It is that time of year again. No, not just pumpkins, raking leaves, bundling up and eating caramel apples, apple pie and getting cozy indoors. It is the time we start to suffer from allergies and colds. During this time we tend to close up our homes for the winter months and that can be a good thing or bad depending on the quality of your indoor air. Below are 14 easy ways to improve indoor air quality in your home. Having good quality air in your home will aid in helping to get rid of some of the allergies you might suffer or lessen the extent of your cold.
14 Easy Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
- Vacuum carpet and mop hardwood floors . Keep surfaces clean and clutter free to make it easier to clean.
- Dust at least once a week. If you have pets you might consider two times a week. Use a non-aerosol furniture polish or make your own. Just make sure you are capturing the dust in a cloth and not scattering it all over your home.
- Lessen the amount of chemicals you use to clean your home. Get rid of those aerosol sprays. Sticking with natural based cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. Clean naturally and reducing your synthetic chemical exposure will significantly cut the toxic level in your home.
- Wash your bedding weekly in hot water to kill dust mites and use dust protectors on your mattress and pillows.
- If you do not suffer from allergies or after allergy season open your windows to let in fresh air for 10 minutes once a week. Obviously if it is winter this wouldn’t be practical.
- Use a hepa type air filter. Do not use those cheap wire type filter that you can buy at Home Depot for $5. Buy a good quality air filter for your furnace that will last 3 months. It will make a world of difference and I promise when you change it after 3 months you will be shocked at the amount of fine dust, lint and everything else that has been trapped in it.
- Make your home a No-Smoking environment.
- Have your home tested for radon. Radon is an odorless gas. It has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer.
- Add a few house plants such as a fern, spider plant and aloe vera. According to NASA they have shown to improve the quality of air. Make sure house plants are kid and pet safe. Remember not to over water them which will cause mold spores.
- Create a mud room area. Remove your shoes when you come into the house and reduce the amount of dirt you bring in.
- Make sure the humidity levels in your home are ideal. Too high and you will be creating an ideal environment for mold growth. During the summer ideal humidity is between 30%-60%. During the winter humidity drops; using a humidifier will help support those ideal levels. If you do not have a humidifier let your dishes air dry by leaving the dishwasher open and let the steam from your shower escape and leave the fan off.
- Use you hood range vent to remove cooking odors outdoors.
- If you have an attic fan; use it to bring in fresh air from outdoors when you can. Once a week is ideal for a minute or two. Don’t use this method during allergy season if you have allergies or during pollen season unless you like to dust 😉
- Along with your smoke detector use a carbon monoxide detector to alert you and your family to the odorless gas emissions in your home. This gas is deadly and carbon monoxide poisoning mimics flu-like symptoms. With continued exposure the symptoms become more severe.
These are just a few ideas. I could go on and on. The sum of it is – Keep your environment clean, use eco-friendly products or make your own and freshen up the air in your home naturally by opening a window once in a while.