The air you breathe matters — a lot. Regardless if you’re at work or in your home, the air quality is not just about comfort, but also, about your health. Poor air quality can lead to fatigue, coughing, sneezing, headaches, dizziness, watery eyes, and upper respiratory congestion. In fact, the air in your home is probably 2 to 5 times poorer than outdoor air quality, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. That’s certainly nothing to try to avoid, but, you may not know how to improve your home’s indoor air quality.
Ways to Improve Home Indoor Air Quality
The fact of the matter is, outdoor air finds its way into your home. Once inside, it joins forces with indoor elements and can be very damaging to your day-to-day life. For instance, your pets’ fur carries all kinds of allergens and when it’s combined with poor outdoor air seeping inside, becomes far more problematic. Fortunately, you can do something about it. You don’t have to suffer from poor air quality in your home, but, you probably endure it.
We tend to think of air pollution as something outside — smog, ozone, or haze hanging in the air, especially in summer. But the truth is, the air inside homes, offices, and other buildings can be more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home may be polluted by lead (in-house dust), formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon, even volatile chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners. Some pollutants are tracked into the home. Some arrive via a new mattress or furniture, carpet cleaners, or a coat of paint on the walls. —WebMD.com
The trouble with ignoring it is that it will only get worse over time. This means it will have a bigger and more devastating impact on you and your family. You certainly don’t want to have to live with bad indoor air, but, the good news is that you can do some things about it to improve your home indoor air quality:
- Open windows. Even when it’s chilly outside, it’s a good idea to open your windows from time to time. This allows dust and other debris to be carried away and give your home a breath of fresh air. This will also help save a little money on your monthly utility bill.
- Grow live plants. It’s no secret that plants emit oxygen and breathe-in carbon dioxide. This is why we have such a symbiotic relationship with nature, because both humans and plants benefit from one another. Plants also act as filters to help improve indoor air quality.
- Install a HEPA filter. Another way to improve indoor air quality is to install a HEPA filter or high-efficiency particulate air. These are not generally found in residential air cooling and heating systems but provide a great benefit.
- Replace the air filters regularly. Be sure to replace air filters regularly to help your residential air and heating system run more efficiently. Make sure that you choose the right air filter for your system to get the best results.
- Keep humidity between 30 percent to 50 percent. To give your home more creature comfort, you should have a balanced humidity and temperature level. You can keep the humidity between 30 percent and 50 percent with a humidifier.
In addition to these steps, you can also install a programmable thermostat to make your residential HVAC system run more efficiently.