For many homeowners, indoor air quality is one of the top priorities for 2016. As more and more research shows the direct relationship between poor indoor air quality and chronic diseases, it’s becoming even more important for families to assess their living environments and correct any issues that may exist.
How Families are Targeting Air Quality
Every family has different needs. For example, if you have children with asthma, then you have to be extra cautious about what’s present in your home. However, regardless of the situation, the following tips will allow you to protect your family and improve indoor air quality over time.
1. Understand and Identify Pollutants
In order to prioritize air quality, you need to understand which indoor pollutants pose a threat to your family. According to the EPA, there are three basic categories: combustion pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and asthma and allergy triggers. Read up on these different types of pollutants so that you’re familiar with the ones that could be present in your home. Every home is different and you’ll need to take a specialized approach based on the circumstances.
2. Minimize Chemical Products
One of the best things you can do for your indoor air quality is avoid using chemical cleaning products as much as possible. Instead of using standard cleaners, opt for low-emitting products with third-party certification. While manufacturers like to claim their products are “natural” or “alternative,” there’s actually very little regulation in the industry to hold them accountable to these claims. Instead, look for reputable organizations like Green Seal or GREENGUARD.
3. Increase Ventilation
Ventilation in the home is a big deal. It’s important that you have your air ducts cleaned out every few years to ensure the air being brought into your home isn’t coming into contact with pollutants. In the bathroom, make sure the moisture and steam from showers has a place to go. If you have a window, cracking it during a shower is a good way to let some of the moisture out. Running the fan also helps prevent mold and mildew from growing over time.
In the living room, make sure your fireplace is properly setup and maintained. If you have a gas fireplace, go with vented gas logs. Since they are naturally vented, they don’t increase the carbon content in the room’s air.
4. Invest in Regular Cleaning
Regular cleaning is a must in the home – and we’re not talking about simply wiping down your countertops. Take time to dust household items, vacuum the carpet, mop floors, and deep clean bathrooms. Regular cleaning removes toxins that irritate your body’s systems and leaves your house much healthier.
5. Prohibit Certain Activities
Certain activities should not be performed in the home. For example, paint stripping, sanding, polishing, soldering, and gluing are all best reserved for the garage or backyard. These activities create high levels of concentrated pollution that can diminish your indoor air quality over time.
6. Use Houseplants
Not only do houseplants bring some life to your home, but they also naturally clean the air. Common houseplants essentially act as filters, removing toxins from the air and producing oxygen from CO2. NASA actually recommends using 15 to 18 houseplants in 6 to 8-inch pots for home’s around 1,800 square feet in size.
Health Comes First
Health must be a priority in your home. And while healthy eating, proper dieting, and regular exercise are all important components of living well, you can’t forget about the significance of air quality. The air your family breathes in and out on a daily basis has a significant impact on your health and happiness. Don’t take air quality for granted!