If you are like most people, you probably think of the outdoors when you think about air pollution. Smoke from factories or exhaust from cars on the road can fill the air with pollution.
However, you may be surprised to learn that the air inside your home also can contain pollutants. In fact, the air quality inside your home may be even worse than the air quality outdoors. Although it may seem strange, there are a couple of factors that contribute to indoor air pollution. First, the typical home is filled with countless items that can contribute to air pollution. Everything from household cleaners to scented candles can degrade the air quality inside a home.
When you add to that the fact that most homes don’t have adequate ventilation, it is easy to see how pollutants could continue to build up in the air inside the home until they reach a critical point. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to improve the indoor air quality in your home. The following section outlines some of these tips so you can get started on creating a healthier, happier environment to live in today:
1. Minimize moisture. Excess moisture inside your home can contribute to the growth of mold and mildew. Unfortunately, mold doesn’t just stay on the surface where it starts growing. Instead, it releases spores into the air. The best way to avoid any mold problems is by preventing them from happening in the first place.
Mold can grow anywhere that there is excess moisture. This can range from your shower door and walls to your attic or crawlspace. Even something as simple as having too high of a humidity level inside your home can result in mold growth. One of your first steps should be to minimize moisture as much as possible.
If you have a lot of humidity in your area, consider investing in a dehumidifier to remove some of the moisture from the air. Also, try drying off your shower walls with a towel or squeegee after you are done showering. Finally, inspect your home for any plumbing leaks or for any areas where condensation is forming. If necessary, bring in a plumber or contractor to help correct the issue.
2. Consider installing hard flooring. Carpets can trap all kinds of contaminants ranging from pet dander to pollen. Unfortunately, when people walk across the carpeting, these contaminants can then be released into the air, degrading indoor air quality as a result.
Although vacuuming can help keep the problem in check, a far better option is to install hard flooring throughout your house. Then, use a dust mop or regular mop to keep contaminants to a minimum.
3. Get rid of scented candles, incense, and air fresheners. If you are like most people, you probably use scented candles or air fresheners to help the air inside your home smell cleaner and fresher. Unfortunately, this actually has the opposite effect. Both scented candles and air fresheners release chemicals into the air that can reduce indoor air quality.
4. Grow plants inside your home. One of the benefits of having a lot of plants is that they can help clean the air. If you don’t already have live plants in your home, consider adding a few. If you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of low-maintenance plants that can survive with very little care. Talk to someone at your local greenhouse or nursery to see which plants are the best choice for your needs. Also, make sure that the plants you choose are not poisonous if you have pets or young children.
5. Improve ventilation. Bringing more fresh air into your home can do a world of good in terms of improving indoor air quality. The simplest way to accomplish this is by opening your windows periodically. This allows fresh air to come in while at the same time providing an opportunity for contaminants to escape.
If your home’s ventilation system is outdated, you may also want to consider hiring an HVAC company to come in and make any necessary upgrades or repairs.
It is well worth putting time and effort into finding ways to improve the indoor air quality in your home. By doing so, you and your family can enjoy better health and a more inviting living space