6 Simple Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

September 29, 2022

Deteriorating indoor air quality is becoming a leading source of environmental pollution. It has been ranked among the top 5 environmental dangers by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The air within our homes and other buildings could be worse than the outdoor air, even in the largest and most industrialized cities.

Image Source: https://www.thefutonshop.com/blog/indoor-health

There could be many sources of indoor pollution, from tobacco smoke and cooking devices to VOCs from cleaning products. Research shows that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. That is why they are more at health risk due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors. So, you must go above and beyond to keep your family safe and breathe the best air possible.

What You Can Do to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Change Your Air Filters

The first thing you need to do is check the air filters in your HVAC system since they are the front line of defense against poor indoor air quality. The entire air volume inside your home passes through the filter multiple times every day. If this filter is clogged, your unit will have to work harder to compensate for the airflow blockage.

Thus, you should check the air filters regularly and change them as per the manufacturer's recommendations. It will not only provide sufficient airflow in each room but will also reduce energy consumption. And it will increase the lifespan of your unit in the long run.

Bring Nature Indoors for Clean Air

You may have heard that some houseplants can improve indoor air quality. Well, it is true. NASA revealed in a landmark 1989 study that some houseplants diffuse toxic chemicals like:

  • Formaldehyde, which causes irritation to the nose, mouth, and throat
  • Benzene, which causes irritation to the eyes, drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches
  • Trichloroethylene, which causes dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting

Some plant roots and their associated microorganisms have the ability to destroy the pathogenic viruses and bacteria. So, you can get buy houseplants like English Ivy, variegated snake plant, spider plant, money plant, etc.

Keep Your Furnace Blower On

Another way to keep your air quality at optimum levels is to make sure that your furnace blower is on. It will re-circulate the air in your home through your intake and back out of your home's supply ducts.

Additionally, you can choose a furnace that has a filter system with UV lights. A 2021 systematic review found that UV air purifiers with a HEPA filter may be effective at removing bacteria from the air. So, a UV light filtration system can dramatically increase your indoor air quality.

Reduce Humidity and Mold

The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that indoor humidity levels should stay between 30% and 60%. However, humidity easily accumulates in tightly sealed rooms due to activities like cooking, bathing, and simply breathing.

Image Source: https://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/homeowners/cold-weather-home-humidity/

High levels of humidity create a breeding ground for toxic mold and bacteria. On the other hand, if these levels are quite low, it can increase the risk of infections and may even damage your home. That is why you should use a whole-house dehumidifier along with your furnace or A/C.

Vacuum Regularly

Studies have shown that regular dusting and vacuuming can significantly reduce the harmful allergens that can pollute your home. So, you should vacuum weekly with a sealed system that uses a special HEPA filter. It will also minimize the risk of lung-related illnesses and allergies.

Avoid Smoking Inside Your Home

Tobacco contains many harmful pollutants. In fact, Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is considered a significant contributor to indoor air pollution. It is also harmful to human health and may cause premature death and disease. That is why you should make your home a no-smoking zone.

There are several factors responsible for indoor air pollution. They can trigger asthma, allergies, and a plethora of other illnesses. However, you can take some small yet significant steps to mitigate these risks. You can start by checking your air filters, bringing in houseplants, controlling the dust/mold, and maintaining your home's humidity. These steps will require some effort, but they will help improve the air quality in your home.

 

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