Our homes are the places where we should feel the safest and most comfortable. In order to enjoy our living spaces to the fullest and make them havens for well-being, we have to pay attention to the quality of our indoor air.
What we bring into our homes and the appliances we use to support our lifestyles can be sources of comfort and safety, or they can damage our environment. Since we spend so much time inside – sleeping, being with family and even working – it’s important that the air we’re breathing is healthy.
Aerosols, cleaners, smoke, cosmetics and more contribute to toxic indoor air quality. Though it might not be possible to completely purify the air inside our homes, here are 10 easy ways to improve your indoor environment:
- Make Sure Your Home is Well Ventilated
Keeping windows and doors open as much as possible is a simple way to ventilate the air inside your home. You can also promote healthy indoor air quality by having a good air intake component on your HVAC system.
- Monitor the Humidity in Your Home
Ideally, an interior environment with between 30 and 50 percent humidity will prevent mold build-up, which grows rapidly in homes with humidity exceeding these numbers. Mold spores can cause illness and some mold may even be fatal.
- Use an Air Purifier
Volatile organic compounds in textiles, furniture, and building materials can pollute the indoor environment, as can pollen, dust mites, dust and pet hair. An air purifier removes these particles from the air in your home, and it may reduce the suffering associated with allergies and asthma.
- Bring the Outdoors In
Decorate your indoors with houseplants, which work to freshen your air and produce a cleaner indoor atmosphere. If you have pets, choose animal-friendly varietals or place plants up high.
- Cut out Smoke
Fewer people are smoking today, but smoke remains a cause for concern in many households. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of dangerous chemicals including 43 of which are known carcinogens.
- Skip the Aerosols
Aerosols are hazardous for homes because they can cause people to inhale toxic chemicals or even lead to skin reactions. Some allergies are aggravated and many heart problems are triggered by aerosol sprays.
- Choose an Eco-Friendly Carpet and Furniture Cleaner
Carpet and furniture cleaning professionals often use harmful toxin-filled detergents that can settle deep into fabrics and other surfaces, just to be released when someone sits on a piece of furniture or walks on a rug. Even if you clean your own carpeting and sofas, consider going with an environmentally-friendly cleaner.
- Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Many people underestimate the importance of having carbon monoxide detectors in a home. These small and affordable devices detect harmful gases that can make your family sick or worse.
- Maintain Your HVAC System
To prevent your loved ones from getting sick due to poor-quality indoor air, make sure you regularly maintain your heating and air-conditioning units. Ensure they’re always clean and in good working order.