While air pollution has been a major concern, what many do not realize is that indoor air is a much bigger problem to our health than outdoor air. Indoor air pollution is usually caused by a build-up of dust, dirt, mold, humidity, and other allergens.
To make it worse, our zeal to ensure that our homes are more energy efficient has led the creation of spaces that are so sealed. This can lead to a build-up of fumes and other biological irritants such as dust mites and molds.
The good news is that you do not have to spend a lot of money to clean your indoor air once and for all. You can address most of these problems by using low-cost solutions such as proper ventilation. But why is the quality of indoor air very important
Why Clean Indoor Air Is So Important
Breathing quality indoor air is very important especially if you want to have good health.
Most people spend a significant amount of their time indoors either in the office or at home where chemical gases and other pollutants can cause headaches, allergies, eye irritation, and fatigues.
Other serious pollutants can even lead to some types of cancers and other serious health complications. If you are breathing clean air, you can easily prevent many health hazards.
Common Indoor Pollutants
The most common indoor pollutants include
- Combustion pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide that come from materials that fuel-burning appliances such as gas stoves, wood stoves, and fireplaces and space heaters.
- Secondhand smoke, which very serious air pollutants that can seriously affect those who are suffering from asthma and increase the risks of deaths.
- Radon which is a dangerous gas pollutant that is one of the leading causes of cancers. These dangerous pollutants usually enter the homes through improperly sealed openings and cracks.
Indoor air quality is, therefore, an important health issue that has continued to be addressed at the local and state level to ensure that people breathe clean air. Recognizing the importance of this is, therefore, a very important step.
Top Tips To Clean Your Indoor Air
1. Open The Windows
While this is perhaps the most important tip, it’s still very important when it comes to cleaning your indoor air. Practicing this habit is a very good start because it helps to reduce the concentrations of carbon dioxide as well as other toxic chemicals.
Believe it or not, the quality of indoor air is a lot more times poorer than the outdoors. In most instances, an everyday situation can affect the quality of indoor air hence you should not wait until the following morning before opening the windows.
This might peak when you add a new coat of paint or bring a new piece of wood furniture. You, therefore, need to open the windows for at least 10 to 20 minutes and do it every day even if you are not sure whether your indoor air has been pullulated or not.
You should also do it when someone is involved in an activity that you feel will pollute the environment.
2. Avoid Smoke
About 85% of pollution cases are caused by smokers. However, whether or not you are a smoker, you need to stay away from smokers to avoid secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoking and smokers should be avoided. Remember, cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals such as carcinogens that can affect the health of those who breathe it.
Tobacco smoke can damage the health of the smoker and also those who passively inhale the smoke. So, it’s important that you do not allow anyone who smokes to do it in your house.
This will prevent you from being exposed to smoke which is a hazard to everyone.
3. Use Air Purifiers For Dust
Using an air purifier is also a very important way to clean your indoor air once and for all. Just like the food we eat, the air we breathe is also very important hence must be purified.
If your indoor air is badly affected by the pollutants, use a good air purifier for the dust to help you clean it. These are devices designed in such a way that they can eliminate contaminants from the room and leave your room clean and fresh.
They work by allowing air to pass through the filters and remove small particles. These filters come in the variety and work together with each other to ensure that your air is clean.
Since the majority of these are supposed to be placed in one room, ensure that you place it where you normally spend a lot of your time. If you are looking for flexibility, you might want to consider buying a mobile purifier.
A good purifier can also help you with allergies and eliminate dust from the air inside your home.
4. Keep Your Room Clean And Tidy
After some time, most of the things that we have in the room turns to dust. Sometimes seeing this is quite obvious but at times it’s very hard to see it. This is especially true with the things that take longer to change and crumble.
This is why there is no need to become fussy. You only need to clean and tidy up the room where you stay to improve the quality of air that you breathe.
Always ensure that you have a doormat to wipe your feet to prevent accessing your house with dust. Also, try mopping or vacuuming your house at least once a week.
Pet danders, and odors need to be regularly removed to get your house healthy.
5. Keep Air Humidity Levels At Between 30 To 50 Percent
By doing this, you will limit the presence of dust mite and the growth of mold. Some molds produce mycotoxins and allergens that can have adverse effects on your health.
These allergic reactions include a runny nose, skin conditions, eye conditions, asthma attacks among other depending on the sensitivity of the part of the body exposed.
There is a link between the upper respiratory symptoms and exposure to mold. You, therefore need to
- Track the humidity levels in the house.
- Use a humidifier once in a while to control allergens and moisture.
- Always open the windows while cooking.
- Close or repair all water leaks your homes.
- If you have a clothes drier open your windows when using it.
>> Related Reading: 5 Natural Ways to Kill Mildew and Mold
6. Avoid Synthetic Fragrances
To improve the quality of hair that you breathe you need to stay away from synthetic fragrances from laundry products and perfumes.
Did you know that these produce a lot of synthetic chemicals that are harmful to your health? To avoid this, it’s important to choose fragrances or products that have natural scents.
Also, stop using sprays that products that can cause mist liquid particles such as hair fresheners and air sprays.
7. Properly Dispose Of Your Garbage
When cleaning your house do not forget about properly disposing of your garbage as keeping trash in the house can badly affect the quality of air.
Certain decaying and rotting food products tend to produce molds and other pollutants that are harmful to the air that we breathe.
These chemical products from decaying can also release dangerous agents that can be very harmful when ingested or inhaled.
It’s, therefore, best to maintain a habit of disposing all your trash and removing them from home to ensure that the air that you breathe is quality air.
8. Use House Plants
While the above tips are very effective in improving the quality of air. Additionally, there are also some essential plants that clean the air, and you can use to purify your indoor air-quality. Some of these plants can be used to eliminate the toxic chemicals found in the air.
By using their roots, foliage, and leaves, they can help absorb certain VOC. Even though their pollutant removal rate is slow, they can work wonders in filtering your indoor air. Some of the indoor hanging plants include
- Boston Fern- These plants remove much more chemicals than any other plant. They are also quite effective in removing other pollutants such as xylene and benzene. However, when they are growing, you need to regularly water them.
- Palm trees- When it comes to removing indoor pollutants, palm trees are very good. Palm trees thrive well in a cool environment hence you need to take care of them by providing this environment.
- Rubber plants- If you have a dim room that’s screaming for a little touch of nature, you need to get a rubber plant. This is very important in offices where most furniture is capable of producing dust.
- English ivy- While English Ivy can damage your house exteriors, if you bring it indoors it can effectively in remove most air pollutants. It’s a very good plant to try indoors. Apart from occasional watering and misting they do not require a lot of maintenance.
9. Ditch The Toxic Chemicals
Fumes and chemicals emitted from most of the home appliances are a major source of indoor air pollution. On the contrary, most air fresheners are the sources of pollutants that we have in our households. Just avoid such items whenever possible and go the natural way.
Other chemicals are present in the most cleaning agents that are used on a regular basis. Instead of using ammonia and bleach, look for milder cleaning substances. An example is a 50-50 vinegar – water solution for window cleaning.
If you must use such items as paints, paint strippers, and adhesive removers then acquire them in small quantity.
10. Improve Ventilation
Proper ventilation helps in evacuating most indoor air pollutants thereby lowering their concentration. Having a well-ventilated house will do you a great deal.
Ventilation is naturally enhanced through the vents that are built into the house so at all cost, ensure they are clean and free of debris so that air circulation into and out of the room remains balanced.
Additionally, remember to always open windows and doors, as well as turning on the attic fan if you can afford to enhance better air circulation.
11. Vacuum Regularly And Remove Your Shoes At Home
Vacuum is the simplest way of controlling airborne particles. The process removes dust that descends on carpets, furniture or any other surface in the room. Carpets and leather furniture usually attracts dust which needs to be regularly removed.
Many vacuum cleaners are already in the market for different models and prices. Choose the most efficient one that will do the job as it was designed to perform.
You can use these natural cleaning products to keep your room always clean and germ-free.
Significant amounts of toxins get to the soles of shoes as we walk around. Animal dander, pollen, feces, and harmful chemicals are some of the pollutants that you can bring home with your shoes.
Remove them upon reaching home and wear the indoor-only shoes if possible. To achieve this, you could plan for regular cleaning [such as spring cleaning] where you would have the house thoroughly cleaned and all foreign substances caused by dirty shoes eliminated.
12. Test Your Home
Some houses built in the earlier days were constructed with materials such as asbestos which is known to emit radon. This chemical is responsible for increasing the risk of lung cancer.
Contact the specialists in your region to conduct the test and advice you accordingly. When these tests are conducted, ensure you and all the members of your family are adequately informed of the basic safety procedures because the process may stir up some of these harmful chemicals and further cause respiratory conditions even as the specialists seek to eliminate these residues.
These are some of the top tips to clean your indoor air once and for all.