Posted on May 5th, 2020
When most people talk about air pollution, they are usually referring to the outdoor air; forgetting that indoor air can also be polluted. Indoor air pollution is something that can cause serious health problems to people, considering most people spend 90% of their time indoors; sadly, this topic is not as widely spoken about as outdoor air pollution.
As a homeowner, if you or any member of your family are prone to allergies, you might always find yourself worrying about indoor pollution during the colder months when it is too cold for you to open your windows to allow in the fresh air; resulting in the same air circulating around the home.
To improve your home’s air quality, there are specific steps you should take, the first being to identify the causes of pollution.
Causes of indoor air pollution
There are various causes of indoor air pollution and they include carbon monoxide resulting from the escape of natural gas into your home, mold due to an increase of moisture in your kitchen or bathroom area and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in items like disinfectant, carpeting and pesticides. Older homes might contain asbestos, which is bad for the lungs. Other causes are tobacco smoke, poor ventilation and contamination brought in by your pets from outside.
Tips for keeping your air quality clean and healthy at home
Discover the cause of your pollution
A highly effective way to deal with air pollution is discovering the source of the problem, as this will ensure you do not have to deal with the same problem again. Determining the source of the problem might require a lot of work, but it will be worth the stress.
After identifying the source of the pollution, you might need to take extreme measures to ensure your home doesn’t become polluted by the same cause, or by something entirely different.
Maintain your AC filter
For most homes, the air conditioner is always working to keep your house at your desired temperature. The air conditioner comes with filters that filter pollutants in the air, to give you clean air. Over time, the filter fills up and cannot do its job anymore; when this happens, the quality of the air in your home is reduced. Changing your AC filter often ensures the air in your home stays fresh and it also prevents your AC system from breaking down.
Keep your home clean
Most of the time, the cause of indoor pollution can be linked to a dirty home or environment. Keep your home as clean as possible at all times; develop strategies that will reduce mold, pet dander and dust in your home.
You can decide to vacuum your rugs and carpets twice a week or opt for hard-surface flooring instead of carpeting to reduce allergens in your space. You should also clear clutter as it tends to attract dust, which might trigger a coughing or sneezing fit.
Use an air purifier
Sometimes, you might do your best to find the source of the problem and not be able to eliminate the cause of your indoor pollution completely. If you are allergic to indoor allergens, you should invest in an air purifier.
The air purifier helps filter and capture most of the irritants that will trigger your allergies. Place air purifiers in areas of your house you often use, like your kitchen, living room and bedroom, to cut down on the cause of your allergy.
Limit your cleaning products to eco-friendly brands
A clean house is less likely to contain dirt and dust, but when you clean with the wrong products, you can contaminate the air in your home. VOCs are one of the causes of indoor pollution as they contain chemicals that are not healthy for the lungs when inhaled.
For your cleaning products, stick to natural products like lemon and vinegar. Avoid the use of insecticides, air fresheners and disinfectants that are not made from natural products.
Deal with mold
Most homeowners find themselves dealing with mold in areas of the home with high humidity. Mold is harmful to the health when inhaled and can cause various health problems such as a sore throat, wheezing, skin rashes or a headache.
The simplest way to get rid of mold in your house is to manage the humidity level in areas like your kitchen, basement and bathroom; you can invest in a dehumidifier for such areas. You should also keep areas prone to humidity adequately ventilated.
Care for your pets
Pets are one of the main causes of indoor air pollution, as they can bring pollution into the home from outside. Pets also shed dead skin, which is another cause of indoor air pollution. If you own a pet, ensure you brush your pet’s coat as frequently as possible and also, regularly vacuum your carpeting and furniture.
Invest in house plants
Most people use house plants for beautifying purposes only, but they can serve other important purposes as well. House plants can improve the quality of air in your house – use them in different areas of your home.
Avoid smoking indoors
Most residents that live in properties where cigarette smoking is allowed indoors, usually never have clean air. Aside from the cigarette smoke polluting the air when you are smoking, the smell is absorbed into your bedding, furniture and carpets.
Over time, inhaling the cigarette smoke can lead to various health concerns.
Avoid scented paints
If you decide to renovate your home, avoid using paints that contain gases that continue to emit after the painting is complete; such paints lower air quality and can trigger allergic reactions. When you are painting, opt for natural products that do not contain harmful additives.
Improving the air quality in your space is something you should take seriously, especially during the colder months when you cannot open your windows for clean air to circulate.