Air Quality Improvement: Simple Steps to Breathe Better at Home
When we think about air pollution, our minds often drift to smog-choked cityscapes and industrial emissions. However, indoor air pollution can still be a significant threat to homes.
For one, air pollution from outdoors can seep indoors. However, there are also many other factors that contribute to poor indoor air quality. This is pertinent because the quality of air we breathe indoors can have a profound impact on our health and well-being.
In this blog, we will explore the causes of indoor air quality issues and how to improve your home air quality, enabling you and your loved ones to breathe better at home.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
Indoor air pollution is caused by various factors, including household dust, pet dander, mold, and tobacco smoke. There are also Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from products like paints and cleaning agents, formaldehyde from building materials, emissions from cooking and heating appliances, and fine Particulate Matter (PM) from various sources.
These airborne pollutants can accumulate indoors, leading to adverse health effects such as allergies, respiratory problems, and long-term health risks like cancer. Understanding and addressing sources of indoor air pollution is essential for creating a healthier living environment.
How to Improve Home Air Quality
Improving indoor air quality is vital for our health and well-being, as we spend a significant portion of our lives indoors. From reducing allergens to minimizing pollutants, here’s how to improve your air quality at home.
#1 - Monitor Indoor Air Quality
Air quality monitoring is a crucial initial step in enhancing indoor air quality. With the PurpleAir Map, for instance, you can also monitor your air quality in real time. Some indoor air pollutants can be invisible and odorless, making them easy to miss without monitoring tools.
Monitoring also establishes a baseline for indoor air quality, allowing you to track changes and determine the effectiveness of your interventions. It also enables swift responses to fluctuations in air quality. For instance, when it detects a sudden rise in air pollutants, you can promptly adjust ventilation or activate air purifiers.
Additionally, air quality monitoring allows for customized solutions, recognizing that each home may have unique sources of indoor air pollution.
#2 - Ensure Proper Ventilation and Control Humidity
Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and doors when the weather permits. Use exhaust fans while cooking or showering to expel indoor pollutants.
You should also maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-50% to prevent mold and dust mites. However, be cautious with using humidifiers as they can contribute to increased levels of particulate matter.
#3 - Avoid Polluting Activities
You can avoid or reduce a few air-polluting activities to help improve your home air quality. Some examples of high-polluting activities include smoking, burning candles, using a fireplace, using too many aerosol sprays, and storing hazardous chemicals in your home.
#4 - Invest in an Air Purifier
Invest in air purifiers with HEPA filters to remove allergens, dust, and particulate matter from the air. Ensure to choose models appropriate for the size of your space. Alternatively, you can make your own Box Fan air purifier if you’re not ready to invest in a store-bought air purifier.
You might also be thinking: Do the plants in my home help with indoor air quality? While plants positively impact air quality, it isn’t so significant that it will affect the overall air quality of your home. That doesn’t mean indoor plants aren’t great, but don’t choose them over an air purifier.
#5 – Maintaining HVAC Systems
Lastly, you want to replace HVAC filters regularly and inspect your heating and cooling systems annually to ensure they function efficiently. If your vents are dusty and old, they could be causing more problems with your indoor air quality.
Worried About Air Quality?
Monitor the Particulate Matter levels around the world with our free, real-time PurpleAir Map, or join PurpleAir’s mission to make air quality data accessible to everyone by investing in an air quality monitor for your home. Together, we can be informed and make changes in our daily habits and the community to improve air quality.