According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), poor indoor air quality can have a range of negative health effects.
Immediate problems include headaches and fatigue. Long-term problems include respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer.
The causes of poor air quality range from toxic chemicals to mold to dust. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the number of contaminants in your home to keep you safe.
Find out how to improve indoor air quality in this article.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality: Assess Your Space
First, you should order an air quality test kit. Some of them are relatively cheap and test for hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs, airborne chemicals) and molds.
The results will tell you what contaminants you’re dealing with so you have an idea of what level of air purification you need.
Regardless, keep in mind that some of these solutions for improving air quality apply to one room, while others apply to the whole house.
What works best for you depends on your contaminants as well as the size of your space.
Additionally, if you have certain health concerns you should look into specific resources for your condition. Unhumid offers great information for air purification for people with asthma.
Get an Air Purifier
Air purifiers usually have HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters.
These force air through a fine mesh to trap harmful pollutants and allergens.
You want one in the room you spend your most time in (including when you sleep). You can have multiple in your home if you want, but regardless, make sure to get a machine that can filter the space of the room.
You want the humidity in your home to stay between 30-50% to prevent mold growth.
This may require running a dehumidifier in some seasons and an air conditioner in others.
To aid these machines, you can use exhaust fans and vents. Also, it’s wise to pay attention to anything water-related in your home. This means refraining from overwatering your plants and fixing leaks as soon as they happen.
Stay Current With Your Filters
You should change your air filters regularly.
You may also want to upgrade to an activated charcoal filter.
These filters work so well because charcoal is incredibly porous. When air is pushed through them, harmful particles adsorb (stick) to the activated carbon.
Still, you must change the filter regularly for it to be effective.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Most homes are built to allow for natural ventilation through joints and cracks in the structure, yet some aren’t.
You can do your part by opening doors and windows when the weather is good. Use a fan for spot ventilation by moving the air around.
Allowing proper ventilation lets stale air circulate out and fresh, healthy air circulate in.
Keep Your Home Clean
Maintaining a clean home is a big part of air cleanliness.
Clean your floors often with a strong-suctioned vacuum that has a HEPA filter. If you can, consider switching any carpet to wood, tile, or vinyl.
Use a microfiber mop and dust cloths to keep all surfaces clean.
Also, when tidying up your space, refrain from synthetic smells and chemicals. These put harmful chemicals in the air and often linger longer than you’d think.
On the note of doing things naturally, consider adding house plants to your decor.
Research suggests they provide cleaner air, lower your chances of getting sick, and boosts your mood.
Your Health Is Worth the Effort
Now that you know how to improve indoor air quality, you can make your home as healthy and clean as possible.
If it seems like a lot, start one step at a time, beginning with an air filter. Over time, you can work up to completing the full list.
Keep reading our blog for more life tips.