After a long day outdoors, it’s always nice to go back to a cozy, comfortable home. However, coziness and good air quality are two different things. Poor air quality can have adverse effects on our health, especially for people who are predisposed to certain respiratory conditions. As we sit in a warm home during the cold months, the heating system can aggravate respiratory problems because of the stale air circulating within the house. Even in early spring, it can still be too cold to open up windows and renew the air indoors.
Dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander are some of the other things that can trigger allergies and other respiratory problems. The issues that arise in homes and cause health problems are typically odorless, making it difficult to detect poor air quality. However, it’s important to understand that even if you can’t smell or see anything, the problems are there and they’re negatively impacting your home’s air quality and your health. Fortunately, there are ways to improve indoor air quality.
It’s not feasible that you will be able to remove all allergens that trigger health issues, but you can reduce their number and your exposure to them. Here’s how.
Maintain a Clean House
There’s no denying that keeping a clean house is an important step to maintaining a healthier life. Anywhere there is dust, there will be dust mites, which is why regular vacuuming and dusting are recommended. To achieve the desired result, you will need to collect dust and not just sweep it. If you just sweep it or dust it off the top, you’re only spreading it to more areas.
Dust mites tend to linger on fabrics for long periods, so make sure you wash your bedding regularly and at a temperature of 130F. You should also consider using dust mite-proof covers for pillows or mattresses.
Investing in an air purifier is a smart decision. Air purifiers can effectively trap airborne allergens, irritants, and other nasty elements floating in the air. Your best buy is a unit that uses a HEPA (High-efficiency Particulate Air) filter. An air purifier must meet the HEPA standards of efficiency to ensure that your needs are met. You can make use of users’ experiences at Air Professor.com to review and compare different air purifiers. The best purifiers can remove as much as 99% of dust, smoke, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. When choosing an air purifier, there are certain factors to consider other than the price. For example, you will probably want one with a minimal noise level for bedrooms. The size of the room you’re going to use it in is another factor. Some models have extra features, such as automated timers. Knowing exactly what you need will help you pick the right model.
Stale air is harmful, so you have to ventilate all indoor spaces. The easiest way to do that would be to open your windows every so often to allow stale air to go out and new air to come in. If you live in a crowded area, the air outdoors won’t be any better than the air indoors, but you can open your windows before or after traffic rush hours to get some fresh air.
Mold is a source of poor air quality. It can cause a sore throat, wheezing, skin rash and other health issues. Mold increases when there is a high level of humidity. Right after showering or bathing, your bathroom will be humid, so turn on the exhaust fan. The kitchen and basement are other areas in your home where you need to control the level of humidity.
The filters on your air conditioner are notoriously known for getting dirty and compiling dust. Every time you turn on the AC or the heating system, the particles and dust accumulated on the filters get blown around which is why filters must be regularly cleaned.
The filter manufacturers will give you instructions on how often to clean them, but generally, it’s advised to clean them every two weeks or more regularly if you live in a dusty environment. When it comes to changing filters, high-end ones can last longer and you might not need to change them more than twice a year, assuming there is only average use of the unit.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EAP), we spend as much as 90% of our time indoors. Also, it’s been found that indoor pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor ones. Knowing this, we should do everything we can to improve our homes’ air quality. So keep the above-mentioned tips in mind and you can enjoy a safe and healthy home.