4 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality


Outdoor air quality is a big concern for most people, with smog from cars and factories polluting the air. Still, as most Americans spend most of their time indoors, we have to be just as aware of the factors contributing to poor air quality in our homes. Some major culprits of poor indoor air quality include pollen, dust, bacteria, chemical cleaners, air fresheners, and beauty products.

These pollutants can cause also cause allergic reactions, such as headaches, coughing, sneezing, and irritation of the nose and eyes. You may have experienced some of these symptoms yourself, but thankfully, there are many simple ways to improve the air quality in our homes.

Use Safe Cleaning Products

The first tip is to use alternative cleaning products. Many cleaners contain volatile organic compounds, such as bleach and ammonia, all known irritants. Even when not used, these chemicals’ vapors may continue to leach into the air if not properly sealed. Instead, use simpler and inexpensive alternatives such as soap and warm water or simple compounds such as vinegar and baking soda. Many of these alternatives have multiple applications around the home, including cleaning and deodorizing. Notably, “green” products are not necessarily safer than traditional cleaning chemicals. Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency has a list of safe cleaning products to help you make a more informed decision.

Keep Your House Clean

Indoor Air Quality

Image via Flickr by Elaine_Smith

Routine cleaning is a simple, obvious way to keep your air quality under control. Allergens, such as dust, pollen, and bacteria, enter your home from the outside and get trapped in your carpet, upholstery, and window coverings and can be prevented by practicing good hygiene by regularly vacuuming and dusting. A good tip is to dust and vacuum from the top down. If you have pets, you may need to clean more frequently as their hair and dander may need to be removed more often. This simple task will improve your overall air quality and diminish symptoms in those suffering from allergies. Routine cleaning also allows you to inspect the home for other irritants, such as mold.

Steam Clean Your Carpet Professionally

Although vacuuming your carpet is something you can do alone, it is not enough to eliminate allergens. A regular vacuum cleaner cannot stop much debris trapped deep in the carpet’s threads and pores. As such, consider having a professional company thoroughly clean your carpet twice a year.

Monitor Your HVAC Air Filters

Last but certainly not least, you should consider checking and replacing your HVAC air filters. Filters trap all of the allergens above, become clogged over time, and lose functionality, resulting in poor-quality air recirculated around the house. Changing your air filter every three months will ensure you breathe clean air.

Living indoors can threaten one’s health if the air you breathe is not pure. Practice these simple ways of maintaining indoor air quality, and you will prevent and diminish allergic reactions for you and your loved ones.