How Bad Is The Air Quality In Your Home?

Everybody is aware that air pollution is a big problem, especially in big cities. Cars and factories are constantly pumping harmful chemicals into the air and people are breathing them in, leading to all sorts of health problems. But what people don’t often realize is that they’re not safe just because they’re indoors. In fact, indoor air pollution is just as big of a problem because we spend the majority of our time in buildings.

Air Quality

Some of the air pollution from outside can get into buildings but it’s also caused by things like cleaning chemicals, cooking, heating, and dangerous building materials. The problem is, most people don’t think about the air quality in their home because they just assume that it’s not an issue. If you’re the same and you haven’t considered indoor air pollution before, here are a few simple ways to combat it. Everybody is aware that air pollution is a big problem, especially in big cities. Cars and factories are constantly pumping harmful chemicals into the air and people are breathing them in, leading to all sorts of health problems. But what people don’t often realize is that they’re not safe just because they’re indoors. In fact, indoor air pollution is just as big of a problem because we spend the majority of our time in buildings.

Take Your Shoes Off

This first step is an easy one and a lot of people already take their shoes off in the house to keep it clean. If you don’t and you’re walking around the house with shoes on all of the time, the air quality in your house will suffer. It makes sense really, when you come into the house from outside, you’ll have all sorts of dirt and bacteria on your shoes. When you’re walking around the house, you’re just distributing it and letting it settle in the carpets. Every time somebody walks over that carpet and disturbs it, all of that horrible stuff is released into the air and you breathe it in. It only takes a second to take your shoes off but it’ll improve the air quality in the house quite a bit and it’ll make it easier for you to clean.

Clean Properly

Clean properly

Even if you are taking your shoes off, cleaning properly is still so important when you’re trying to combat indoor air pollution. Carpets are particularly bad because they hold on to a lot of dust and dirt which is redistributed in the air when people walk around on the carpets. That’s why vacuuming regularly (at least every couple of days) is so important. However, a lot of bacteria will survive the vacuum so you should try to give the carpets a proper steam clean every once in a while to make sure that they’re actually clean.

A lot of people decide to switch to wooden flooring instead of carpets because it’s easier to keep them clean. That’s true, however, there are some downsides to wooden flooring in some cases. If you pick a pattern that has gaps in, they’ll hold just as much dust and dirt as a carpet so you aren’t seeing the benefits. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you don’t need to clean them as often as carpets either. It’s easier to clean them but they still need doing just as regularly.

As well as the floors, you need to make sure that you’re cleaning the rest of the house on a regular basis because dust and dirt can collect anywhere. This does raise another issue though because a lot of cleaning products are made with nasty chemicals that you don’t really want floating around in the air. It might be better to use homemade cleaning products that are made from natural ingredients that won’t affect the air quality in your home.

As well as cleaning the house properly, you should make an effort to keep it tidy and free of clutter. If you’ve got junk lying around all over the place, it’s just collecting more dust and bacteria that will later be released into the air. The more places you give the dirt to hide, the worse your air quality will be. If you haven’t done it for a while, it’s worth decluttering the house. You’ll free up some space for yourself and it’ll be so much easier to keep on top of the cleaning and manage the air quality in your home.  

Open the Windows

People tend to think that opening a window will have a negative effect because you’re letting the polluted air from the outside into the house. But in reality, you’re letting the air cycle through so all of the pollutants in the house can escape and fresh air can come in. If you live in a particularly built up area, this might not work as well because the levels of pollution outside are extremely high. However, opening the window for a while if the weather is nice is often a simple way of improving the air quality in your home.

Air Conditioners

An air conditioner is one of the best ways to keep the air circulating in your home, especially in the winter when it’s too cold to just open a window. They’ll make such a big improvement to the air quality in your home and they’re great for staying cool during the summer months. However, you do have to be careful with your air conditioners because they can have the opposite effect if you’re not maintaining them properly. Over time, the filters in your air conditioner will become clogged with dust and dirt. If you’re not cleaning them regularly and having them repaired, they’ll be putting all of that pollution back into your home, making the air quality worse rather than better. If you need more information on repairing or replacing air conditioners, you can find it here and set up a consultation if needs be. Having an air conditioner is always a good idea when you’re trying to improve air quality but only if it’s in good working order.

Cooking

Cooking

When you’re cooking, you’re polluting the air with things like gas and smoke. Over time, that can have a serious impact on your indoor air quality. Good ventilation is the easiest way around this. If possible, you need to make sure that you’ve got a good extractor fan installed above the stove. This will remove any pollution from cooking right away so it doesn’t spread around your home. You also need to make sure that you’re keeping your extractor fan clean because it can quickly get clogged up with grease and it won’t work effectively.  

It’s not always possible to install an extractor fan but you still need to find a way to reduce the air pollution from cooking. It might just be that you’ll have to keep a window open while you cook and keep the kitchen door shut for a while afterward so all of that air pollution goes outside and doesn’t spread around the house.

Scented Candles

Scented Candles

A scented candle is a great way to make your home smell nice and make it a bit more relaxing, but at what cost? A lot of scented candles have been found to be incredibly bad for indoor air quality because of the chemicals that they use to create the fragrance. Formaldehyde is a common chemical in a lot of scented candles and increased exposure has been linked to risk of asthma, skin irritation, and even some forms of cancer. So, you don’t want to be breathing it in on a regular basis. Anything lemon scented tends to use limonene which isn’t harmful in itself but when it reacts with other chemicals in the air, it can form more dangerous chemicals.

That doesn’t mean you need to ditch scented candles entirely, but you do need to be careful with them. The first thing you should do is check the ingredients because you can get ones that are made from natural ingredients that won’t be harmful to your health. You could even make your own using natural oils to create the fragrance instead of harmful chemicals. When it comes to using scented candles, you should always try to keep a window open if the weather is warm enough so the chemicals in them aren’t sitting around in the home for too long.

House Plants

House Plants

Even if you make all of these changes around the house, you’re still going to get some pollutants in the home. But you can counteract that by introducing more plants into the home. Studies have been done into the pollutants that are found in most homes and the different plants that react to them. They found that certain plants are very good at removing these toxins from the air and reducing pollution inside the home. If you buy a selection of these plants and try to keep one in each room of the house, they’ll be able to clean out a lot of the toxins that will inevitably get into the air. Just remember that you’ve actually got to look after them and keep them alive if you want to see the benefits.

Indoor air pollution is a bigger problem than most people realize. If you don’t do anything about it, it could be having a serious impact on your health. But if you just follow these simple tips, you can improve the air quality in your home in no time.

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