Written by Jacky Xu at Maid Sailors Maid Service, NYC
When we hear the word “pollution,” the first thing that comes to mind is a bustling, smoggy city. But what if we tell you that staying indoors is more harmful to your health?
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, indoor pollutants may be two to five times higher than outdoor pollutants.
Luckily, improving indoor air quality is something that we can do ourselves. Here are seven tips on how you can do so:
What would be the best and cheapest way to improve indoor air quality other than letting fresh air in?
When you open your windows, you allow the air to circulate. What happens is that you let the oxygen in and the indoor air pollutants out.
This also explains why you should open your windows while cleaning. Cleaning products tend to be chemical-laden, and keeping your windows open prevents you from inhaling those toxins.
It also helps reduce the humidity in your home, preventing the build-up of mold.
One of the reasons the air quality in your home is poor is because of dust, pollen, pet hair, and other allergens. These particles can build up and irritate the respiratory system.
If you do not want your family to sneeze at each other, it is imperative to dust and clean as often as possible. We recommend investing in a good quality vacuum as it is one of the most efficient ways to clean a house.
A high-quality vacuum can be expensive, but it can help you clean and remove dust with ease.
Here’s the thing: The all-purpose cleaner you are using has tons of chemical in it.
When you are exposed to these chemicals, it can lead to a handful of harmful effects. This includes infertility, anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more.
It would be advisable to use natural and homemade cleaning products instead. Just a mix of water and vinegar can serve as an all-purpose cleaner.
You can also search online for various homemade cleaning solutions that you can make using ingredients that are already in your pantry.
If you have the budget, consider buying an air purifier. What it does is draw in polluted air and filter the microscopic particles like dust and pollen. As a result, cleaner and fresher air is returned to the room.
Air purifiers are handy to use from May to July because of their capability to trap dust, pollen, and other allergens. These are the months when hay fever is prevalent.
There are also air purifiers with LED indicators, letting you know if the indoor air quality is clean. Some models release negative ions in the air, which neutralize viruses and bacteria.
Should you decide to buy one, we suggest looking for an air purifier with a high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). A high CADR means that it can filter and clean the air quickly.
Do you know why mold tends to build up in the kitchen and bathroom? It is because of the humidity and moisture in the room.
Luckily, there are quick measures that you can do to get rid of moisture in the air. The best part? They do not cost that much.
For instance, you can keep the door open when taking a hot shower. Another option is to open the windows or exhaust fan, so you can air out the bathroom.
The same thing goes for your kitchen. Turn on the window or exhaust fan when cooking. That way, you are not trapping the hot air inside.
When all else fails, consider investing in a dehumidifier. That way, controlling the humidity in your room will not be a struggle.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 7,000 chemicals are found in second-hand smoking. This explains why smoking in enclosed spaces was prohibited in 2007.
However, you or anyone in your family might think differently since your house is a private space.
What you can do is impose non-smoking rules at home. You can start by dedicating a smoking area in your garden or yard if there is a smoker in the family.
That way, it will be easier to inform them that you want a smoke-free house. You might be surprised at how cooperative your friends and family will be if you educate them on why you do not want anyone to smoke inside.
Aside from opening your window, having an indoor plant is one of the most affordable ways to purify the air in your home. In fact, the many benefits of having an indoor have been well-documented.
According to NASA’s 1989 Clean Air Study, the following plants are the best in removing chemicals in the air:
The only caveat is that you might need to have a jungle of indoor plants. Because while plants can soak up air pollutants, it takes them a while to eliminate them.
Regardless, it is better to have an indoor plant in different corners of the house than nothing.
Thinking that there are pollutants at home might be scary. But it can get worse if you let it build up.
Luckily, there are a handful of affordable ways that can help you improve the quality of air in your home. Sometimes, all it takes is to open the window and to clean your house.
Simply put, having clean air and a healthy home does not have to break the bank.
8 comments on "Healthy Home: 7 Smart Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality"
Thank you for sharing this. Let me add one more thing. Using a filter with a MERV rating between 7 and 13 in your HVAC system will also help you improve your indoor air quality. Remember that buying filters with a higher MERV rate for a residential building is needless because it can block airflow and make the system work harder.
That’s a good point!
Filter should be replaced once every 90 days, but there are a number of factors that impact whether you will need to change the filter more or less often than that. So, if you have pets or allergies, you should change your filters more frequently, as often as every 3 to 6 weeks depending on how many pets you have or the severity of your allergies. Also consider how much your HVAC system runs.
It’s important to know – thank you. If you have a ducted HVAC system, you should also remember about air duct cleaning. Over time, air ducts get filled with dust, mites, bacteria, and various debris, which are obviously not good for your family to be breathing in. This can be especially harmful to the health of little children, seniors, and those with respiratory issues.
Yes! Actually, homeowners should remember to do air duct cleaning once every five to seven years. However, how often you need to clean your air ducts depends on many factors, including pets and allergies.
Thank you for mentioning this. Duct cleaning is also important for efficient heating and cooling. Dirty or poorly sealed air ducts lead to inefficiencies in your HVAC system.
By the way, clogged HVAC filters can also increase the humidity level. If the air filter is clogged, air cannot flow through it effectively, allowing moisture to accumulate due to improper ventilation.
The idea of using MERV filters is really good. That’s the surest and easiest way to improve indoor air quality. However, if your goal is to get rid of VOCs (toxic gases), then you should consider using a carbon filter.
To increase your indoor air quality, also remember to do regular HVAC maintenance. Poorly maintained cooling and heating systems often cause poor air quality.