All you need to be happy is love and fresh air, huh? Well, without going that far, it’s safe enough to say that fresh air is a rare treat for most of us. We think of pollution as an aspect of outdoor air alone, but indoor air can be up to 2-3 times more polluted than the air outside (even when it doesn’t smell bad)!
Here are three simple ways to improve Indoor Air Quality (read on for bonus tips at the end):
Control and Maintain Humidity Levels – Ideally, keep humidity levels between 30-50% inside your home, since this discourages the growth of mold. Mold and dust mites can cause respiratory disorders or allergic reactions, so it’s essential to keep them at bay.
- Many fresh air systems available today include humidity sensors and controls to help you track and maintain moisture levels.
- Investing in a humidifier or dehumidifier is a good idea if you don’t have a smart air conditioning system.
- Open some windows while (or after) cooking and bathing, to let vapors and steam escape.
- Plug any leaks in pipes, taps or vents, and set up regular maintenance with HVAC companies.
- Regularly clean the drip pans of your air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Pinpoint and Target Pollution Sources – It’s not that difficult to find and eliminate many pollution sources that affect IAQ. Not only does this help improve air quality, but also reduces the costs of ventilation!
- Make the indoors a no-smoking zone, if you can’t quit smoking altogether.
- Place foot mats at every door, and if possible, remove shoes outside before entering the house.
- If you have pets, make sure that they are well-groomed and their “space” is clean.
- Have mattresses, sofas and other soft furniture cleaned professionally on a regular basis.
- Seal or treat any surfaces that could encourage the growth of mold, as well as those containing lead or asbestos.
- Adjust gas stoves or fireplaces to reduce the emission of harmful emissions.
Improve Your Home’s Ventilation – Your HVAC cannot lower the concentration of indoor air pollutants alone. Air conditioners are typically sealed air systems, so they don’t actually bring in fresh air but just cool and recirculate “old air”.
- Installing a proper ventilation system with ducts, ceiling fans and bathroom/kitchen exhausts helps air circulate indoors.
- Use a window exhaust (or leave windows open) in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas.
- Set up extra exhaust/ventilation solutions in workspaces for hobby/maintenance/DIY repair activities, like your garage or basement.
- Open doors and windows for a few minutes every day, to refresh the indoor air and take some of the pressure off the HVAC too!
- Consider investing in fresh air systems that automatically let outdoor air in and indoor air out (unless you live in a heavily polluted area).
Bonus Tip #1 – Invest in Air Cleaners & Filters
Air cleaners and filters are available in various sizes and types. While most are not designed to eliminate gaseous pollutants, they can help reduce particles moving around your home (think pet dander, dust mites and other nasty bits!). Some air-filtering houseplants can also help reduce CO2 and pollutants.
Bonus Tip #2 – Test Your Home for Radon
Radon emissions are not restricted to older homes, and this colorless, odorless, radioactive gas has been linked to a high risk of lung cancer. Any kind of home can be affected (it often seeps in from the ground, granite and other sources), so testing for radon is a simple and inexpensive way to ensure you’re safe. Treating it is pretty easy too!
Dan McKee heads up the marketing efforts and provides digital marketing strategies to the marketing team at Service Champions in California.