Is your home wreaking havoc on your health? It turns out that indoor air quality affects most people's health in the United States. In fact, indoor air pollution is an underlying cause of several respiratory diseases, which can be fatal. According to the WHO, indoor air pollution was responsible for over 3 million deaths in 2020. That means it contributes to around 4.1% of the total deaths annually.
It's easy to accept an unhealthy atmosphere as normal when many homes stay polluted year-round. It's time to take back air quality! However, there are many ways you can reduce indoor air pollution and its impact on your health.
Poor ventilation can lead to mold growth. This can happen because mold needs moisture to grow, and if there's not enough fresh air in the room, then mold will thrive. Poor ventilation lets pollen and dust mites enter your home without being filtered out by clean air.
Here are four tips to improve air ventilation in your home:
- Clean the air vents in your house. You can use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate dust buildup or hire someone to do it for you if you don't feel like doing it yourself.
- Open windows whenever possible, especially during natural air flow periods such as early morning and late evening. This will allow fresh air into your home and help circulate the stale air trapped inside all day.
- Use fans with filters to help pull fresh air into your home when you can't open windows—and make sure those filters get cleaned regularly!
- Don't leave doors and windows open while cooking or showering (you'll let all your hot/cold air out). Instead, try using exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to keep those areas warm or cool while allowing fresh air into other parts of the house (and ensuring those exhaust fans are cleaned regularly!).
Clean Your Carpets
Carpets can help trap the dust and prevent it from entering the breathing zone of your house. However, carpets can lead to several health issues when dust and dirt accumulate on them. Many believe that modern-day carpets are not like that and can easily trap a lot of dust without impacting health. But that's not the case. A review study by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) on whether carpets impair indoor air quality found that carpets can increase dust, allergens, and microorganisms in your living space.
Carpets also harbor mold spores and other fungi that can cause respiratory problems if not cleaned regularly. These fungi can grow within 24 hours of exposure to humid conditions like those found in carpeting. This is especially important if you have children or pets in your home because they will track more dirt into their rooms, leading to mold growth on the flooring surfaces throughout their space.
Regularly vacuuming the floors with a good vacuum cleaner will help remove some contaminants from your environment. However, the vacuum alone cannot remove all the dirt and dust particles. Hence, it is best to hire professional carpet cleaners once in a while. The carpet cleaners will have the right tools, resources, and expertise to deep clean the carpets and improve your house's indoor air quality.
Use Air Cleaners
The primary source of indoor pollution comes from chemicals in cleaning products and furnishings and airborne particles like dust and mold spores. These contaminants can lead to various health problems such as headaches, allergies, and respiratory issues.
An excellent way to reduce these risks is using air cleaners in your home or office specially designed to trap particles before reaching your lungs or nasal passages. This can help prevent respiratory problems associated with breathing in polluted air, leading to unnecessary doctor's visits or even lost time at work due to being sick too often!
There are many different types of air purifiers available on the market today. The increasing indoor air pollution and demand for fresh and unpolluted air are leading to a significant rise in the air cleaner market. The air cleaner market, which was standing at $12.26 billion in 2021, is expected to grow with a CAGR of 8.1% until 2030. This also leads to enhanced technology in manufacturing quality air cleaners that can reduce the amount of air pollution indoors.
Avoid Smoking Indoors
Cigarette smoke contains harmful chemicals and particulates, which can make you sick and cause long-term damage to your lungs. If you smoke in your home, you will expose yourself and anyone else who spends time there to these toxins. The toxins from secondhand smoke can linger in the air for hours after a cigarette has been smoked. In fact, a study from NCBI concludes that tobacco smoke is one of the largest contributors to poor indoor air quality. If you're worried about air pollution, consider quitting smoking or asking others not to smoke around you!
It's easy! Just avoid smoking indoors. That's right: no more lighting up near open windows or in front of an open door—or better yet, just go outside altogether!
You'll be surprised at how much better the air will smell in your house once you stop doing this (and how much less gross it'll be to hang out with your friends).
So how can you avoid smoking indoors? First, decide if you want to quit altogether. Depending on your situation, this may mean finding support from family members or friends who are also trying to stop. If you're trying to reduce your smoking habit, try using a nicotine patch or gum instead of cigarettes until you've cut back by half.
A home with poor indoor air quality is a home that is not conducive to human life. A wealth of indoor air quality concerns plague our society today. If you have been experiencing the adverse effects of poor air quality inside your home, you should do something about it. Nine times out of ten, you can improve your indoor air quality by making some minor adjustments around the house. Changing your indoor environment can be easy with the right steps and a little knowledge. Hopefully, you've been encouraged to prioritize improving your indoor air quality.