Tips for Improving Your Home's Air Quality
by Cindy Sha
The safety and comfort of your home is a top priority for most people…and it should be.
Specifically, the quality of indoor air is a topic of major concern. Many studies indicate that the air within your home can be more polluted than the air outside. People generally believe that the air outsides our homes are more polluted as they are exposed to car fumes and exhaust, dust and smog.
However, it turns out that the air within our homes are subject to house dust, lead, chemicals from cleaners and fragrances, paint fumes from the walls, carpet cleaners, dust mites, pet dander, mold and more.
If your home is stuffy, has a noticeable odor, is very humid and has low air flow or movement, then you definitely have some air quality problems. Other “symptoms” of a home with air quality problems includes: the appearance of mold and mildew growth and if you feel better/ breathe easier when you go outside of your home.
So what can you do to improve your home’s air quality?
1. Become more aware of the types of cleaning products you use at home. When buying cleaners it is advised that you buy user safe, environmentally friendly or green products. Another option you have is using carpet steam cleaners or steam mops. These products use only water to clean and do a good job of sanitizing your home. The steam emitted does not only clean your carpet and floors, but it also cleans your air. Steam cleaners are proven to kill microorganisms, bacteria, dust mites and other allergens which significantly improve the quality of the air.
2. Most homes have air condition units which is another major source of poor air quality. Make sure that you change the filter regularly or according to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow servicing procedures.
3. Keep pets outside and clean them regularly. Your pets carry dander, allergens and other substances into the house. This can quickly encroach on your air quality and it is recommended that you keep them outside, deep clean the areas they frequent and of course, clean them regularly.
4. Don’t buy Formaldehyde gas producing furniture/items. Whenever you are buying furniture make sure to ask about the Formaldehyde content. Formaldehyde is common in textiles, particle board furniture, cabinets etc. If you do have furniture with high Formaldehyde content, you can always treat it with polyurethane which will reduce the amount of emissions.
5. Reduce the moisture content in your home. Moisture encourages the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria which can cause bad odors. To eliminate this, use exhaust fans or even a dehumidifier.
6. Install Carbon monoxide detectors in your home. This is an important point especially if you own gas or fossil fuel appliances. Don’t forget about them after installation! Make sure to check them regularly and replace batteries when necessary.
7. Paint. When purchasing paint to use within your home, buy water based paints or even low solvent paints. Paint contains many harmful vapors and you should take great care when using it. Make sure to reseal containers properly and thoroughly wash brushes.
The above are just a few tips to improve your home’s air quality, but are definitely a good start. Your home is your haven for both you and your family. By following a few of these guidelines, you can make your house a healthier and more enjoyable place to live.
Remember the Danish proverb… “Fresh air impoverishes the doctor.”