6 Tips to Improve Air Quality in Your Home
Carroll’s Spring Focus on Indoor Air Quality series – Part 2 of 4
As we wrote in our last post, indoor pollution is real, and it can cause mild or in some cases more serious health problems for your family – especially in today’s increasingly airtight, efficiency-first homes.
But with some easy steps and smarter buying choices, you can drastically improve air quality in your home. Here’s a guide to some changes you can make starting today.
- Replace toxic or chemical-based cleaning products with natural, organic alternatives. Most stores carry at least a few “green” cleaning products – shop wisely. Or make your own – vinegar and baking soda are great natural cleaning agents that cut grease, clean drains, kill germs, and more.
- Avoid fragrant aerosol spray cans and chemical air fresheners – Instead, use essential oils with a diffuser. Lavender, lemon grass, and other oils work great and don’t contain any air-polluting chemicals. If you use candles, choose soy- or beeswax-based varieties scented only with pure essential oils; most of the chemicals used in scented candles are toxic.
- If you’re remodeling, choose low–VOC paint – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from paint can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment. Most quality paint manufactures make a low-VOC version – ask for it.
- Add greenery – Plants are natural air purifiers that suck toxic chemicals through their leaves. Plant roots and soil bacteria also remove trace levels of toxic vapors. They look great, too!
- Have your HVAC system cleaned regularly. Clean HVAC ducts to remove allergens, including mold (more on this in our next post).
- Consider installing whole-house solutions to keep your air clean and properly humidified – A whole house humidifier or (or whole-house dehumidifier, if your house tends to be damp) will keep air at healthy moisture levels to discourage mold and mildew growth. An ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light filter system will kill most airborne bacteria and virtually all airborne mold spores. Investing in a quality whole house indoor air purifier is also a great way to improve the quality of air in your home.
- If you smoke, stop!
- Regularly service your fuel-burning appliances to ensure there are no leaks.
Next week: Detecting Mold in Your Home