Unfortunately, you may suffer from allergies and other undefined illnesses that may stem from the quality of the air in your home. Determining whether you have air problems is difficult, since most particles that could cause health issues are so small that they are not visible to the eye. Below are some practical tips to help keep the air in your home cleaner and fresher so you can live your best life.
1. Regularly change air filters in your home
HVAC systems are constantly working to keep your home at the perfect temperature throughout the year. As they cycle through the air, they are also filtering out air pollutants. Eventually, these filters will fill up and lose their effectiveness – and must be replaced periodically to prevent build-up on the filter from causing detrimental effects on the air quality in your home. On average, air filters should be changed every 90 days. However, for those with severe allergies, it may be recommended to do so more frequently, such as every 45 days. Keeping up with the status of your air filter and maintaining regular replacements is a quick and easy way to ensure the air coming out of your AC system is fresh and breathable.
2. Increase ventilation by opening doors and windows
Fresh air can be a major factor of indoor air quality. Although it may not always be feasible based on the weather and climate you live in, you should open up windows or doors to let fresh air in whenever possible. By letting this fresh air in, you are also sending “stale” air out. Maintaining regular air flow throughout your living space is a great and important way to improve your indoor air quality. Did you know a whole house fan can change the air in your home up to 3 times per hour?
3. Use your bathroom and kitchen fans
Many indoor air pollutants may originate in the kitchen when cooking – for instance, gas stoves can release harmful chemicals, such as carbon monoxide. By turning on the kitchen fan, you can eliminate or significantly lessen the presence of such chemicals. It is also important to utilize the fan in your bathroom. By turning on the fan each time you bathe or shower, you can prevent humidity and moisture from building up. Because excess humidity can lead to the development of mold and mildew, it is extremely important to regulate to keep the air in your house safe to breathe.
4. Keep your floors and furniture clean
Common allergens such as dust mites or pet dander can live on furniture, floors, carpet, and even bedding. By regularly vacuuming, dusting, washing bedding, and running an air purifier you can easily decrease the presence of these allergens and their effect on your overall health. Although it seems like a simple solution, routinely cleaning your home can have a great impact on maintaining good indoor air quality.
5. Use natural, fragrance-free cleaning products
Many common household cleaners can release toxins into the air and irritate your respiratory system. Although those who suffer from allergies may be more susceptible to the noticeable effects, chemicals in house cleaners can also have health impacts we are unaware of. When harsh cleaners, such as aerosol sprays, chlorine bleach, and any ammonia products are used, the chemicals released can be absorbed into carpets and furniture and linger in the air for months. By switching to natural or unscented cleaning products, you can reduce the risk of harmful chemicals and ensure your indoor air is safe and breathable. One additional option is to get an air purifier with PRO-Cell technology which helps eliminate these chemicals in the air. One additional option is to get air purifier with PRO-Cell technology which helps eliminate these chemicals in the air.
6. Add air purifying plants in your home
Did you know that certain plants have air purifying properties that help supplement what you are already doing to keep the air clean for you and guests. Research indicates that certain plants can absorb airborne toxins, including VOCs, which are volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde. Certain plants can do this with very little light. Visit our blog post on air purifying plants to learn more on specific plants to add to your home.
7. Add an Air Purifier
While this seems obvious to most, I added this last since some may not have it in the budget to buy an air purifier that is of good enough quality to make a difference. There are a lot of inexpensive air purifiers (under $100) that have a filter and a fan. However, it does not mean that the filter is doing enough to eliminate your issues. The filter may collect some of the dust, which is helpful to keep the house clean, but particles that could irritate your health are much smaller and require a HEPA filter to capture them. HEPA filter is defined as a "High Efficiency Particulate Air" filter. HEPA is a standard for a filter that can capture 99.97% of all airborne particles that are .3 microns in diameter. To put this into context, below are some typical sizes for different types of particles:
- Viruses - Usually less that .1 micron
- Mold spores - over 1 micron
- Dust - 2.5 micron
- Tobacco smoke - .01 - 1 micron
- Dander - .05 - 10 micron
Although the non-HEPA or what might be described as HEPA-like do help with dust, they most likely don't help with what really is causing you issues. Although a HEPA filter will make a big difference, it does not do enough to get rid of all that may be floating through the air like viruses and VOCs. If you want to take air cleaning to the next level and reduce not only the big particles but also the amount to viruses, bacteria and VOCs in the air, you need an air purifier that includes UVC technology along with PCO technology.
Anything you can do to help eliminate air pollutants is a good thing to do. Try implementing the 1st 6 steps and see how you feel. If you are not feeling that big a difference, then consider getting an air purifier, with the proper technology to make a difference.