Many discussions on air pollutants focus on factors outside our homes and office buildings, but maintaining clean air indoors is just as important. After all, it’s where we spend most of our day.
Poor indoor air quality impacts our health. Short-term symptoms include sneezing, coughing, fatigue, difficulty breathing, dizziness, headaches, watery eyes, and upper respiratory congestion.
Indoor air pollution may also result in respiratory illnesses. Children and seniors are especially vulnerable to illnesses that range from rhinitis, nasal congestion, dyspnea (shortness of breath), and even lung disease. Poor air quality worsens asthma, too, if anyone in your family has it.
Simple changes can help improve your indoor air quality. Follow these tips for a start.
Take off your shoes
Simply removing your shoes before entering the house helps improve indoor air conditions. Your shoes can carry a lot of bacteria and allergens invisible to the naked eye. There may be pollen, germs, or even feces stuck on the soles and you may carry them into your homes.
It will be best to leave them by the door or take them off before stepping inside. This will also keep your floor clean.
Don’t allow smoking indoors
The ill-effects of smoking are well documented in many studies. Non-smokers are not spared either. Smoking increases the risks of cardiovascular disease, fertility problems, and lung cancer. The effects can be worse on children because their lungs are still developing. Inhaling second-hand smoke puts them in more danger than people realize.
The best solution is to quit it. But if you or a guest can’t help smoking a stick or two, step outside so you don’t contaminate the air inside.
Clean air ducts, run the AC
Your air conditioner works by pulling out the air and cooling it before sending it back. Most air conditioners have filters that trap particles, and it’s important that you change these filters regularly. More frequently, the better.
You may also use an air purifier as it is known to reduce harmful particles in the air.
Fix leaks and drips right away when using the air conditioner or a dehumidifier. Stagnant water and high humidity invite dust mites and mold, which are known to trigger asthma.
You also need regular duct cleaning to make sure that air passageways are free of dust, dirt, and bacteria. This will also remove odor and reduce irritants in the air. Maintaining clean ducts is especially important if you live in a big city where air quality is poor.
Groom and clean up after your pets
Furry pets leave hair on your couch, carpet, and even your clothes. They can cause asthma or trigger it. Give them a regular bath and grooming to minimize shedding. It also helps to brush their fur outside and then vacuum the floors right after. Keep them away from bedrooms if you and someone in your house are sensitive to pet allergens.
You can’t control the air quality outside, but you can take steps to keep your home environment clean. It doesn’t take money and drastic measures, too. Just be keen enough to clean up and keep dirt, smoke, and allergens out of the house.