When you hear about poor air quality, you’ll probably think of the harmful substances released outdoors, such as the combustion of fossil fuels, stench from toxic waste, smoke from vehicles and factories, and more. But did you know that indoor air pollution is worse compared to the air pollution outdoors?
Why Is Indoor Air Unhealthier Than Outdoor Air?
Although everyone breathes the same air, varying amounts of harmful compounds can be present indoors compared to open, airy outdoor spaces. This isn’t just because being indoors is a confined space; it’s also because of what goes on within the home or building.
Many factors contribute to indoor air pollution. The items you bring inside, your cooking habits, and the frequency in which doors and windows are left open can all affect indoor air quality. Also, the materials used to construct furniture and gadgets could contain hazardous compounds that wind up in the air and lungs.
Ultimately, the quality of indoor air is determined by the activities and habits of the people who dwell in the space. Hence, indoor air quality might worsen, particularly when there’s poor ventilation and a buildup of indoor air pollutants.
Ways To Improve The Quality Of Indoor Air
Suppose you think that the quality of your indoor air is deteriorating. In that case, it’s a good idea to get tips on how to improve your indoor air quality to keep everyone safe. Here are nine tips to achieve better indoor air quality and breathe easier and safer.
Enable Proper Ventilation
Ventilation is essential for maintaining a healthy indoor air environment because it aids in the removal of indoor air pollutants. Even during the cold season, it’s a good idea to open the windows now and then to let the natural, fresh air in.
In addition, you may also use air conditioning to aerate your home. Meanwhile, ensure that the vents or chimneys for your stove, range hood, and fireplaces all lead outside. With sufficient ventilation, toxic pollutants including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde cannot build up indoors.
Replace Your Air Filter On A Regular Basis
Filters that are clogged or unclean restrict airflow and reduce the effectiveness of your air conditioning system. When a filter becomes overly clogged, the excessive dust and dirt will be forced into your air ducts, producing allergens and other unpleasant particles in your home.
Therefore, replacing your air filter once a month or two is recommended. Significantly, this is one of the most straightforward methods to encourage better indoor air quality.
One of the most effective ways to eliminate odors is to open windows and take advantage of the vent above your stove if you have one. Set your vents ‘on’ or open several windows as a preventative measure.
Burned meals, fish, and bacon, for example, all generate lingering odors in the kitchen. Although the smell of food seems nice, that might worsen your indoor air quality. Hence, if you’re going to prepare meals, ventilation is crucial.
Maintain Moderate Humidity
Summer brings more humidity, especially if you reside in a high-humidity climatic zone. Moisture in the air may bring germs and other undesirable particles into your lungs. To maintain moderate humidity, you can use dehumidifiers. With the help of a dehumidifier, you can keep your house dry and less conducive to the growth of mold, dust mites, and other allergens.
Make Use Of Natural Household Products
Household items and cleaning materials are significant sources of hazardous chemicals. Choose items with minimal amounts of harsh chemicals, perfumes, and allergens to enhance your air quality.
For example, air fresheners release unpleasant substances into the air without addressing the root of the odor. Its pollutants could contribute to allergic responses, hypertension, and respiratory ailments. Therefore, it’s better to opt for fragrance-free products or use natural cleaning items such as baking soda and lemon when cleaning your home.
Address The Root Causes Of Mold And Mildew
Mold and mildew grow in places with high humidity and poor ventilation, such as restrooms, kitchens, and store rooms. Mold spreads fast once it’s present. Once mold spores are breathed in, they can immediately make the inhabitants ill. On the other hand, mold problems can be treated by removing them and then taking measures to prevent them from coming back.
Mold prevention measures include lowering moisture by repairing plumbing leaks, using exhaust fans, and utilizing dehumidifiers in high-risk locations. Mildew and mold can also be kept at bay by cleaning thoroughly on a regular basis.
Use Air Purifiers
Air purifiers are an excellent way to eliminate dirt and allergens from the air. The key is finding an air purifier that can cycle the air within a specific area regularly.
It’s also critical to note that air purifiers can only eliminate what’s already in the air; they can’t get rid of dust and debris accumulated on surfaces. Also, as mentioned earlier, filters should be replaced on a regular basis to preserve the efficiency and efficacy of the air purifier.
Do Not Let Shoes In
Shoes bring in a variety of contaminants from the outside, which can affect your indoor air quality. As a result, encourage your family and visitors to remove their shoes before entering. This will result in a better, safer environment for everyone.
Avoid Smoking Indoors
Tobacco smoke is a significant source of indoor air pollution. Thus, it would help if you made your home a no-smoking zone. It not only prevents illness but also improves indoor air quality.
Cigarette smoke comprises hundreds of chemical components, the majority of which are known to be toxic and carcinogenic. People who are exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke, particularly children, are more likely to develop an ear and respiratory infections, asthma, cancer, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The Bottom Line
When you’re indoors, you’re safe from the pollution that comes from cars and factories. However, indoor contaminants are sometimes more widespread and deadly than outdoor pollutants.
That said, be sure to improve the quality of your air indoors by following the abovementioned ways. After all, indoors should be a place where you feel secure, relaxed, and comfortable. It’s not supposed to be a place where the air makes you sick.