But you don’t have to live with it! By making smart changes to your home, including both short-term and long-term adjustments, you can expect to have cleaner air in every room.
If you’re not sure about your indoor air quality, start by having the air tested. There are both do-it-yourself testing systems and home monitors that you can use to monitor the air. There are also professional services that will come to your home and do it for you. Either way, this will give you a starting point for removing air particles from your home.
Wondering how to increase air quality in your home? Let’s find out...
How Can You Temporarily Fix Your Home’s Air Quality?First, let’s focus on some of the short-term changes you can make inside your home that will bring cleaner air for yourself and your family. These changes are generally simple and easy, and while each individual measure may not bring noticeable differences, combined they can have a strong impact on your home’s air.
Start by reducing the amount of pollutants and chemicals you have in your home, which can be done by avoiding cleaning supplies and paint that emit toxic chemicals or fumes.
Also, scented candles and aerosol sprays, for example, can release harmful chemicals that linger in the air and lower the quality of your indoor air.
Hairsprays and spray-on deodorants may not be as common now, but if you use them, be sure to apply them in the bathroom while running the ventilation fan.
Poorly sealed chemical bottles can release fumes, so it’s best to store as many items as possible in your garage.
These are all simple changes that make your home’s air cleaner.
When cooking, use the exhaust fan. Cooking creates smoke that can reduce the quality of your indoor air and having the fan on a low setting will pull the smoke away from your living space.
If you have a dryer in the home, check the ventilation system to make sure it is properly venting air from the dryer to the outside.
The air filter in your furnace is not meant for air purification, but by trapping dust particles it helps maintain quality air in your home. Have the filter replaced regularly and you’ll have an efficient heating system for your home. Dirty filters can hold dust, animal dander, pollen, and many other air pollutants, so replace the filter regularly. You should also have the ventilation for your air conditioning system cleaned every year.
Cleaning is essential for your air quality, so you should clean the carpets and hardwood flooring regularly. On the carpets, use a high-quality vacuum cleaner to pick-up dust that has fallen to the floor. Vacuuming once a week will significantly reduce the amount of dust found in your home. You’ll also want to mop frequently using a damp mop and a safe cleaning solution. If you don’t have cleaning products, mopping with just water can be extremely effective for picking up dust. Mopping will capture lots of dust that is tracked inside, making it extremely important for maintaining clean air in the home.
Cleaning the interior is important, but if you want to reduce indoor air pollution, it’s also essential that you keep dust from coming inside. The majority of dust particles come from outdoor sources, including dirt and sand. Most of them are tracked inward on people’s shoes, so having a plan to stop dust from coming in is essential.
Start with mats on the inside and outside of every entrance. Mats will catch dust from the bottom of your shoes so it’s not brought in. You should also have a policy that everyone who enters the home removes their shoes. The bottom of shoes are full of dust and dirt, so make sure everyone takes off their footwear before they walk around your home.
What Can Be Done to Create Long-Term Air Quality?With the home adjustments we described above, you’ll be able to create quick, temporary, short-term fixes for your home’s air and reduce air pollution inside. With the following steps, however, you’ll create cleaner air in the home that lasts for a long time.
In many cases, poor indoor air quality comes down to ventilation, and you can increase the ventilation in your home by installing a window fan that pushes stale air outdoors. While some fans push air inward, for air quality you should select a model that can push air outward, with the flow of air facing away from the interior. This way it will force out airborne pollution.
A whole-house fan is a great addition to increase air flow, reduce indoor air pollution, and improve indoor air quality. It's a ventilation system that works by pulling hot and polluted air into your attic while it draws in clean, fresh air through windows that are slightly open.
Any home that has someone with serious dust allergies should have the carpets replaced with hardwood floors. Dust tends to settle in carpet and becomes hard to dislodge. However, when you walk across the carpet, the dust and air pollution can be stirred around, releasing it into the air. Replacing carpet with hardwood will make cleaning easier.
Controlling the humidity in your home can also improve your air quality. Humidity will lead to mold, and mold releases spores that it uses to populate other areas. To control humidity, use a dehumidifier. These systems don’t cool homes like an central air conditioner and they don’t remove pollutants like an air purifier, but by removing moisture from the air, they decrease the chances that you will have a problem with mold, which will help improve indoor air quality. Ideally, you want your relative humidity levels to be between 30%-50%.
Finally, you should have an air purifier from your home, especially one that uses a HEPA filter. Air purifiers pull air through an advanced filter, capturing many of the smallest particles. They are so efficient that they can capture pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and can even remove the smell of smoke or other odors if it has a suitable activated carbon filter. With an air purifier, you have a long-term solution to indoor air quality.
If you choose an air purifier, HEPA filters are essential. And there are filters that use other technologies as well. For example, you can find air purifiers with activated carbon and UV-C light, among other technologies.