All of us are aware of the impact of air pollution on our health. But the quality of air is not limited to the outdoors, it will also impact the air indoors. Not many of us pay attention to the quality of the air we breathe and sometimes indoor air pollutants can have a bigger impact on our health than outdoor air pollutants. Air pollution can lead to asthma, pneumonia, cancer, heart disease, or allergic reactions.
Individuals who have heart conditions can also have a higher risk of developing health concerns that are connected to indoor air quality. If you have an unexplained respiratory symptom, it is a sign to check the air quality of your home. There are effective ways to improve the air quality of your home and it will help you lower the risk of developing health conditions. Here’s how you can get started.
1. Reduce the Indoor Pollutants
The easiest way to keep the indoor air clean is to learn about the sources of pollution and avoid adding them whenever you can. Such pollutants include radon, formaldehyde, and secondhand smoke. It can develop health concerns including different types of cancer. Even cleaning products have harmful chemicals that often linger in the air. These include cleaning sprays, bleach, glass cleaners, and air fresheners. Try to choose nontoxic and safe cleaning products that help clean your home without excessive chemicals.
2. Improve ventilation
A simple and easy way to improve the air quality in your home is to keep the air flowing. Simply open the doors and windows to let in some outside air, as long as it is clean and low in pollen. The air will enter the house from the vents and the tiny, thin spaces around the windows and doors. There is not much you can do about it but you must make sure that the air channeling in the living space from the vents does not contribute to this problem. To handle this, you need to change the filters in the home heating or cooling systems, you must also make sure that any air ducts in the home are unobstructed and clean. Lastly, remember to check the filters in HVAC since they bring the air into your home and hire professionals for regular HVAC repair and replacement.
3. Check the Air Quality
Whenever you are concerned about the air quality of your home but do not know what changes can help the most, you must start by testing the air quality. You can either call a professional or test the air quality yourself at home. There are many air quality test kits available online that allow you to check for one or two pollutants. If you need to check all the pollutants, it is best to work with a professional.
4. Try to Control the Allergens
It is normal to find irritants and allergens in indoor spaces including mold, dust, dust mites, and pet dander. If you can manage to keep the allergens at bay, it will improve the overall air quality of the home. This will help reduce the chances of symptoms like watery eyes, runny nose, skin rashes, itching, sore throat, or sneezing. Management of allergens in the house will require upkeep and prevention. The right strategies include brushing the pet regularly, using hypoallergenic pillows to keep the dust mites out, and washing the bedding in hot water regularly to eliminate the dust mites. You must also remember to vacuum and dust regularly to keep the dust mites from accumulating.
5. Invest in an Air Purifier
An effective way to keep the air cleaner in the home is to invest in a quality air purifier. Look for a purifier that has a high-efficiency particulate absorbing filter so that it removes the most harmful particles. The air purifier cannot remove all types of pollutants so you may also want to consider an air filter to reduce the smoke, excess carbon dioxide, and allergens like pet dander.
6. Handle the Dampness
Whenever there is dampness in the indoor spaces, it will lead to health hazards including mold growth. There could be a damp indoor environment due to humid climates, areas that have clogged water, leaky roofs or pipes, and low ventilation areas like the kitchen or bathroom. Reduce the dampness by investing in a dehumidifier, eliminating the areas of pooling water in the home, or turning on a fan whenever you cook or shower.
There are many factors that can impact the air quality in a living space and testing the air quality is the first step toward improving it. From there, you can take the steps to prevent as well as reduce the pollutants to improve the quality of air in your home while reducing the associated health risks.