You might not think too much about the air quality in your home or office but I encourage you to start. Studies conducted by The United States Environment Protection Agency (US EPA) have shown that indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times higher than that of outdoor levels. These pollutants come from household products like paint, unvented gas space heaters, woodstoves, fireplaces, gas stoves, tobacco smoke, and pesticides. The effects of breathing in poor air depend on a person’s sensitivity. Young children, the elderly, and anyone with poor immune systems tend to be the most vulnerable. The most common symptoms are sore throat, headache, cough, itchy and running eyes and nose. The more severe symptoms include chronic breathing problems, heart disease and cancer. Below are some simple ways to improve your indoor air quality.
The simplest and easiest way to improve your indoor air quality is to use high efficiency air filters. High efficiency air filters can help filter out harmful allergens and pollutants from the air, overall improving indoor air quality and the health of your family. Filters should be replaced every 30-90 days depending on the brand of filter. If you have extreme allergies or a lot of pet dander, it is suggested that you change your air filter more frequently.
Another way to improve your indoor air quality is to clean, especially if you have pets. Pets create pet dander which is a factor. Vacuum, dust, and mop everything! Don’t forget those hard to reach places like ceiling fans and the top of cabinets. When dusting use a damp cloth so the dust won’t be put back into the air. Also wash bedding and couch pillows where dust mites can live. The more often your home or office is cleaned the better.
Additionally, use homemade cleaners when cleaning the house. We love the Happy Go Lucky Blog on 20 Homemade Cleaning Products. Candles and air fresheners can also reduce the air quality and produce soot and chemicals. According to the US EPA, air fresheners actually release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Instead use sweet smelling extract, or essential oils to freshen your home or office.
On days when outdoor air pollutants and pollens are low leave the windows and doors open. It also helps to leave the windows and doors open when cooking and to have the hood vent running. Some things, like painting, are better done outside rather than in an enclosed space inside.
Placing plants indoors can help filter the air as well. Plants absorb gases through pores on the surface of their leaves and roots. Download our PDF of indoor plants that improve air quality to decide which one is best for your home or office.
Follow these simple techniques to improve the air quality in your home or office. If you have any ideas or comments we would love to hear from you. Tweet us @GreenEfficient, Like us at GreenEfficient Facebook, or Connect with us on LinkedIn.