Indoor air quality is about more than keeping your home smelling nice. Although, a fresh smelling home is certainly a nice benefit for quality of life. The quality of your indoor air can also affect your short-term and long-term health. Fortunately, by understanding the sources of poor air quality, you can take steps to improve it.
Sources of Poor Air Quality
There are many sources of poor air quality. Some common examples include radon, VOCs, secondhand smoke, molds, and combustion pollutants. Individually and in small doses, most of these won’t reduce air quality too much. In combination or larger doses, they can make the air inside a home or office nearly unbreathable.
Air Improvement Strategy 1 – Better Ventilation
Many homes have limited exchange between indoor air and outdoor air. Fresh air from outside can reduce the concentration of pollution inside. Opening windows and using window fans when the weather permits helps a lot. Venting exhaust from cooking and heating to the outdoors also dramatically reduces indoor air pollution. Some HVAC systems also use outdoor air. You can consult with an HVAC company like ActronAir to find a system that works for your home.
Air Improvement Strategy 2 – Regular Cleaning
It sounds mundane, but regular cleaning also removes pollutants. Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming takes contaminants off the floors. You can also use the vacuum to pick off cobwebs and clean ceiling fans. You should make replacing air filters in your furnace and AC unit part of your cleaning schedule. Clogged filters don’t capture particulates that decay air quality.
Air Improvement Strategy 3 – Add Some Houseplants
Houseplants function as natural air filters and may even boost the oxygen level in your home a little. There are also health benefits to keeping plants in the house. They help reduce stress and serve as a mood booster for many people. Pothos, aloe, and spider plants all have a good track record for surviving indoors, so they’re good options.
Air Improvement Strategy 4 – Duct Cleaning and Sealing
Ductwork gets sealed during installation, but often gets neglected after that. Over time, ductwork develops cracks or leaks around the joints. This not only decreases your HVAC efficiency, it lets contaminants get into your ductwork. Cleaning and sealing your ducts removes any contaminants and keeps them out afterward. You also get a bonus improvement in efficiency that can lower your utility bills a little.
Poor indoor air quality can impact your quality of life and your health, but it doesn’t have to do either. A little robust cleaning and adding some houseplants will take you a long way. Updating your ventilation strategy and HVAC system can turn your air quality from not great to outstanding.