The vehicles, factories, toxic smoke, and viruses around the city is enough to keep us staying inside our homes. But as much as there are dangers outside, it is necessary to know that health threats inside our homes exist as well. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can often be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air.
This raises fear to families that have children and seniors living with them since they are most at risk of developing these health problems caused by bad air quality. In the place where we usually find our comfort and spend time with our loved ones, this unseen health threat should be checked in order to keep our home a fortress.
There are plenty of things that can contaminate the air in your home. It can be your wall paint, carpet, or even pet dander. The most common cause of indoor air pollution is inefficient cooking practices using polluting stoves paired with solid fuels and kerosene. When there are not enough cooking vents in a kitchen, it can really damage the air that you breathe by cooking. Gas fires can release indoor air pollutants like carbon monoxide, this is the predominant toxic gas that can be released from gas fires. The use of cleaning products and insecticides can also release toxins and chemicals in the air. As a homeowner, you should be mindful of how you can improve your indoor air quality.
According to experts, inadequate ventilation is the main contributor to low air quality. This is because allergens and pollutants that surround your home will be trapped there without proper ventilation. Having enough airflow in a room plays a big role in maintaining a healthy and safe indoor air. This is especially needed in the kitchen where smoke and gas from cooking procedures are released. This can even prevent carbon monoxide poisoning which is one of the most fatal air pollutants that gas fuels release. Without proper ventilation, the humidity will increase as well. High humidity indoors can make us feel suffocated and causes headaches and exhaustion.
Keeping our floors and carpets clean is not just a task that has visually pleasing results, it also eliminates allergens and pollutants making it a great activity to improve indoor air quality. The floors accumulate a lot of harmful particles and dust mites in the air so in order to maintain your indoor air quality, regularly mop hardwood, tile, and vinyl floors and make a habit of vacuuming your carpets.
Most paints in the market that are widely used omits strong fumes that cause us to feel dizzy and some even faint. Look for paints that are labeled “Zero VOC” or “Low VOC” to cut down on harmful chemicals. VOCs are Volatile organic compounds that are carbon-containing substances that easily become vapors or gases.
When you are redecorating your walls by painting, use paints with low VOCs or avoid staying in the room for the first few days after you painted it and make sure to have adequate ventilation. This is because most of the fumes released are stronger and more dangerous on the first few days after the application.
Houseplants are not just for the aesthetics, it filters the air too. If you are not much of a plant lover, you might want to change your mind and start investing in some now. Indoor plants improve indoor air quality by taking in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen. If you are worried about not being good at maintaining the life of indoor plants, here are some of the best low maintenance plants you can keep:
● English Ivy – experts have rated English Ivy one of the easiest houseplants to keep and filters the air the best.
● Aloe Vera – Aloe vera also requires little maintenance but does the job of releasing fresh oxygen. This wonder plant is also multi-purpose. You can use it as a wound or hair remedy and it can even be a skin moisturizer.
● Snake Plant – Snake plant is perfect indoors because it does not need as much water and light to grow. It is known for releasing oxygen mostly at night.
Most of the air conditioners in the market have a built-in air filter so yours probably has too. This helps the air conditioner filter the air that circulates around your home. Cleaning your AC’s air filter often can surely improve indoor air quality. Dust mites, allergen, and other air pollutants will eventually clog the filter if it is not cleaned or changed in a long time.
Often in our homes, there is a main source of air pollutants that are affecting our indoor air quality. We also purchase air purifiers for different reasons. You might want one that kills viruses, or maybe you just want a purifier that focuses on eliminating allergens. Either way, in order for you to buy the right kind of air purifier, make sure to know what is the dominant air pollutant in your home and what you want to focus on eliminating the most.
There are plenty of air purifiers out there that specializes in different kinds of air contaminants. For example, UV air purifiers specialize in fighting germs and viruses that might cause health concerns to the members of your household.
There are air pollution detectors that can be used for your home. This will make life easier by always informing you about the quality of the air you breathe. This is a great first step on how you can improve indoor air quality. If you are not certain about the severity of air pollution in your home, consider purchasing one of these.
The ideal humidity in your home should range between 30-50%. When there is too much moisture in your indoor air caused by the leaky pipes or inadequate ventilation, it can cause moisture in the air which leads to high humidity levels. Moisture can also damage the physical structure of your house for it can mold growth. If this problem occurs, get a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are appliances you can buy that remove the moisture in the air which causes the problems. This can help you feel more comfortable during the hot season and will make you use the AC a lot less. The use of an exhaust fan is also great because it is necessary for allowing enough airflow in a room.
We should not underestimate the health issues bad air quality does to our body, whether it may be short-term or long-term health conditions. Keeping the air in your home clean and safe can do so much for your way of living and in the end it is still you that will benefit from all the actions that you take now.
The unseen threat is the most fatal. This means that we have to be mindful of how to improve the breathability of our indoor air to avoid further and worse problems.
Personally, I have always been fascinated with home items. I’ve learned long ago that when buying these products, there needs to be a balance between functionality and creativity. Otherwise, they get old and boring, and I don’t get to use them as much.