Modern, well-sealed homes can have poor air quality when there’s no fresh air coming inside or circulating freely. Indoor air also contains pollutants and irritants, including pet dander, dust, mold spores, VOCs, and even chemicals from cooking. Here are a few easy ways to improve indoor air quality in your home.
Choose Furniture with Air Quality in Mind
Some furniture is made with toxic glues. Shelves, desks, and storage units that are made of pressed wood or particleboard often emit dangerous chemicals into the air. These chemicals can worsen asthma or allergy symptoms. Varnish and lacquer finishing products may do the same. Furniture that is made of formaldehyde-treated wood can off-gas chemicals into your home’s air.
Keep Floors Clean to Improve Indoor Air Quality
All types of flooring accumulate allergens. Vacuum your carpeting twice per week and use HEPA filters in your vacuum cleaner. Mop any vinyl, tile, or hardwood floors regularly.
No Shoes Inside the House
Get into the habit of removing your shoes at the door when you come inside. Shoes will track pesticides, dirt, and other contaminants throughout your home. Keep a shoe rack or boot tray at your home’s entrance. Your floors and your indoor air will be cleaner with this simple trick.
Improve Indoor Air Quality by Using Safer Paint
Many paints contain harmful chemicals that will cause you to feel dizzy and faint when breathing in the fumes. Opt for paints that are labeled “low VOC” or “zero VOC” to reduce contaminants in your home’s air.
Manage Humidity in the Home
Keeping humidity under control is helpful for improving indoor air quality. A humidity level set at under 50 percent keeps indoor allergens to a minimum. Less moisture in the air also inhibits mold growth. Use a dehumidifier during the summer to help manage humidity in problem areas.
Only Smoke Outdoors
Secondhand smoke is dangerous and increases the chance of family members developing cancer and other health issues. It is also a leading cause of asthma in children. If you smoke, move your smoking outdoors away from doors and windows.
Use Fragrance-Free Cleaning Products
Many household cleaning products and detergents have synthetic fragrances that release chemicals into the air. Choosing fragrance-free products will go a long way toward improving indoor air quality. You can purchase natural products or make your own using recipes found online.
Test for Radon
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that is known to cause lung cancer with extended exposure at high levels. Radon seeps up from the ground and enters your home from cracks in the foundation. Bring in a professional to test for radon in the home.
Improve Indoor Air Quality: Get Rid of Mildew and Mold
Mold and mildew can cause allergy symptoms and respiratory problems. Both mildew and mold need moisture to thrive. Don’t let plumbing leaks or other moisture problems go too long without getting repaired. Empty the drip trays in window AC units and inside dehumidifiers. Use ventilation fans when cooking and when showering. Call a professional at any sign of water damage or plumbing issues.