Not many people give their home air quality much though, but it’s actually extremely important for your health.
Indoor air pollution is a real thing, and you may be surprised to learn that the air inside your home is often more polluted than the air outdoors. In fact, according to the EPA, the air quality inside the average home is five times worse than the air outside.
The effects of air pollution include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Poor air quality can also aggravate respiratory conditions, such as asthma, and lead to a number of cardiovascular issues and even cancer if you’re exposed for a long period of time.
So, what are the main causes of indoor air pollution? Mould, mildew, bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust mites, and animal dander are the primary causes. You’re also at risk of being exposed to harmful chemicals and gases, such as radon and formaldehyde. If you’re not careful, all of these allergens may be present in your home, so the control of air pollution is something you should take very seriously.
Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the amount of pollutants in your home. Here are 10 ways to improve your home air quality.
Dust mites, mould, and other allergens thrive in high humidity. When your humidity gets too high it leads to more moisture, which is the leading cause of mould and mildew. To prevent this from happening, try to keep your home humidity levels between 30%-50%.
Here are a few tips to reduce the level of humidity in your home:
Open your doors and windows regularly to increase circulation.
The easiest way to keep your humidity levels down is to purchase a dehumidifier. If you find your home tends to generate a lot of humidity this is a quick and easy way to keep the humidity at a comfortable level. Romaniuk offers both humidifiers and dehumidifiers to help improve your home air quality, no matter what climate you live in.
Your floors may not look dirty, but they are excellent at collecting dirt, dust and other air pollutants that decrease your residential air quality.
Vacuuming is a quick and easy way to get rid of a lot of pollutants, so make sure to do it regularly. To increase its effectiveness, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. These filters will trap chemicals and also ensure that dust and dirt aren’t going in one end of your vacuum and coming out the other. Be thorough and make sure to get around walls and carpet edges, as this is where a large amount of dust accumulates.
You’ll also want to sweep and mop hard flooring surfaces. Mopping is great because it picks up what your broom and vacuum can’t quite get. A solution of warm water and vinegar is usually all you need to get the job done right.
Every so often it’s a good idea to bring in professional carpet cleaners as well. Vacuums can only pick up so much, and there’s a chance some allergens are getting left behind. A good carpet cleaning will keep your floors fresh and ensure dirt, dust, and anything else hiding in your carpet is taken care of.
Finally, put floor mats by all of your doors. Although they won’t catch everything, they will trap a number of pollutants that would have otherwise gotten into your home.
Your furniture traps a lot of dust and dirt. Considering you spend a lot of your time sitting or lying on your furniture, it’s a good idea to clean it fairly regularly.
You don’t need to do anything extreme here. For upholstered furniture, a good vacuum every now and then should get rid of most allergens. For wood and solid furniture, just wipe them down to pick up any dust the has accumulated there.
You may not realize it, but your walls can actually trap a number of pollutants. For those who want to maintain good indoor air quality, you should clean your walls regularly.
First, assess what kind of paint you have on your walls. Enamel and semi-gloss paints are usually pretty resilient to cleaning, whereas flatter paints and stains may rub off with heavy scrubbing. So, use caution. Start with the mildest cleaner you have and work up as needed.
Regularly cleaning your walls will greatly reduce indoor air pollution and will lead to an overall fresher home.
Just like the rest of your furniture, your bed attracts a large amount of dust and dirt. Not only will this bother you when you’re sleeping, but those allergens can also get into the air and spread throughout your house.
Make sure to wash your bedding regularly, ideally once every 1-2 weeks. This will improve your home air quality, and will also make your bed much more pleasant to sleep in.
Many laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and air fresheners actually contain chemicals that could be harmful to your health and can negatively affect your indoor air quality. The synthetic fragrances used to make these products smell good are actually created using petroleum products that some tests have shown to have negative side effects.
To keep these chemicals out of your home, look for fragrance-free or naturally-scented products, avoid cleaners that use synthetic fragrances, and stop using aerosol sprays. Promoting good air circulation by opening doors and windows, and using fans, can also minimize the effects of these products.
There are a number of home air tests and devices you can use to measure the quality of your house’s air.
The Canadian Government recommends everyone tests their home for radon, which is a radioactive gas. It’s found in soils and can get into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Granite countertops have also been shown to be a potential source of radon. Radon home test kits can be purchased at your local hardware store.
Mould air tests can also be performed, however, these kits can be rather expensive. A better strategy is to simply stay on the lookout for any possible signs of mould and mildew.
Every home should also have a carbon monoxide alarm and a smoke alarm.
House plants aren’t just decorations. Research has shown that plants can act as air purifiers by absorbing a large number of air-borne pollutants. They also get rid of carbon-dioxide and contain helpful micro-organisms in their soil.
While plants might be intimidating to those who don’t fancy themselves as gardeners, there are a number of plants that improve home air quality and are easy to care for. Some of these include garden mums, spider plants, peace lilies, ferns, snake plants, and aloe vera.
For those who don’t feel like looking after plants, room air purifiers are a convenient way to quickly rid the air in your home of harmful pollutants. Romaniuk has been installing air purifiers for 30 years and offers a number of solutions that will help improve your indoor air quality.
While frequent vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning can do a lot to reduce the amount of dust and allergens in the air, many particles are too small to remove using these methods. If you really want to ensure that your air is free of any pollutants an air purifier is an excellent option.
Our air quality specialists can survey your home and recommend a solution that’s right for you and your family.
A good HVAC system can help promote proper air circulation and create a comfortable living space inside your home. However, if it’s not properly maintained it may actually harm your indoor air quality.
If you have a furnace or air conditioner in your home make sure to change the filters regularly. These filters are designed to catch dirt, dust, and debris and keep it out of the air inside your house. But if these filters get clogged they’re not able to do their job, which means these pollutants are free to be circulated around your home through your HVAC system.
You should also clean your furnace and air conditioner regularly. This will prevent allergens from getting inside your system and being spread throughout your home.
If you want to make sure your HVAC system isn’t negatively affecting your home’s air quality, consider adding an air purification system or a germicidal light to your heating and cooling system. These systems employ some of the top filters to catch debris and will keep it from entering your house. Romaniuk offers a number of solutions to help you improve your HVAC system and the quality of your indoor air.
Here at Romaniuk, we’re passionate about improving indoor air quality. If you have any questions about humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, germicidal lights, or other strategies to improve your home’s air quality, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is happy to help and will provide you with the information you need to make your home as comfortable as possible.