Have you ever thought about the air quality inside your home? It might not be something we routinely think about, but the air quality in our homes can dramatically impact our health.
Unfortunately, indoor air pollution is all too common. Whether it’s dust particles, mold spores, or pet dander floating through the air, numerous dangerous pollutants can enter your living spaces and negatively affect you. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to prevent indoor air pollution from contaminating your environment and affecting your health.
1. Understand the Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Knowing what is causing indoor air pollution in your home is half the battle. Common sources include chemicals used to clean surfaces and furniture, strong air fresheners, smoke from burning wood or cigarettes, pet dander, and dust mites. Be sure to take note of all the potential sources in your home so you can address them effectively.
New furniture, carpets, and flooring can also release hazardous chemicals, such as formaldehyde, into the air. Instead, opt for natural materials such as wool rugs, cork floors, and wooden furniture to reduce your risk of exposure.
2. Install an Air Purifier
Air purifiers filter out harmful particles, leaving you breathable air free from dust, pollen, and other pollutants. When choosing an air purifier, choose one with a HEPA filter. These are considered the most efficient type of filter because they can trap up to 99.97% of airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns.
3. Improve Ventilation
Opening windows and doors can create airflow throughout the home and mitigate indoor air pollution since fresh outdoor air will come in, and the stale indoor air can circulate out. This technique can also be used when cleaning or using hazardous chemicals such as bleach or aerosols so those particles don’t remain inside the house longer than necessary.
Another option is to invest in mechanical ventilation systems that regularly bring fresh air into the house while expelling contaminated air. This system can help increase the amount of outdoor air in your home and reduce airborne allergens over time.
4. Keep Your Home Clean and Dust Free
Cleaning regularly is essential to reduce indoor air pollution in your home. Dust frequently using damp cloths or rags and focus on hard-to-reach areas such as ceiling fans, windowsills, and baseboards. Do this at least once weekly to keep dust levels down, especially if you have allergies or asthma.
Vacuums often use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter vacuum cleaner to trap small particles. This type of vacuum can be especially helpful if you have pets in the house since pet dander and fur can act as a magnet for dust and other pollutants.
5. Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Air conditioners and furnaces often come equipped with an air filter designed to trap dust, dirt, and other particles from the air before they circulate throughout your home. Check this filter regularly, and replace it at least every 90 days or more frequently, depending on the filter type. This will help keep the air in your
home clean and reduce the indoor air pollution you may be exposed to.
Air filters can be easily replaced and come in various sizes and materials, such as fiberglass, electrostatic, pleated paper, and more. When selecting an air filter for your space, consider the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value rating. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter will be at trapping small particles. With this, you can be sure you’re getting an air filter that is up to the job of keeping your indoor air clean and pollutant-free. At Burkhardt Heating and Cooling, we can advise you about the best air filter to meet your needs and provide regular replacement services to ensure you always breathe clean air.
6. Use Natural Cleaning Products
Opt for natural products such as baking soda and vinegar that don’t contain harsh chemicals for your home cleaning needs. These safe and effective options can help keep indoor air free from pollutants while still getting the job done.
Also, avoid aerosol sprays or using aftershave, hairspray, or other household items in closed or poorly ventilated rooms. These often contain volatile organic compounds known to cause respiratory issues when inhaled over time. Choose non-aerosol alternatives that won’t release harmful particles into your air.
7. Avoid Air Polluting Activities
Smoking cigarettes or burning candles and incense can add to indoor air pollution. Smoking indoors should be strictly avoided since the smoke particles and carcinogens can build up in a home’s atmosphere, creating an unhealthy environment. It would be best if you also burned candles and incense sparingly.
Another thing to be mindful of is using gas-powered power tools, stoves, or heaters in enclosed spaces. These can release hazardous emissions that could linger in the air and pose a risk to your health. Instead, opt for an electric version of the same appliance if you need to use it indoors.
8. Introduce House Plants
Plants can help filter the air in your home while adding a unique touch to any space. Some of the best plants for filtering pollutants, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, are spider plants, snake plants, and peace lilies. Not only do these species help reduce indoor air pollution, but they look great, too.
However, when introducing new plants to your home, take precautions since the soil can house fungus and mold spores that may be released into the air. To prevent this release, make sure to use a clean potting mix that is free of pests and dirt. As an added precaution, water with lukewarm water rather than cold water to avoid triggering any mold growth.
9. Have Your Home Tested for Pollutants
You can have your home tested for pollutants by a professional. This testing will identify any substances that may be present in your home and help you develop an action plan for improving air quality if needed. Many companies offer testing services and provide the necessary equipment to sample the air accurately.
Once an assessment is complete, your indoor air specialist can advise about any necessary changes, such as installing better ventilation systems or implementing processes to reduce exposure to specific pollutants. Testing your home periodically is also a great way to stay ahead of potential issues and keep your family safe from harm caused by poor indoor air quality.
10. Bathe Your Pets Regularly
Your furry friends can add a lot of joy to your life, but they can also contribute to indoor air pollution if not properly cared for. Pet dander and fur contain tiny particles that become airborne when disturbed and eventually make their way into the air you breathe. To reduce this contamination, bathe your pet regularly, and brush or comb them outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms.
Indoor air pollution can cause concern, but you can take plenty of steps to make your home’s atmosphere cleaner and healthier. With these simple tips and precautions, you can breathe easy knowing your family is safe from harm caused by pollutants in the air.
At Burkhardt Heating and Cooling, we provide indoor air quality, heating and cooling, and duct cleaning services for homeowners in Milwaukee, WI and surrounding areas. We value your health and safety and strive to deliver the best services possible. Contact Burkhardt Heating and Coolingtoday for inquiries and bookings.