You may not realize it, but the quality of your indoor air can have a significant impact on your family’s life. Poor air quality can cause respiratory problems, lead to fatigue, and even make you sick. Fortunately, there are several ways to improve the quality of your indoor air.
1. Keep it cool
The EPA recommends keeping the relative humidity in your home between 30% and 50%. Maintaining a comfortable humidity level can help to keep your respiratory system healthy. If the air is too dry, you may want to invest in a humidifier. However, if the air is too moist, a dehumidifier will work better for you. Either way, keeping a consistent indoor humidity level can make a significant difference in your family’s overall health and well-being.
2. Use HEPA filters
HEPA filters are an effective way to clean up the air circulating through your home. They catch small particles of dust, pollen, smoke, mold spores, and even pet dander so that they don’t spread throughout your home. While HEPA filters are especially effective for allergies, they may not be enough to keep the air in your home 100% clean. Your filter may also need to be replaced more frequently depending on the size of your home and how many people live there.
3. Install an electronic air cleaner
An electronic air cleaner consists of an ionizer that removes toxic chemicals from the air before it circulates through your home. The ions attach themselves to particles that cause poor indoor quality so that these particles don’t enter into your HVAC system or spread throughout your living spaces. Electronic Ionizers should only be used in areas where you spend a significant amount of time, such as bedrooms and living rooms. They will remove both positive and negative ions, leading to some health problems.
4. Open some windows daily
While it might not be the most popular home improvement suggestion, opening your windows for at least five minutes per day can make a big difference in the quality of indoor air throughout your home. For one thing, you’ll save money on your energy bills and benefit from more fresh air circulation during warmer months.
However, if you live in a heavily polluted area or near a busy road, beware that outdoor chemicals can easily seep into your home; opt for blinds over curtains to block these pollutants from entering your home without blocking too much sunlight at once. If possible, consider installing an intake fan near an open window that draws in clean air from outdoors instead of circulating dust throughout your home.
5. Keep appliances well maintained
When an appliance is in disrepair, it can put harmful chemicals into your indoor air quality that circulate throughout your family’s HVAC system and into the rooms where you spend most of your time. For instance, when a dryer isn’t vented properly or has lint build-up, toxic fumes are circulated through the vents and thrown around the room, leading to poor air quality in your living spaces. This can also be true for ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, and even coffee makers if they aren’t in proper working condition. While minor problems may go unnoticed at first glance by homeowners, they pose real health risks over time. Invest in regular appliance maintenance to ensure long-term indoor air quality.
6. Clean your home regularly
As simple as it sounds, many homeowners don’t know how to clean their homes effectively each week or even each season, which can also affect your indoor air quality. It’s important to sweep, dust, vacuum, and mop every area of your home every week, if not more often, depending on how busy life is or where you spend most of your time. For instance, consider vacuuming low-traffic areas such as bathrooms twice per week so that mold doesn’t have the opportunity to grow there. Also, try changing out carpets once per year if they are in high traffic areas or suffer from many spills throughout the year. If you want healthier air options, use a microfiber cloth to dust surfaces as they don’t hold onto dust and allergens like other materials.
7. Control your home’s humidity level
The humidity level in your home can also have a significant impact on the quality of your indoor air. If the humidity is too high, you may start to see mold growth in your home, which can cause respiratory problems for some people. On the other hand, if the humidity is too low, you’ll start to see an increase in static electricity, skin dryness, and even respiratory problems. To control the humidity level in your home, invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier, depending on whether you need to add moisture to the air or remove it. You can also control humidity levels with airflow, windows, and ventilation fans.
There are several simple and effective ways to improve the quality of your indoor air. Home improvement is a gradual process; if you don’t notice a difference in your home’s air after trying one of these methods, try another until you find what works for your family.