The quality of the air we breathe can have a significant impact on our health and well-being. While we may think of air pollution as something that exists primarily outside, the truth is that indoor air can be just as harmful. The good news is that there are many ways to improve the air quality inside your home, from simple changes in your daily habits to more significant upgrades to your HVAC system. Read on as we explore 10 ways to improve indoor air quality and breathe easier in your space.
1. Invest in a Whole-Home Air Purifier
A whole-home air purifier, also known as a central air purifier, is installed in a home’s HVAC system. It works by filtering the air as it circulates through the system, removing pollutants and allergens. The air purifier typically contains a filter that captures particles as small as 0.3 microns. This filter usually consists of dense material, such as a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, that captures tiny particles like dust, pollen, and smoke.
Some air purifiers include additional features, such as activated carbon filters to eliminate odors and UV-C lights that kill germs and bacteria. To ensure the air purifier works effectively, it is crucial to replace the filter regularly, typically every three to six months, depending on usage and the level of air pollution in the home.
2. Invest in Humidifiers
Humidifiers improve indoor air quality, particularly during winter when indoor heating systems can dry the air. Low humidity levels in the air can lead to many health issues, such as dry skin, sore throats, and respiratory problems. By increasing humidity levels to between 30% and 50%, humidifiers can help alleviate these problems and improve indoor air quality.
Dry air can also cause damage to furniture and wooden floors. In addition, it can cause static electricity to build up, leading to shocks and discomfort. Humidifiers can help prevent these problems as they add moisture to the air. However, it is important to use humidifiers correctly to avoid creating other indoor air quality problems. Overusing a humidifier can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria, which may exacerbate respiratory conditions. Regularly cleaning and maintaining the humidifier is necessary to prevent the buildup of mold, bacteria, and mineral deposits.
3. Increasing Ventilation
Ventilation is the process of bringing in fresh air from outside and circulating it within a building. Inadequate ventilation can lead to a buildup of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter. These pollutants can cause multiple health problems, including headaches, fatigue, and respiratory concerns.
Increasing ventilation can help dilute and remove these pollutants, improving air quality and creating a healthier indoor environment. There are several ways to increase ventilation, including opening windows and doors, using exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms, and installing mechanical ventilation systems. The appropriate method will depend on the building’s design and the specific needs of the occupants.
4. Switch to Natural Cleaning Products
Switching to natural cleaning products is an easy way to improve indoor air quality. Many commercial cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can irritate our eyes, nose, and throat. They can even trigger asthma and other respiratory problems. The chemicals can also release harmful fumes into the air, which can have a negative effect on our health and the environment. On the other hand, natural cleaning products, such as vinegar and baking soda, are free from these harmful chemicals and are gentle on the environment. They effectively clean and disinfect surfaces without compromising indoor air quality.
5. Keep Your Home Clean
Keeping your home clean not only ensures that your home is visually appealing but also plays a crucial role in maintaining indoor air quality. Dust, dirt, and other pollutants can accumulate in your home and circulate through your HVAC system, leading to poor indoor air quality.
Regular cleaning and maintenance can help remove these pollutants and improve your interior air. Additionally, cleaning your carpets, upholstery, and bedding regularly can reduce the number of allergens in your home, decreasing allergy and asthma symptoms. Vacuuming, dusting, and using high-efficiency air filters can also help remove pollutants that may cause respiratory problems.
6. Avoid Smoking Indoors
Cigarette smoke contains numerous harmful chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene, which can pose serious health risks to people exposed to them. When smoke is released into the air, these chemicals can linger and accumulate over time, leading to poor indoor air quality. This can lead to various health issues, such as respiratory problems, allergies, and even cancer. Instead, smokers should step outside or find designated smoking areas that are well-ventilated and away from non-smokers.
7. Use Houseplants
Houseplants are beautiful decorations for your home and natural air purifiers that can help improve indoor air quality. They absorb harmful pollutants from the air, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene, and convert them into oxygen. Some of the best air-purifying houseplants include spider plants, peace lilies, snake plants, and pothos. They are also easy to care for, making them a low-maintenance way to improve the air quality in your home.
8. Test for Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can be lethal when inhaled in high concentrations. The incomplete combustion of natural gas, propane, and gasoline produces it. CO emissions from heating systems, stoves, and other appliances can affect indoor air quality. Testing for carbon monoxide is essential to improve indoor air quality and prevent potential health hazards. There are several ways to test for CO, including using carbon monoxide detectors, which are designed to detect low levels of CO in the air and alert residents to dangerous levels.
9. Keep Pets Clean
Pets can shed dander and hair, which can accumulate in carpets, upholstery, and bedding. These allergens are spread throughout the home, leading to uncomfortable symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes. Regularly grooming and bathing your pets can help reduce hair and dander in your house. Additionally, frequent cleaning and vacuuming of areas where pets spend time can help to remove these allergens from the environment.
10. Test for Radon
Radon is a naturally occurring gas found in soil, rocks, and water. It can seep into buildings and accumulate in enclosed spaces, especially in basements and crawl spaces, where it can reach high concentrations. Radon exposure is a serious health concern, as it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Therefore, it is crucial to test for radon to improve indoor air quality and reduce the risk of disease.
Contact Professionals Today!
Are you looking for a reliable and professional team to take care of your heating, cooling, indoor air quality, and plumbing needs? Look no further than Comfort Zone Heating & Air Conditioning! We proudly serve Cobourg, Ontario and surrounding areas, offering top-notch services to keep your home or business comfortable year-round. Contact Comfort Zone Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment!