While air pollution has been a significant concern, what many do not realize is that indoor air is a much bigger problem for 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 to 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 essential
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 fatigue.
Other dangerous 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 is a very serious air pollutant, 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 hazardous pollutants usually enter the homes through improperly sealed openings and cracks.
Indoor air quality is, therefore, a significant 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 critical step.
Top Tips to Clean Your Indoor Air
1. Open The Windows
While this is perhaps the most important tip, it’s still crucial when it comes to cleaning your indoor air. Practicing this habit is an excellent 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
Smokers cause about 85% of pollution cases. 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 vital 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 an essential way to clean your indoor air once and for all. Just like the food we eat, the air we breathe is also critical hence must be purified.
If your indoor air is severely 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. You can also make your own DIY dust mite spray.
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 put it where you usually spend a lot of your time.
If you are looking for flexibility, you might want to consider buying a portable purifier. A proper 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 tough 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 dander and odors need to be regularly removed to get your home healthy.
5. Keep Air Humidity Levels Between 30 to 50%
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 others, depending on the sensitivity of the part of the body exposed.
There is a link between the upper respiratory symptoms and exposure to mold. Therefore, you 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 essential 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 severely 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 best to maintain a habit of disposing all your trash and removing it from the home to ensure that the air that you breathe is quality air.
8. Use House Plants
While the above tips are very useful in improving the quality of air, there are many air purifying bedroom plants that are attractive and make the air safer to breathe. 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, indoor fruit plants and other types of plants can help absorb a specific VOC. Even though their pollutant removal rate is slow, they can work wonders in filtering your indoor air. Some of the best indoor hanging plants and easy to care for plants for the office or your home include:
- Boston Fern– These beautiful plants remove more chemicals than any other plant you can grow indoors. They are also quite effective in removing other pollutants such as xylene and benzene. However, when they are growing, you need to water them regularly so that they will thrive and do their job of getting rid of harmful toxins in the air.
- Palm trees– When it comes to removing indoor pollutants, palm trees are the perfect specimen. Palm trees thrive well in a cool environment and will do well in this type of situation. As one of the best trees for indoors, palm trees add interest and variety to a room, whether it’s an office or living room, and remove harmful toxins at the same time. You can’t go wrong with a palm tree inside.
- 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 remove most air pollutants. It’s an excellent plant to try indoors. Apart from occasional watering and misting they do not require a lot of maintenance.
Adding plants to your home not only adds to its aesthetics and beauty, but the advantage of plants that purify the air also cannot be dismissed. Why not address two issues at once and intersperse a few plants with the books in the bookcase, on a shelf in the bathroom, or on a windowsill. Be sure to take care of each plant’s individual needs and you can’t help but benefit!
9. Ditch The Toxic Chemicals
Fumes and chemicals emitted from most of the home appliances are a significant source of indoor air pollution. Even most air fresheners are the sources of pollutants that we have in our households. Avoid such items whenever possible and go the natural way.
Other chemicals are present in most cleaning agents that are used regularly. 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 use them in small quantities. It’s better to use a DIY adhesive remover whenever possible.
10. Improve Ventilation
Proper ventilation helps to evacuate most indoor air pollutants and lower their concentration. Having a well-ventilated house helps a great deal.
Ventilation occurs naturally through the vents that are built into the house to 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
A 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 need to be regularly removed. After removing dust from sofas and chairs, be sure to use the best leather conditioner for furniture to ensure that it remains supple.
Many vacuum cleaners already on the market are available in different models and prices. Choose the most efficient one that will do the job as it was designed to perform. Use these natural cleaning products to keep your room always clean and germ-free.
Significant amounts of toxins attach to the soles of shoes as we walk around. Animal dander, pollen, feces, and harmful chemicals are some of the pollutants you can bring home with your shoes.
Remove them upon reaching home and wear the indoor-only shoes if possible. To achieve this, plan for regular cleaning (such as spring cleaning) where the house is 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 necessary 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.