Indoor Air Quality: How It Affects Your Health And How To Improve It

Indoor air quality

When you think about air quality, it is usually outside that comes to mind. Things like cars, people smoking, factories and other things make the air polluted and awful to breathe. Well, studies have shown that the air inside your home can be just as bad… up to 5 times as bad. Dust, pollen, pet dander, body sprays, cooking smells and all other kinds of things can come together to make the air that you are breathing very poor quality.

From dust to actual dust mites, the air you are breathing inside your home could be affecting yours and your family’s health. You may have trouble breathing, sleeping, find that your eyes are sore and you sneeze all the time. These are all signs that the air you are breathing is not as good for you as it could be. As a parent who also has a couple of pets, I am under no illusion that the air in my home is mountain fresh, but I am sharing with you a few steps that I have taken to make the air we breathe a little fresher and you can do the same.

 

Keep Your Floors Clean

The floors tend to be the filthiest thing in your house. So if you keep them clean, you are on the right track for stopping all kinds of nasty stuff getting kicked up into the air.

Get A Good Vacuum Cleaner: Cheap vacuum cleaners tend to kick out a horrible amount of dust and nasty stuff. What you want to look for here is a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. These are designed to keep all that nasty stuff inside and the air that they pump out is actually cleaner than the air you are already breathing! You also want to make sure you are vacuuming your home at least a couple of times per week.

Mop The Floors: The kitchen, bathroom and any hardwood floors you have, need to be mopped. Not just to make them look nice and clean, but to pick up the remaining bits of dust that vacuuming could not.

Use Floor Mats: If you have kids, you know all the mess that they drag in! One way to combat this is by having “welcome” mats at each entrance to the house and then making sure they know that they have to wipe their feet before they come in.

 

Keep An Eye On The Humidity

3 to 50 percent is the ideal area of humidity that you want. This is because dust mites and mold need moisture to flourish so the less moisture, the harder it is for these allergens to survive.

Use A Dehumidifier: If you want the easiest way possible to keep track of the humidity in your home, you cannot go wrong with a dehumidifier.

Get An Air Purifier: An air purifier helps to clean the pollutants out of the air. It works by drawing in air through the vents, running it through a series of filters to remove tiny particles, and then releasing the clean air back into the room. An air purifier with a HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of all airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in size.

Do You Have A Dryer?: Most homes these days have a drier for their clothes. As a parent, I know hanging all the clothes out every day is completely unrealistic, but if you do have a dryer make sure that it is venting to the outside and not into your home.

Water, Water Everywhere: Mold loves water so make sure that you do not overwater your houseplants and that there are no drips or leaks anywhere, this is a sure fire way to have mold appear.

 

No Smoking

This should go without saying, but your home should be a no smoking zone, especially if you are trying to keep the air clean in your home.

Smoke Has No Boundaries: It drives me nuts when I see people smoking at their window, or right outside the front door, thinking that their smoke is going to respect this boundary. That is not the case at all and smoke will get into your house. Make your whole property a no smoking zone and that right there is going to make a huge difference to the indoor air quality.

 

Clean On A Regular Basis

I have already touched on this before where we discussed keeping your floors clean.

Clean The Sofa: You will be amazed at how much dust, mess and if you have pets, pet hair is all over your sofa. You really need to make sure that you clean the sofa, especially if when you sit on it a dust cloud fills the air! This goes back to getting a good vacuum, look for one that has attachments so that you can vacuum the sofa and the beds as well, get rid of those nasty dust mites so you can breathe better when you sleep.

Watch Those Cleaning Products: I used to mop with this stuff that made me cough like crazy! So why was I using it? So many cleaning products have chemicals in them that may “clean” but they also put a lot of harmful stuff into the air that you and your family are breathing so think twice before you buy a cleaning product. Alternatively, you could make your own cleaning products using natural ingredients.

Try Using Natural Items To Freshen Your Home: Instead of blasting each room with air freshener or using one of those expensive plug-in air fresheners. Think about using natural things such as a freshly cut lemon or orange. Baking soda sprinkled on the floor as you vacuum is a great way to keep a room smelling fresh and also keeping you from blasting the air with some kind of spray.

The air that we breathe is quite often something that we all take for granted and while the chances of you making enough changes so that your family breathes in the freshest air imaginable are unrealistic, you can at the very least make a few small changes that are going to greatly impact the indoor air quality in your home and also make sure your family is a little more healthy. Just try one of these methods and take it from there, slow steps forward is a much more realistic way of making long-lasting changes that are going to benefit you and your family.