One of the things people get worried about when going outside is air pollution. Unfortunately, many people don’t realise that air pollution can also happen indoors.
In reality, air pollution inside the home can be as bad and sometimes even worse than outdoors.
Without proper ventilation, pollution can get trapped in the stale air in your home!
Here are some ways you can enhance the air quality inside your home:
1. Regularly change your HVAC filters
Regardless of the season, your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) unit provides your home the ideal temperature.
While the unit cycles through the air inside your home, it also filters out air pollutants.
Gradually, the air filters become filled up and become inefficient in doing their job.
Not only does this affect the indoor air quality you have at home, but it also negatively affects your HVAC system, leading to expensive repairs in the future.
Regularly changing your HVAC filters is an excellent way to ensure that your air conditioning unit remains efficient and that the air quality inside your home is safe.
In choosing air filters, it’s best to choose one with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. Check this out if you’re wondering, ‘what MERV rating should I use?’
2. Check other air filters
The air conditioning filter isn’t the only one responsible for giving your home clean air.
It’s best to regularly change the air filters in all your household appliances with filters to maintain healthy air quality inside your home.
Check your clothes dryer, vacuum cleaner, and kitchen vent filters and change them when needed.
Follow manufacturer instructions regarding the frequency of changing the filters.
Check the following tips when choosing the best HVAC filters for your home:
- Choose the right filter size: Check the furnace manual to determine the correct size for your filter. Check the dimensions using a tape measure and order the best HVAC filters online. You can take your old filter with you before you head to the store.
- Choose the right filter: Choose a filter that’s rated for residential systems by checking the manual for reference. Choose a good-quality furnace filter that can remove the highest number of contaminants with the smallest air flow effect. Disposable air filters are made of cotton, paper, polyester, or fiberglass, encased in a frame. Adjustable filters are also available for non-standard openings. You can remove and clean washable filters if you prefer those. Washable filters require more maintenance than other filters. On the other hand, electrostatic filters utilize static electricity to trap small particles.
Consider quality: Invest in high-efficiency pleated HVAC air filters, allowing furnace to pump cleaner air without undue furnace strain. The surface area increases with a pleated design because it captures more dust, mould, mildew, lint, and pollen.
3. Improve ventilation
Improving ventilation inside the home might sound obvious but it’s one thing that gets forgotten most of the time.
Opening your windows during the cold season may sound counter-intuitive because you’re spending energy to keep yourself warm.
However, doing this is essential as it allows fresh air to get inside the house and will reduce the humidity that may encourage the survival of dust mites.
In colder months try opening your windows each morning, even for ten minutes or so, to improve the air flow through the house.
Also, when using chemicals for decorating or cleaning your house, be mindful of providing enough ventilation. Opt for eco-friendly cleaners and paints whenever possible to reduce the VOCs emitted.
If you have a real fire or log burner then make sure you have the flue cleaned at least once a year by a professional chimney sweep who can certificate their work. This will ensure it is not dangerous and prevent smoke from coming into the room as well as fires. Sometimes you do get a backdraft of smoke into the room when you use it for the first time or on a really cold day, make sure you open your windows for proper smoke ventilation if this happens to clear the air.
4. Invest in an air purifier
Since dust and pollen are small objects, it can be easy to miss these harmful things.
However, technology has enabled people to clear the air from these microscopic things, which are common allergens.
An air purifier helps trap and eliminate air pollutants by filtering the air before releasing it back into the room.
It’s highly recommended to choose an air purifier with a fan since it’ll help circulate clean air faster.
Cheaper air purifiers may also be as effective but you may need to carry them around if you’re using it to purify bigger rooms.
Eliminating airborne particles are especially helpful in reducing the risk of asthma attacks or allergy flareups.
Check the following tips when choosing an air purifier:
- Determine the location to place your HVAC air purifier to know the right space and size.
- Choose an air purifier that filters out pollutants, including pet dander and cigarette smoke.
- Check the Clean Air Delivery Rating, a metric developed to measure the performance of air purifiers.
- Choose a HEPA filter. It is the gold standard for residential indoor air purifiers.
- Check noise levels for a quieter device.
- Compute the electricity costs and ongoing maintenance of the air purifier for proper budgeting, besides the upfront cost.
- If you’re on a tight budget, you can skip the bells and whistles.
5. Keep carpets and rugs clean
Carpets and rugs at home may add comfort to your home. However, they also trap dust in their fibers.
By using a vacuum cleaner regularly, you’ll be able to free carpets and rugs from dust. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner (for the best option consider proscenic p11) that can easily remove dust, pollen, and pet hair.
Don’t forget to vacuum underneath beds and sofas.
To keep germs and dust mites away, change your bedding every week and wash using hot water.
Also, to make dusting easier and faster, it’s best to keep surfaces at home clutter-free. Use a plant-based multi-surface spray and wipe surfaces down to eliminate accumulated dust.
6. Place indoor plants to help improve air
Adding a few indoor plants can help filter the air inside your home in a natural way. Not only will adding plants into your home improve its appearance, but it’ll also help purify the air inside.
To position them accordingly around your house, just know which plants can survive partial shade and which ones need bright indirect light.
7. Control humidity
Moisture and humidity inside your home can lead to mould and mildew formation, which can harm family members with respiratory issues, such as asthma and allergies.
With the help of dehumidifiers, you can reduce the moisture content in the air and help prevent the growth of molds.
Fortunately, there are many available options when it comes to dehumidifiers that can help you maintain a comfortable humidity level inside your home.
Improving the air quality inside your home can help you prevent allergy attacks and asthma flare-ups. It’ll also help you breathe easier during the cold months.
Although it might be impossible to get rid of allergens at home, there are some things to do to greatly reduce them and, thereby, minimise your exposure.