13 Methods for How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
There’s no question air quality inside your home or place of business has an effect on the health of those inside. Just like there’s air pollution outside, it can exist inside as well. Simple, everyday tasks like making toast or repainting the bedroom can impact air quality. Thankfully, there are ways on how to improve indoor air quality without having to go overboard on price or effort.
The following are thirteen ways on how to improve indoor air quality:
As a preventative to indoor air pollution, ensure your home’s been properly ventilated. Leave interior doors open, use bathroom or kitchen fans when needed, keep heating vents clear of furniture, open windows and doors when outside conditions allow. Keep beds and furniture away from outdoor walls to allow for air and heat to flow around furnishings. To ensure even better ventilation, make sure your air circulation fans are working properly and efficiently.
Fireplaces can be cozy but they can also release pollution particles into the air when they’re not properly ventilated. Reduce the soot and smoke that enters the home, simply by ensuring ventilation is in place. To this point, any candles lit should be kept away from drafts or vents as they can cause soot and release harmful particles into the air.
3. Indoor plants
Certain plants can help to improve indoor air quality. However, they can also collect and foster mould growth. If you’re running into an issue with indoor allergens, indoor plants may be best put outdoors.
Homeowners don’t dust the home as much as they did in decades’ past but they should. Especially for those of us suffering from seasonal allergies, dust can exacerbate respiratory symptoms. Be sure to dust your home, vacuum rugs and carpets, and reduce dust-collecting surfaces when/if possible.
5. HVAC maintenance
If you really want to improve indoor air quality, HVAC maintenance is a necessity. Replace filters when required and if there’s a repair which needs to be done, don’t wait. If you’re in a commercial environment that isn’t a home, this is even more important. Preventative maintenance on any account is the best way to guard against complications with an HVAC system.
6. Air purifier
Invest in an air purifier, especially if you live in an area with a lot of pollution. Just remember to clean and replace filters regularly. If you’re allergic to indoor allergens and the source of the problem can’t be controlled, an air purifier can help capture some of the irritants.
Regularly wash bedding, drapes, or similar items you know can attract allergens. Especially if you have pets, these can carry in them a lot of dust and pet hair which isn’t helping indoor air quality. Consider dust mite-proof covers on pillows, mattresses, or box springs whenever possible.
8. Use the exhaust fan
When you cook, turn on the exhaust fan and ensure there’s some ventilation in the room when possible. Frying foods and using a toaster releases combustion particles into the air. If a room isn’t ventilated, these particles just sit there and are waiting to be breathed in. Your exhaust fan can save a lot of worry when it comes to indoor air quality while cooking.
9. Zero VOC paints
VOCs are volatile organic compounds and they’re a major source of indoor air pollution. From interior paints, VOCs can be slowly released into the air for years afterwards. Fortunately, many paint manufacturers have switched to low-VOC or no-VOC alternative paints. That said, VOC based paints still exist and can be found at your local hardware store. If you’re repainting or renovating, be careful to inspect where your chosen paint sits on the VOC spectrum.
If you have carpeting or entrance mats, vacuuming regularly helps to remove trapped dust particles. Carpets and rugs are prone to trapping dust. Then, as we walk over, these pollutants send themselves spiralling into the air. For pregnant women, people with asthma, and people experiencing trouble breathing, vacuuming regularly can protect these groups.
11. Non-toxic cleaning products
The cleaning supplies we use can be harsh and harmful, with fumes sent into the air creating unnecessary pollution. Natural homemade cleaners or all-natural, eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaners work well at minimizing these fumes. Heavy-duty cleaners should really only be pulled out when there’s a need for a deep clean, when you have a stubborn stain to rid, or when there’s something you can’t get done with all-natural product.
12. Water leaks and mould
If humidity levels are not controlled, too much can cause mould to grow. If you find it, remove it using warm, soapy water. If mould can’t be fully removed from the surface, you’ll need to replace the surface. Subsequently, you will also want to reduce humidity by fixing leaks, checking connections for leaks or needed repairs, and replacing cracked or damaged tiles or caulking around tubs, sinks, and showers.
13. Fresh air
Fresh air is an excellent weapon in the battle for improved indoor air quality. Opening windows from time to time gets fresh air in and allows harmful contaminants out. Even during colder times of year, try to find a moment to get the windows open for an hour or so at least.