Think your indoor air quality is good? Think again. According to an article from CNBC, our indoor air could be more polluted than the air outside. That’s quite alarming when you think about how much time we spend indoors – especially during those harsh Michigan winters. It’s important to take measures to improve your indoor air quality. Doing so can help prevent illness, allergies, and breathing problems for your family and your pets. If you need help removing pollutants in your home, follow these tips.
Improving Your Indoor Air Quality
The first tip may seem like a no brainer, but it’s one of the most important ways to keep bacteria and toxins from accumulating in your home’s environment.
Keep your home clean. From dust mites and E. coli to bacteria, dander, and dirt, your house isn’t just a home for you and your family; it’s home to a number of different germs, allergens, and pollutants. Even the cleanest house will have these issues, but not as bad as a home that isn’t regularly cleaned. To keep dust and bacteria at bay, wipe down counters, sinks, and door handles, and vacuum your carpets weekly. Kitchen sponges are the dirtiest thing in your kitchen, so make sure you change those out frequently. When guests come over, ask them to take off their shoes at the door, so they do not track dirt into the house, and do not let anyone smoke in your home.
When you do clean the house, make sure you are using products that disinfect and, for added protection, we recommend using natural cleaning products when you can. And speaking of natural products, here are a few natural methods for cleaning the air.
Natural Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Nature is a miraculous thing. Take a note from mother nature and use such natural elements as plants, natural chemical compounds, and animal products to clean the air in your home.
Grow an indoor garden. Houseplants and trees don’t just look nice, they also “scrub” the air in your home. A classic home staple, the fern, is a popular “air scrubber” and breaks down pollutants through its roots. The Peace Lily is a low maintenance plant that requires little light and will reduce toxins, like ammonia, which are used in strong, chemical cleaning products. And while no one wants spiders in their home, we recommend getting a spider plant, which can ward off such pollutants as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. An added benefit to keeping plants in your home is that they are known to reduce stress and make you feel happier.
Use beeswax candles. These candles are natural air purifiers and can remove allergens in the air. They are also made of natural materials, unlike paraffin and other scented candles. That means, when they burn, they won’t release such toxins as benzene and soot. And if you get pure beeswax, they may not even release any smoke at all. Another benefit of beeswax candles? They burn slower than other candles, so they’ll last longer, too.
Turn on a salt lamp. Himalayan pink salt lamps are known to pull toxins out of the air and neutralize them. While they work best when they are on, they can also work while they are turned off.
Invest in pure essential oils. Some essential oils have natural chemical compounds that are known to fight bacteria, obliterate airborne viruses, and eliminate odors. Make sure you are using pure essential oils to avoid dilution, cheap fillers, and synthetics. While pure oils cost a little more, they will be more effective than cheaper ones. Try lemon, tea tree, grapefruit, or peppermint. Once you have the right oils, put a few drops in a diffuser to disperse into the air.
Other Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Making small changes to your routine and installing a few special features can make a world of difference when it comes to clean air. Here are a few tips.
Change your air filter. The air filter in your HVAC unit works as a screen to clean the air that is going into the system and getting pushed through to different rooms in your home. It works to filter out pet hair, dust, dirt, and other allergens. But when it’s so dirty that it’s becoming blocked, it can no longer do its job. To ensure your filter is effective in filtering out the bad stuff, we recommend changing it every three months.
Install a Whole Home Air Cleaner. Whole home air cleaners are installed in your HVAC and remove mold, mildew, dust, and dander from the air in your home. Unlike a regular air filter, these heavy-duty air cleaners only need maintenance services once or twice per year.
Change the water panel on your humidifier. If you are using a portable humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home, you need to make sure you are cleaning and disinfecting it regularly. If not, you may be putting more than just water into the atmosphere. That’s because water that sits in your system can quickly become stagnant, releasing mold and bacteria into the air. We recommend cleaning it every three days using peroxide or white vinegar and water. You should also do a deep clean every two weeks if you are using it frequently.
Install ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet (or UV) light is an effective way to kill bacteria in the air. That’s why we recommend getting UV light installed in your HVAC system. This simple addition can neutralize mold and bacteria, prevent odors, and decrease energy costs.
You can do many of these recommendations on your own, but when it comes to installing certain products in your HVAC, make sure you consult a professional. They’ll know the right place to install them and the right product to use for your system.