Is the air in your home something you take for granted? If you’re like most homeowners, you don’t think much about the quality of the air circulating around you. However, research shows that the air you breathe on a daily basis has a clear impact on your current and future health. It’s time that we start paying more attention.
Importance of Indoor Air Quality
“We tend to think of air pollution as something outside — smog, ozone, or haze hanging in the air, especially in summer. But the truth is, the air inside homes, offices, and other buildings can be more polluted than the air outside,” writes Michael W. Smith, MD.
Air inside the home can be contaminated by any number of substances. This includes lead, fire-retardants, formaldehyde, radon, pet dandruff, and chemicals from household cleaners. Over time, these things can build up in furniture, carpets, walls, and even mattresses and produce air that’s toxic and anything but healthy.
Indoor irritants and allergens can lead to a variety of illnesses and conditions. People with asthma are particularly vulnerable to indoor pollutants and can experience deadly attacks in extreme situations.
4 Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality
If you want to keep your family safe and live in a healthy home, then you must focus on the importance of indoor air quality. Here are some helpful tips for how you can improve the quality of the air in your home starting today.
Bring Plants Inside
“Multiple studies have shown that putting live plants in a room improves air quality and can even brighten the moods of the people who live there,” writes Adrienne Erin, an interior design blogger.
Specifically, indoor plants are able to remove pollutants from the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and gases through their leaves and roots. Furthermore, many plants – including aloe vera, Japanese royal ferns, Boston ferns, and peace lilies – are proficient at removing dangerous volatile organic compounds from the air.
Develop Some Pet Policies
Everyone loves having a dog or cat around the house; however, not everyone’s lungs appreciate the fur and dander that they produce. If you’re going to have pets in the home, you need to develop some house rules and policies.
For starters, the best thing you can do is keep pets outdoors during the warm months. This eliminates the problem of fur and dander altogether. If this isn’t possible, then you need to make sure you’re bathing and brushing pets regularly to kill pests and reduce the amount of shedding in the home.
This should be an obvious one, but you should never allow anyone to smoke inside your home…ever. Every time someone takes a drag from a cigarette, the exhaled smoke releases more than 4,000 chemicals into the air. Even one puff can leave your home filled with dangerous carcinogens – which include nicotine, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and formaldehyde.
Maintain Appropriate Humidity Level
By keeping the humidity level inside your home between 30 and 50 percent, you can limit the growth of mold, as well as the presence of dust mites that wreak havoc on your air quality. Many modern thermostats will monitor humidity levels for you, so try to install a solution that gives you real-time updates.
If you have trouble maintaining healthy humidity levels, try using a dehumidifier to control moisture. Other suggestions include regularly emptying air conditioner drip pans, opening bathroom windows when showering, and occasionally checking for water leaks.
Putting it All Together
There’s nothing more important than your family’s health. And while you make conscious decisions each day regarding things like the food you consume and exercise you get, you also need to think about the air you’re breathing. Keep these tips in mind and make sure the air in your home isn’t harming your family’s health.