The quality of the air we breathe indoors is important for our health and well-being. Since we spend a lot of time indoors, you will want to make sure that the air is free from pollutants. Luckily, there are many practical ways to improve indoor air quality in your home or office. Here are 10 effective methods to achieve cleaner and healthier indoor air.
1. Use Regular Ventilation
If you want to boost the air quality of your indoor space, you will want to have proper ventilation throughout the home. When the weather permits, you should open windows and doors to allow fresh outdoor air to circulate with indoor air. This natural airflow helps eliminate stale air and pollutants, improving air quality. Additionally, use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom, where moisture tends to accumulate, to reduce the buildup of pollutants.
2. Eliminate Tobacco Smoke
The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can significantly affect indoor air quality. To ensure the safety of both smokers and non-smokers, you will want to enforce a strict no-smoking policy indoors. If necessary, designate a specific smoking area outside the home. Encouraging smokers to quit or to switch to alternative methods, such as electronic cigarettes emitting fewer hazardous substances, is recommended.
3. Use High-Quality Air Filters
Investing in high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters for your HVAC system can significantly improve the air quality in your space. HEPA filters capture tiny particles that can contribute to poor indoor air quality, such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and certain bacteria and viruses. The filter can prevent these particles from recirculating in the air. When considering HEPA filters for your HVAC system, look for filters with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. A MERV rating between eight and 13 is recommended for most residential applications since it can effectively capture a wide range of airborne particles.
You will want to regularly maintain HEPA filters to ensure they continue to work effectively. Over time, the accumulated particles will reduce the filter’s ability to capture new contaminants. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning or replacing the filters to maintain optimal performance. Some filters are washable, allowing you to clean and reuse them whereas others are disposable and require periodic replacement.
4. Control Humidity Levels
High humidity levels can cause mold growth and a rise in dust mites, leading to poor indoor air quality. To maintain optimal humidity levels between 30-50%, it is recommended to use dehumidifiers in areas with high humidity, like basements or bathrooms. This will prevent mold growth and its associated health problems, such as allergies and respiratory issues. Ensuring proper ventilation in moisture-prone areas, like bathrooms and kitchens, is also important to avoid excessive humidity buildup.
5. Keep a Clean Environment
Regular cleaning is essential for reducing indoor air pollutants. It is important to clean your home regularly to reduce allergens, dust mites, and pet dander that can worsen allergies and respiratory conditions. Pay special attention to carpets, rugs, upholstery, and curtains because these surfaces can harbor such particles. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can effectively capture and contain these allergens. Mop floors regularly, and use non-toxic cleaning products to avoid introducing harmful chemicals into the air.
6. Avoid Synthetic Fragrances
You need to be aware that common household products like air fresheners, scented candles, and cleaning solutions can release harmful chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These chemicals can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, and even organ damage. To avoid these adverse effects, choose natural alternatives or unscented products. Natural air fresheners, like essential oils or potpourri made from dried flowers and herbs, can provide a pleasant fragrance without harmful VOCs. Essential oils, derived from plants, come in various scents and can be diffused in the air or diluted in water for use as sprays.
7. Control Indoor Pollutants
If you want to improve indoor air quality, take a few measures to minimize the presence of common indoor pollutants, including formaldehyde, radon, and asbestos. These pollutants can have significant health implications when present in high concentrations.
Proper insulation is crucial in reducing the infiltration of outdoor pollutants into your home or office. Ensure that windows and doors are well-sealed to prevent the entry of airborne contaminants. By creating a tight building envelope, you can significantly minimize the introduction of outdoor pollutants into your indoor space.
Radon gas is a radioactive gas that can seep into buildings from the ground. It is a naturally occurring gas that can accumulate in enclosed spaces and pose a health risk. Testing your home for radon is crucial, especially in areas with higher radon levels. If elevated radon levels are detected, consult a radon mitigation specialist to develop a plan to reduce radon entry and improve indoor air quality.
For older homes built before the 1980s, you want to have them inspected for asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos is a hazardous material commonly used in building insulation and other construction materials. When disturbed, asbestos fibers can become airborne and pose a serious health risk when inhaled. Professional asbestos removal may be necessary to eliminate this potential indoor pollutant.
8. Introduce Indoor Plants
Certain indoor plants can help purify the air by absorbing harmful pollutants and releasing oxygen. The aloe vera, spider plant, peace lilies, and snake plant are great options. They remove toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene from the air. Adding these natural air purifiers to your indoor space can improve air quality and create a pleasant environment. Remember to research the specific care needs of each plant to ensure their health and longevity.
9. Regularly Maintain HVAC Systems
Neglected HVAC systems can become breeding grounds for dust, mold, and bacteria, leading to poor indoor air quality. Make sure your HVAC system is running smoothly and circulating clean air by scheduling regular maintenance. This service includes cleaning air ducts and changing filters. It’s important to have a professional inspect and service your system once a year to catch any potential issues. Also, keep the area around your HVAC system clean and free from dust and debris to avoid recirculating contaminants.
10. Take Hazardous Chemicals Outside
Performing activities that use chemicals can emit hazardous fumes into the air. It is best to carry out these activities in well-ventilated areas or outdoors. If indoor work is unavoidable, ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and using fans. To reduce exposure to harmful chemicals, use protective gear like gloves and masks. Keep chemicals in a secure area away from living spaces to prevent unintentional leaks or spills.
Improving your indoor air quality can be beneficial for your home. When you need a reliable company for the job, Temp Air System Inc. is your one-stop shop for all your cooling, heating, and air duct cleaning needs in Los Angeles County and the nearby areas. We pride ourselves on providing high-quality services that prioritize your comfort and safety. Our team of skilled professionals is committed to delivering outstanding results, whether installing cutting-edge cooling systems, maintaining efficient heating units, or conducting comprehensive air duct cleanings. Don’t hesitate to contact Temp Air System Inc. now to schedule an appointment!