Indoor air quality has become a serious health concern over the last century as more and more people have begun spending most of their waking hours indoors. Prior to the 20th century, many people spent most of their time outdoors, and when indoors, open windows allowed for fresh air circulation. As homes and businesses installed air conditioning over the past few decades, fewer buildings got regular fresh air circulation. That means taking steps to keep your indoor air fresh and healthy has become increasingly necessary as time goes on.
Easy ways you can improve your air quality indoors
These six tips for improving your air quality come from Harvard Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. Not all of them apply to every home, but there are sure to be a few you can use.
Keep your home clean
Air quality is greatly affected by pet dander and dust, so regular cleanings that reduce the presence of these factors help to keep your indoor air quality at its best. For optimum results, make sure you also clean the air filter on your vacuum after every use.
Bring in fresh air
Take advantage of cooler evening temperatures to open the house and circulate fresh air. Leaving windows open during the cool early morning hours can also keep the home’s temperature low during the early part of the day.
Leave gardening in the garden
Indoor plants look fantastic and they can provide a mood boost, but they can also harbor mold and other allergens. Limit indoor plants, especially if allergies are an issue. Try researching plants first, too, to grab specimens less likely to provoke allergies.
Change air filters
Your heating and cooling system’s operating efficiency greatly affect your indoor air quality. Changing filters on time helps them operate more efficiently and it keeps the air they circulate cleaner.
Get an air purifier
Investing in an air purifier helps remove allergens and other impurities from circulating air in real-time. That can substantially improve your indoor air.
Limit scented candles and sprays
The use of scented candles can produce small amounts of smoke, and the oils in the scents themselves can be irritating to sensitive individuals. The same is true for air freshening aerosol sprays.
Higher-tech solutions and upgrades to your system
These five ways to improve your air quality inside might require you to work with a heating and cooling professional:
- Upgrade your HVAC system to a model with improved environmental quality controls
- Follow all the steps in your furnace or central air unit’s manufacturer maintenance recommendations
- Get your home tested for contaminants like carbon monoxide and allergens once a year, and follow any recommendations you get
- Consider upgrading your air filters to a model capable of filtering smaller particles
- Use professional carpet cleaners seasonally to get any dander your regular vacuuming leaves behind
Better indoor air quality is a matter of taking control of your environment. No matter what your budget is, you can find options that will help. Consider your options and your health and invest in the improvements you need to have a great quality of life.