Today’s homes are sealed tight to help prevent energy loss. However, that also means it’s easier for pollutants to accumulate in your home’s air. If you’re looking to improve the indoor air that you and your family breathe, consider following a few of these simple steps.
Bring In Houseplants
Image via Flickr by wlcutler
One of the easiest ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality is to bring in a little nature. NASA researchers were looking for a way to clean the air in the space station when they discovered that houseplants are very effective at removing toxins from the air. The spider plant, red-edge dracaena, and golden pothos can filter out formaldehyde, and the lady palm is good at removing ammonia from the air. If you’re looking for a nice plant for your bedroom, the snake plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night.
Not only can dust irritate allergy sufferers, but it’s also full of hazardous chemicals and bacteria. In fact, studies have found that dust contains around 2,000 varieties of fungi and 7,000 types of bacteria. Keeping dust around your house to a minimum can help improve indoor air quality. Therefore, you should dust and vacuum frequently. Also, make sure you’re vacuuming with a HEPA filter, which can trap small particles that other filters simply recirculate back into your air.
Install an Air Cleaner
If you’re looking for a way to improve the air throughout your home, a whole-house air filtration system can help. An air filtration system has filters installed in your home’s ductwork. These filters then trap dust, pet dander, pollen, chemicals, and other particles before they enter the air your family breathes. Just like with your vacuum, a HEPA filter is more effective at trapping particles. In fact, a true HEPA filter can remove at least 99.97 percent of airborne particles 0.3 microns or smaller.
Ventilate Your House
Opening some windows to increase ventilation in your house can help circulate the air, but you don’t want to simply fling them all open without thought. You can harm your air quality by letting in outdoor air contaminants, including dirt, mold, industrial pollution, and gas emissions from cars and trucks. Instead, you need to use a window filter. These filters range in size and adjust to fit most windows. When installed in an open window, they let in fresh air while keeping out pollutants.
Use Cleaning Products With Low Toxicity
Although cleaning your house is important, it’s also critical that you know what you’re using when you clean. Many cleaning products contain harmful chemicals, which can cause headaches, allergic reactions, and even chronic respiratory problems. When it’s time to clean your house, ditch the harsh cleaning products and choose ones with low toxicity. For example, a simple combination of one part water to one part white vinegar in a spray bottle makes a safe and nontoxic all-purpose cleaner.
Every family needs clean and healthy air to breathe. From properly cleaning your home to introducing a few beneficial houseplants, these simple tips can help improve the indoor air quality in your home for you and your family.