variety of health problems, including mold growth. VOCs can also seep into the air due to dampness and high humidity.
A variety of variables can contribute to damp interior settings, including:
- Locations where water is pooling
- Humid environments
- Roofs or pipes that are leaking
- Low ventilation in steamy places, such as restrooms and kitchens
Coughing, wheezing, and asthma attacks are all common respiratory symptoms caused by damp circumstances.
You may lessen humidity in your living space by doing the following:
- Dehumidifier usage
- When you shower or cook, turn on a fan or open a window.
- Locating and removing standing water or dampness in your home
7. Keep An Eye on Your Heating Systems
Some heating systems can also significantly reduce air quality.
Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can release large volumes of hazardous particles into your home’s air, thereby increasing your risk of long-term health problems including lung cancer.
Heaters with older furnaces and gas-fueled heating appliances are two more potentially risky heating solutions.
Carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that can cause suffocation and death, can be released into the air by gas-powered heating systems. Direct vent gas appliances, according to some experts, keep the gas from mixing with your indoor air.
Solar and electric heating systems may provide cleaner indoor air than other heating systems. If you have the choice, go with these.
At home, one of the most important steps that you can take to improve air quality is to invest in high-quality heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Comfort Time, one of the leading providers of HVAC systems in your area, can help you find the right system for your needs and budget.
With Comfort Time’s wide selection of efficient and effective units, you can be sure that all the air circulated in your home will be clean, fresh, and free from any harmful pollutants. Additionally, Comfort Time offers sales and maintenance plans to help keep your HVAC system running smoothly throughout the year. So if you’re ready to take control of your home’s air quality, contact Comfort Time today and let us help you breathe easier!