Indoor air quality is important. Most of us spend the majority of our days inside. Keeping the air inside your home clean has a positive impact on the health of you and your family. You can improve the air quality easily by adding some houseplants to your decor, keeping humidity stable through ventilation, and following your HVAC service schedule. Make the air in your house clean using the five easy methods below.
Use Low-VOC Products
Paint and cleaners contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds), as do thousands of household products. Inside levels of these compounds can be two to five times higher than in the outside air. As you shop for paint and household cleaners, look for products labeled “low VOC.” When using products with VOCs, make sure there is ample ventilation. Try placing a small fan in an open window to exhaust the fumes. Do not store open containers of unused paint and other products inside.
Houseplants are a natural and beautiful way to filter the air in your home. They absorb VOCs, cigarette smoke, and fumes from household cleaners. In many instances, they do a better job than HVAC and air filtration systems. For years, NASA has been researching the filtering qualities of plants. Some of the plants they have identified as doing the best job are ficus, areca palm, and potted mums.
Indoor allergens settle on the floor of your house. When you vacuum quickly, there’s a good chance you are putting them back into the air. Vacuum slowly, focusing on doing a thorough job without stirring up dust. Plan to vacuum all floors at least twice a week. Empty your vacuum outside. The inside of your vacuum is a breeding ground for bacteria. You do not want to release that back into your house.
Ventilation is a simple way to lower relative humidity and keep the air fresh in your home. Shoot for a humidity between 30 and 60 percent. Anything higher facilitates mold growth and creates ideal conditions for dust mites. Unless you live close to a factory or a busy interstate, the air outside is likely cleaner than the air inside. Open the windows, even for 10 to 15 minutes, to get air circulating. Also be sure to use exhaust fans in the kitchen when cooking and in the bathroom when showering.
Change Heat and Air Conditioner Filters
Your HVAC system circulates the air in your house. Each time it goes through the system, the air flows through filters, removing dust and allergens. Dirty and ripped filters let contaminated air pass through and stay in your home’s living area. Check your filters at least four times a year. Replace filters when you can no longer see light through them.
Maintaining clean air in your home is important for your family’s health, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. These five tips are easy to follow and don’t take much time out of your day. Try them now, and breathe easy.