Although we usually think about air pollution as being something we encounter outside the home, in fact in our offices, homes and public buildings, the indoor air can be just as polluted, or even more, than that outside. Inside the home, pollutants like fire-retardants, formaldehyde, lead, volatile chemicals and radon can be in the air, and the result can be harmful to the health. If we add into the mix dust mites, mold and pet dander, it’s easy to see why so many of us suffer from allergic reactions.
For those who are elderly, very young or who suffer from asthma, the health problems can be severe, but even those who aren’t especially vulnerable can still end up experiencing breathing difficulties, wheezing, coughing or a runny nose. As more of us are spending longer indoors than ever before, it’s important to find ways of improving the air quality inside our homes. Here are some top tips to point you in the right direction.
Keeping Floors Fresh
Allergens and chemicals often accumulate in dust for years. If you buy a vacuum cleaner with an integrated HEPA filter, the amount of toxins and allergens in your home will be greatly reduced. Choose a high quality machine with powerful suction and rotating brushes as well as a HEPA filter so you can be confident that no dirt will be emitted back from the exhaust. Make sure to vacuum over the same area in the most high traffic zones of your home several times, and make sure to include the edges of the carpet, walls, and upholstered furnishings every time you vacuum. Also, take the time to vacuum at least twice per week, washing our the filter on a regular basis for the best results.
While you’re keeping your floors clean, make sure to mop your hardwood floors regularly too. Mopping can pick up any remaining dust after you’ve used your vacuum cleaner. There’s no need to use any commercial cleaning products – plain water is sufficient to capture the lingering allergens and dust. A microfiber mop is the best choice.
One of the best ways to keep your floors fresh is to put a floor mat by every door. Dirt comes into your home via people’s shoes, so putting down a large mat will reduce the number of pollutants entering your home. If you also put a rule in place that everyone has to take their shoes off before entering, you’ll be able to minimize dust and contaminants.
Mold and dust mites thrive on a moist living environment, so make sure to keep your humidity levels inside your home down. Humidity should be no more than 30% to 50% to control allergens effectively. If you use a dehumidifier in your home, moisture will be reduced in your indoor air. You can also make sure to keep a window open when you cook, bathe or run your dishwasher. Always make sure that any leaky plumbing fixtures are fixed to prevent mold from building up and avoid overwatering your house plants. Venting your clothes dryer externally will also reduce the amount of condensation and moisture in your home.
Purify Your Air
One of the most effective and simple ways to improve air quality in your home is to invest in a good quality air purifier. With an integrated HEPA filter, an air purifier can remove the harmful allergens and contaminants from the air inside your rooms, trapping them in the filter so that you and your family won’t be breathing them in. The details found here will help you to choose the best model to suit your needs so that you can breathe easily when in your home.
If you designate your home as a smoke free zone, you will be immediately reducing indoor air pollution. Second-hand smoke is very bad for your health and can result in a host of breathing problems, especially in the very old or young. There are over 4000 different chemicals in cigarette smoke, and the medical problems that they cause can range from asthma and ear infections to cancer. It couldn’t be more important, then to ban it from your property.
Follow these top tips, and your home air will be much less polluted. You’ll be able to breathe more easily indoors and your family will be better protected from allergies, breathing problems and other health concerns.