The quality of indoor air is often overlooked. We spend so much time ensuring that our homes are warm, dry and secure that we forget about the quality of the air we breathe when inside the house. Poor air quality in your home can affect your health and that of other family members so it is vital to ensure you do everything you can to improve and maintain it. But, how do you go about creating a healthy environment in your home without letting out the warm air and creating cold drafts? Today we’ll look at a few of the most effective ways to improve air quality in a home.
Air fresheners are possibly the worse way to attempt to improve air quality. At best they do nothing positive and at worse they fill the air with dangerous chemicals that may cause respiratory health problems. Air fresheners are only effective at creating an unnatural aroma that disguises the real problem.
If you feel that you need air fresheners because your home smells, think again! What you really need is to locate the source of the bad smells and eliminate them, or treat them directly. Disguising bad smells will worsen indoor air quality, not improve it. If you need to scent your home use essential oils instead. These natural oils also provide some therapeutic properties that can help you relax and unwind.
Use Your Trickle Vents
Modern PVC windows are very secure and almost air tight, and this contributes to the problem of poor air quality. Many windows are installed with trickle vents, which are small vents at the top of the window that allow fresh air from outside to trickle in.
The main purpose of these vents is to prevent moisture condensing on the glass, but they also provide a small amount of air movement and air replacement. It is only a tiny amount of air but it can help in recycling stale air and will keep a room a little fresher.
Fling Open Your Windows
If the air outside is of reasonable quality, a sure way to improve the air in your rooms is to simply open your windows for a few minutes. On a breezy day it takes just a few minutes to recycle the air in your home.
Keep Your House Clean
One of the common causes of poor air quality is a dirty home. Clean your kitchen and bathrooms thoroughly every week. Check behind counters, under cabinets, down the side of the stove and inside the fridge. Bits of food can lodge in the smallest places and rot and fester for weeks.
Clean your carpets every few months; carpets accumulate a lot of dirt and this attracts bacteria and microorganisms that can reduce air quality.
Also, thoroughly clean down shower and bathroom walls weekly to prevent mold growing.
Clean Your Heating Vents
If you have a forced air heating system it is important to clean your vents and filters on a regular basis. Over time debris and grime builds up and when air vents become damp, mold and mildew can start to grow. These can cause respiratory problems.
Going green is not just about using sustainable products and fuel – it should also be taken literally. Bring more plants into your home; plants are the best natural way to cleanse the air. Different plants have varying benefits. For example, a palm tree houseplant helps to remove formaldehyde from the air. Formaldehyde in high quantities is toxic and is abundant in new homes. Gerber daisies are great at removing benzene and trichloroethylene, and spider plants help to eliminate carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, xylene and benzene.
It is important to maintain a healthy humidity because more humid conditions breed mold, bacteria and mildew. Use extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens, but be careful that the air does not become too dry.
Many people smoke in their homes and even if you only smoke in the evening the toxins will linger in the air and get into the furniture fabrics. This can continue to affect the quality of the air for days to come. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and is connected with many health problems.
Keeping your household air clean and healthy is not a complex process but if does require constant maintenance. If you need any help installing cleaner vents or are concerned that your HVAC may be contributing to poor air quality, contact RupCoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn how we can help.