Dusty, stale air brings allergies and sniffles galore. You know it’s essential to keep your air clean, but sometimes this task slips from your mind. After all, you can’t always see air pollutants like you can grime or mud. However, you should maintain a decent air quality before issues take root. You have numerous ways to approach air purification, so choose options to suit your living situation and your family’s needs. Check below for six simple ways to improve air quality:
1. Clean Your Floors
Your floors accumulate tons of allergens and debris, especially if you wear your outdoor shoes in the house. Everything you step in outside gets tracked indoors and settles on the floor, creating a primary cause for lowered air quality. Vacuum your carpets and mop your tiles once or twice a week, especially in high-traffic areas. HEPA-filter vacuums collect minuscule spores that standard ones miss, so consider investing in one of these for an efficient clean.
Microfiber cloths trap dirt and moisture much better than cotton due to their smaller fibers, ensuring you leave nothing behind. Toss your old cleaning cloths and buy some microfiber ones the next time you shop.
2. Test Air Quality Regularly
You often won’t realize you have air quality problems until they become noticeable, but you can catch them by testing regularly. If you suspect your environment already contains pollutants, check for air inconsistencies. Is one area of your home warmer or colder than the rest? Are there surrounding factors such as yard work or construction that could bring pollutants? Look out for bodily symptoms like nausea, coughing, fever or congestion. These signs, along with frequent lung infections, can indicate an issue.
Analyze your air with a home testing kit. You can buy equipment suited for the specific problem, such as mold growth or radon.
3. Use Dehumidifiers
Moisture attracts mold and mildew like nothing else, so keep your humidity levels down to stifle these nasty intruders. The ideal indoor humidity sits between 45% and 50%. Once it goes over 50%, the chances for mold growth increase. You’ll know if your humidity is too high if condensation collects on your windows. The air may feel muggy and dense, and you’ll probably encounter a lingering musty smell if mildew has already made its home.
Use a dehumidifier to suck this excess moisture out of the air and return the humidity to a normal percentage. Don’t let it drop below 30%, though, because this causes a dry environment that can crack paint and promote respiratory illness.
4. Change Your AC Filters
This tip may seem obvious, but it’s worth acknowledging. Some people don’t change their filters as often as recommended, which causes pollutants to remain in the air or clog up the unit. An overloaded filter can’t collect any more debris — it only forces your AC to work harder. Deteriorated filters release fibrous material that obstructs system parts, causing mechanical breakdowns. When you clean or change your filters, you reduce energy consumption by up to 15% and remove germs from the atmosphere.
Change your filters every month or two. You may need to clean them often if you own furry pets, as their fur and dander spread quickly.
5. Add Greenery
If you’re not a technological enthusiast, you can implement all-natural air purifiers by buying indoor plants. Some plants suit air purification better than others, so do your research before choosing. Chrysanthemums filter chemicals present in detergent and glue. Weeping figs remove formaldehyde and xylene — a solvent involved in printing. Spider plants tackle carbon monoxide and are non-toxic to animals, so you don’t have to worry about your pets getting into them.
6. Use Natural Cleaning Products
Many companies claim to produce household cleaning solutions for safe use, but some still contain volatile organic compounds, otherwise known as VOCs. Formaldehyde and chloroform are well-known examples of household VOCs. These compounds can cause allergic reactions, lung damage and memory impairment depending on concentration and length of exposure. Cleaning products can still release toxic VOCs even when they’re stored away, which poses a constant risk.
Switch out your commercial cleaning items for natural substitutes like essential oils, white vinegar, salt and lemons. Hydrogen peroxide disinfects without harmful compounds or chemicals, and baking soda scrubs away built-on dirt.
Keep Your Air Clean and Your Lungs Healthy
Clean air reduces allergies and illness while preserving your health. It’s difficult to underestimate the importance of clear oxygen, especially when it combats the irritating physical symptoms that air pollutants produce. A healthy home is a happy one — cleanse your atmosphere often.