We spend almost 90% of our time indoors. Poor indoor air quality can significantly lower comfort, effectivity and even cause health issues. Reacting to poor indoor air quality is completely individual. Some may experience symptoms even after short exposure, some don’t react at all. Mold is usually the first suspect when health issues arise. Symptoms may be caused by mold exposure but also from various other indoor air quality related factors such as pollutants, chemicals, particles and allergens. Symptoms may include:
- itchy and irritated eyes
- respiratory problems
- irritated throat and hoarse voice
- shortness of breath
- prolonged infections
- ear infections cycles on children
- joint pain
- eye infections
So how exactly can we improve indoor air quality and reduce risk factors.
How to improve indoor air quality
Here are some simple tips on maintaining good indoor air quality
You can prevent problems caused by poor indoor air quality by monitoring your home and it’s structures, especially places prone to moisture problems. Regurlarly inspect roof, rain gutter, base floor, underground drain, and HVAC system integrity and maintain properly.
A regular cleaning schedule is very important to keep indoor air clean. Invest in a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum cleaner and machine washable bedding. Microfiber cloths are designed to attract and trap dust and dirt particles. Mopping floors helps collect the remaining dust. You should also place rugs on entrances to help keep dirt out of the house and whenever possible take your shoes off inside. Use eco-friendly cleaners and supplies.
Air quality issues are often close related to poor ventilation. You can efficiently boost ventilation momentarily just by opening a window after activities that put a strain on air quality such as cooking or drying the laundry inside and especially after activities that involve pollutants such as painting or paint stripping and other similar activities. Be mindful of outdoor allergens during certain seasons when ventilating. You should also take indoor temperature and humidity levels into consideration. Maintaining proper humidity levels is equally important. Always properly maintain your home’s HVAC system.
Avoid synthetic fragrances
Synthetic fragrances such as laundry products and air fresheners might smell nice but in reality they release dozens of different chemicals in the air. Eco-friendly and fragrance free products go a long way. There are also natural ways to improve scent in your home instead of using sir fresheners. Baking soda in a water cup works especially well in refrigerators and try leaving lemon slices out on the table in your kitchen.
We have a whole article on how to maintain proper indoor humidity levels. You can check it out here. Controlling moisture levels is essential to keeping dust mites, mold and other issues under control. Poor humidity levels can lead to many different health and home related problems.
Air filtering plants
The impact house plants have on indoor air quality is quite small but they do purify the air by absorbing some toxic agents from the air and taking in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen. Variegated snakeplant and english ivy have the ability to block some pollutants and a peace lily is also effective at filtering out ammonia. Some plants might have toxic leaves or berries which you should be mindful of especially in households with small children or pets. One popular solution you can look in to is the so called living wall.
Last but not least you can always invest in a quality indoor air purifier to get rid of allergens, odors, smoke, mold ,dust and other nasty inpurities. One of the most popular air purifiers on Amazon is the GermGuardian AC4825 3in 1 Air Purifier with a HEPA filter and UV-C sanitizer . You can take a closer look on Amazon.