Air is one of our most basic human needs. So, how’s the air quality in your home? Indoor pollutants accumulate in our homes much faster than most of us realize. Every day items such as cleaning solvents, heavy metals, fragrance chemicals and pet dander are undetected sources that congest our air and can be harmful allergens, especially to those who suffer from asthma. Today we’re sharing how to improve air quality in your home to support your family’s best health.
Clean Household Surfaces Regularly
The first step to improve air quality in your home is to keep your household surfaces as clean as possible, including floors and countertops. Topping that list is placing floor mats at every door so your family and guests can wipe their feet before tracking outdoor allergens such as pesticides, pollen and transferable pet dander into your home. Clean floors regularly with a HEPA filter vacuum and microfiber mops. This greatly reduces the concentration of lead in your home, which is a major pollutant that can be harmful to the entire body. Don’t use feather dusters but rather damp cloths to wipe down furniture and other household surfaces. In most cases you can avoid abrasive chemical cleaning solvents. If you do need a product, look for all-natural options that won’t introduce new, harmful toxins into your home.
Circulate Air and Avoid Too Much Humidity
Keep air flowing through your home safely and effectively. As long as no one in your home suffers from pollen or other outdoor allergies, try circulating fresh air through open widows and screen doors. Otherwise, run fans but be sure you dust them regularly to avoid spreading airborne particles. If you choose to run your air conditioning, be sure your filters and vents are clean so you’re not blowing pollutants and dust along with cool air. Keeping your home at a low humidity level, between 30 to 50% will help deter dust, mold, pollen and other pollutants from sticking around. Make sure your home is well-ventilated while cooking, dishwashing, washing and drying clothes and don’t leave standing water around in tubs, showers, sinks, leaky pipes or while watering houseplants.
Use Natural Resources
Houseplants such as the Boston Fern, Lady Palm and Wax Begonia are all great options that filter out heavy metal toxins such as ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene that enter the home by way of furniture, cabinets and flooring as well as other common household products. Plants absorb and dilute these harmful toxins which can be inhaled or absorbed through the bloodstream. Also, many products designed to make homes more fragrant are often laced with dangerous toxic chemicals. Instead of scented candles and air fresheners, opt for natural scents such as lemon and baking soda or essential oils.
Other tips for how to improve the air quality in your home:
- Make your home a non-smoking environment. Never let anyone smoke in or around your home and ask smokers to change their clothes before coming into your home.
- Wash pets regularly to remove dander and lose hair. Clean up pet hair around your home and wash clothes that are laden with pet hair.
- Run drapes, cloth shower curtains and table cloths through the laundry regularly as dust loves to cling to these thick surfaces.
- Make an effort to clean hard-to-reach areas such as above your high cabinets, along floorboards and in small crevices. Pollutants linger in these areas that are often unseen and untouched.
- Check for radon in your home through an at-home or professional screening kit. Radon is a dangerous odorless gas that is carcinogenic.
- Adopt a no shoe policy in your home to avoid the spread of toxins, pollutants and microbes that live on the bottom of shoes.