As a homeowner, there are many different things you can to do to make sure your house offers a clean, healthy environment for you and your family. Still, indoor air quality is one area that many people tend to overlook or ignore altogether. Most people are aware of the potential dangers that air pollution can pose to their health. Nonetheless, most people also think that these dangers are mostly confined to outdoors, which couldn’t further from the truth. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) statistics show that average indoor pollution levels are usually at least two to five times higher than outdoor, and in some cases, as much as 100 times higher. In light of this, here are four simple tips to help improve indoor air quality in your home and thus better safeguard you and your family from the potentially damaging effects of pollution.
Make Sure to Air out Your Home Regularly
There are many different sources of indoor air pollution, and most of them come from within the home itself. Formaldehyde-containing wood products, lead paint, flame retardants in furniture, volatile organic compounds from carpet and linoleum and various other building materials can all contribute to higher levels of indoor pollution. Using your stove is also a huge source, as is burning candles, using air fresheners, and even dryer sheets also make things worse. Nonetheless, making sure to regularly open your windows and air out your house can be a huge help. Getting a draft going through your home may not permanently eliminate air quality issues, but it at least allows these dangerous pollutants to escape so they don’t potentially build up to dangerous levels.
Be Diligent about HVAC Maintenance
Keeping your HVAC system properly maintained is another essential step towards better indoor air quality. Dust, insects, pollen, mold spores, and various other pollutants are spread all over the home every time you run your heater or air conditioner. Although some of this will be trapped by your HVAC filters, these pollutants can also build up inside your ductwork over time. For this reason, it is essential that you regularly schedule HVAC services, like changing your filters and keeping your ducts cleaned. This will help to cut down on the amount of pollutants being blown around the home.
Watch out for High Humidity
High humidity levels can create the perfect conditions for the growth of potentially toxic mold that can lead to a wide range of both minor and more serious health problems. Similarly, high humidity also creates ideal breeding conditions for dust mites, which are one of the most common indoor allergens. Luckily, both dust mite and mold problems can be easily handled simply by monitoring your home’s humidity levels. Anything above 60 to 65 percent humidity creates the potential for major problems, which is why most experts recommend keeping your home at around 40 to 50 percent humidity whenever possible.
Consider Using an Air Purifier
There are a wide range of indoor air purifiers that can also assist you in quickly improving your home’s air quality. Especially effective are those purifiers that include a HEPA filter, as this will do a much better job at filtering out almost all possible pollutants. Air purifiers can be a fantastic option, provided you do a bit of research to find a good one. However, they can be especially helpful for allergy sufferers who are unable to keep their windows open due to the increased risk of outdoor allergens.
Ultimately, there are a wide number of things you can do to improve your home’s air quality. Even simple things like not using candles can have a huge impact. Nonetheless, the important thing is that you do something. Otherwise, it is likely that you and your family’s health could suffer until you do.