Humans breathe 3,000 gallons of air every day. Since Americans generally spend over 85% or their day inside a building, indoor air quality is vital. Research shows that indoor air pollutant levels can be as much as 100 times higher compared to outdoor air. Approximately, 50% of illnesses are aggravated or caused by poor indoor air quality. A Johns Hopkins University study found that indoor air pollution is a leading cause of asthma in children. Fortunately, it is not too late to improve your air quality.
Install HEPA Filters:
The most important step of improving your air quality is to install HEPA filters. This type of air filter can eliminate 99.97% of air pollutants including allergens, bacteria, smoke, and VOCs (the gases emitted by paints, adhesives and some textiles). By replacing the existing air filters in your air conditioner, vacuum cleaner and other appliances with HEPA filters, you can create an immediate improvement in your air quality.
Take Off Your Shoes:
As you enter your home, removing your shoes can help to avoid bringing chemicals, dirt, dust, and pollen into your living space. It is a good idea to leave any outdoor footwear in a porch or just inside your front door. You should consider placing a stool and shoe storage on your porch or by the front door, to remove the temptation to walk into living areas just to remove your shoes. This will encourage good habits to sit down and remove your footwear as soon as you enter the home, minimizing the contaminants that are brought in.
Smoking is not only bad for your health, but it is also the primary cause of pollutants that are dangerous inside your home. If you are struggling to give up smoking, try to smoke outdoors. Cigarette smoke has been shown to contain over 4,000 chemicals. This includes 43 compounds that have been shown to be cancer causing. These chemicals can build up in your home, damaging your property and the health of those around you.
Although aerosols are an everyday item, they can be dangerous to your indoor air quality. This means that you should try to reduce or eliminate their use inside your home. Inhaling chemicals from aerosols can aggravate allergies, cause skin reactions and even trigger heart problems. If you do need to use aerosols, be sure to open a window for at least 60 minutes after use.
Professional Furniture and Carpet Cleaning:
Even if you are diligent about cleaning your home, you should consider professional furniture and carpet cleaning periodically. Toxins and pollutants can rest in fabric fibers, living long after introduction. Carpets and soft furnishings can be a major source of harmful, lingering spores that are extremely detrimental to your air quality and health. Professional cleaning will ensure that your flooring and furniture are sparkling clean, immediately improving your air quality.
Finally, you can improve your air quality without it costing a dime, simply by considering the ventilation of your home. Simply keeping windows open where possible is an effective method of ensuring healthy air circulation around your home.