When you think of air quality and pollution your mind probably sees industrial smokestacks, trucks spouting out dark smoke and cars packed together at rush-hour. But, did you know that the air quality within your home may actually be worse than outdoor air quality?
If you’re like most Americans you spend a significant amount of your time, upwards of 90% indoors, where, according to the EPA, pollutants can be as much as two to five times higher than outdoor particulate concentrations. These pollutants can lead to respiratory problems such as allergies and asthma as well as increased headaches, lack of focus, and fatigue.
Here are 7 ways to improve air quality in your home:
Keep Moisture Levels in Check
Mold, especially black mold, not only leaves behind a bad smell and looks unsightly, but it can also be very dangerous. Toxic black mold is more likely to appear in warm, humid, and damp locations within your home. As such it is important to pay special attention to areas that are likely to see water leaks such as where water pipes connect, under your sinks, behind your toilet near and around your shower, around windows, and in your basement. If you find a leak, small or large, clean up what you can and repair the area.
Dust gathers in some of the most inconspicuous areas of your home, meaning that you may have dust pockets you don’t even know exist. For instance, when was the last time you dusted the top of your kitchen cabinets, bookshelves or blinds? Over time this dust will slowly be released into the air causing a nearly endless supply of allergens.
Add Indoor Plants
Many people don’t realize how well indoor plants can improve your home’s indoor air quality through air purification and increasing your home’s oxygen levels. For many people this air purification provides an additional benefit with improved sleep. Here are some plants that are suggested to help the overall air quality of your home and help you sleep.
Ventilation is important as it removes stagnant air and keeps your home with consistently fresh air which helps keep particulates from gathering. This means opening screened windows when it is nice outside and keeping your AC and heating units running properly. Installing or having portable fans available will also help.
Get a mold inspection
It’s interesting how many people will see the signs of mold, but not get a mold inspection to identify areas of your home that can be affected by mold. Mold can be dangerous and from minor allergies to significant respiratory problems your health can be at risk. You should get a mold inspection if your allergies or asthma worsen, the air seems damp, or you can smell a musty odor.
Keep your air conditioners and filters clean
In addition to good ventilation it is important to maintain your ventilation units by replacing air filters. Your AC will keep air-flow in your home, keep your home dry, and help to remove pollens, impurities and particulates. But unclean filters can become so congested that it prevents what the unit is designed to do.
Buy Beeswax Candles
One unique way to remove impurities from the air is to burn beeswax candles. As these candles burn, they release negative ions which causes the positively charged ions of dust and pollutants to either be released from suspension in the air or become attracted to the candles.
Clean Your Linens Regularly
It’s important to keep your home clean so that dust and particulates don’t gather, but how often do you clean your couch, chairs and other fabrics in your home? From animals who leave behind dander to dust mites that cause respiratory irritations it is important to keep your home fabrics as clean as you do your own clothes.
Certified Home Inspector.