How Do You Fix Poor Indoor Air Quality?
The air we breathe in our homes impacts our health in different ways. Unfortunately, few people notice when their home’s indoor air quality has gotten worse. Even fewer people actually take steps to improve their indoor air quality.
In this guide we will discuss how to tell if your indoor air quality is poor and recommend tips to improve it.
What are the Symptoms of Poor Air Quality?
You can often tell when your air quality is poor based on odors. Things like smoke are easy to notice, but pollutants such as asbestos or dust can be more difficult to pick up on.
Many studies have been conducted linking indoor air pollution and health. Such studies often examine the different symptoms that people experience from prolonged exposure to poor indoor air quality. This includes:
If you experience any of these symptoms for several days, it may indicate your indoor air quality is poor.
What are the 4 Major Indoor Air Pollutants?
There are many types of indoor air pollutants. The four major ones you should look out for are:
Volatile organic compounds
Some of these pollutants can be removed from the air easily. However, the others may be more challenging to remove. Therefore, you may need to get rid of their sources wherever possible.
What are 5 Tips for Better Indoor Air Quality?
So what is the best way to purify indoor air? There is no single answer to this question. However, you can achieve better indoor air quality standards by following the tips described below.
Change Your AC Filter
Modern air-conditioners do a great job of cooling the air in our homes. However, you might not realize that they also help purify the air inside.
Air-conditioners have a special filter that traps dust and other particles in the air that passes through them. This filter becomes clogged with dust over time, which reduces its effectiveness.
If you believe your air-conditioner’s filter is clogged, you should remove it and take a look. If you see a thick coating of dust on the fiter’s pores, it is best to throw it away and place a new filter in your air conditioner.
Some air conditioners have reusable filters that can be cleaned with a brush or rinsed with water. If you own one of these filters, be sure to remove any dust or particles clogging its pores before placing it back inside the air conditioner.
Clean Your Air Ducts
If you have an air duct based air-conditioning and heating system in your home, you should clean your ducts to improve your indoor air quality. These air ducts typically need to be cleaned once every two or three years. However, getting your home’s air ducts cleaned as frequently as once a year may help improve your indoor air quality.
This is because these ducts tend to accumulate lots of dust over time. This dust clings to your air duct’s interior walls and can be expelled into your home once it reaches a certain volume.
Cleaning your air ducts is a relatively simple process. However, you will need special tools to do this. For this reason, many people hire professional air duct cleaning services for this task. A qualified professional will be able to remove particles from your air ducts without allowing them to be expelled into your home.
Use Your Cooking Vents
Cooking vents are an underutilized kitchen tool. These vents are often used to remove smells from kitchens. However, they also do a great job of removing airborne pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide that are released by gas stovetops.
For this reason, you should ensure you keep your cooking vents on while you are cooking. It is also wise to leave this vent running for a few minutes after you are done cooking. Some people also open their windows while their vent is running to help draw in fresh air from outside. This is a great way to eliminate odors from your kitchen and improve your indoor air quality.
Control the Humidity
Your home may be exposed to varying levels of humidity depending on its location. For example, homes near the coast are exposed to much higher humidity levels than homes in non-coastal regions.
This humidity may seem like a mild annoyance at most. It could leave you feeling sticky or cause your glasses to fog up. However, you might not be aware that high humidity levels lead to the formation of mold.
Such mold can become airborne and cause symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, congestion, runny nose, and coughing. For this reason you should control your home’s humidity levels.
The good news is that it is easy to reduce your home’s indoor humidity levels using a dehumidifier. Simply shut your doors and windows, place the dehumidifier in a central location, and turn it on. You can then run it for around 12 hours a day to reduce the general humidity level in your home
Get Indoor Plants
If you live in a city with regular poor air pollution recommendation notices, you might not be able to open your windows for fresh air without compromising on your indoor air quality. City officials might not know how to improve air quality in cities, so you will need to improvise to stay healthy.
One great solution is to buy indoor plants. Plants naturally absorb polluted air and release clean air each day as part of their natural cycles. This is a relatively inexpensive solution that allows you to take advantage of nature’s gifts.
Maintaining Good Indoor Air Quality
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to improve your indoor air quality. So be sure to follow the tips described above if you want to keep yourself healthy in your home.