For all the talk of pollution pouring into the outdoor air every day, it’s easy to forget that some of the biggest air quality threats exist inside your home. Your indoor air pollution has the potential to be several times more polluted than the air outside those walls, in large part because the contained interior spaces allow for pollutants to become trapped and recycled.
However, another compounding factor is the ignorance many consumers have toward this issue. The good news is that, with a little heightened awareness of the potential threats you are facing, it is easy to enact simple changes that dramatically improve the quality of your indoor air.
Here are some simple solutions for this in-home hazard:
Okay, so maybe this is a time-honored in-home cleaning routine. But newer, energy-efficient vacuums promise to cut down on your in-home energy consumption the same way many kitchen appliances aim to convert your home into a green-friendly residence. Regular use of your vacuum will suck up dust, dirt, mold and other debris that can float through your air and infiltrate your respiratory system — and without adding to your carbon footprint, either.
Alternative cleaning solutions
Many common cleaning solutions use harsh chemicals that give off fumes and worsen your indoor air quality. Consider creating organic, chemical-free cleaning solutions from some common (and inexpensive) ingredients. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon are all key ingredients in a variety of homemade cleaning solutions, and they won’t pose a hazard to your health.
Dry carpet cleaning
Following the trend of replacing harsh cleaning chemicals, dry carpet cleaning products are much safer for the health of your family, including your pets. These products can also reduce the allergens that collect in your carpet that may collect due to the presence of pets.
Air duct cleaning and filtration
Over time, your home’s air ducts can accumulate a layer of dust and grime that spends its time circulating through your home. In older homes especially, air duct cleaning can be a great way to remove this build-up, which can significantly reduce the dust and other pollutants that are present in your air at any given time.
And with your air ducts polished like new, it’s even more important to outfit your furnace and air conditioner with clean filters that will effectively strain pollutants from your air. These filters accumulate sediments over time and become less effective as a result. They need to be maintained to continue to be effective over time, so mark your calendars to examine air filters monthly. When they’re kept up-to-date, your air ducts and filters should improve in-home airflow while lowering the property’s risk of developing mold.
Running a dehumidifiers
If your region is prone to the development of mold in homes, it’s likely due to high humidity. A dehumidifier can suck much of this humidity out of the home, protecting it from the development of mold — and this will directly improve your home’s air quality.
Although green living is often presented as a way to be environmentally friendly and reduce your contribution to global pollution, in many cases it also offers benefits unrelated to environmental issues. In some cases, making efforts to improve you indoor air quality can even save you money while bolstering the short- and long-term health of your entire family. But regardless of the side benefits, the effects of indoor air pollution on your overall health are so significant that you shouldn’t sit idly by and hope you won’t be affected. For the sake of your family, it’s time to crack a window and start going after the invisible pollution that are affecting your health.
Joseph is a technology buff who enjoys writing on behalf of Sears and other brands he uses in his spare time.