We most often think of air pollution as something found in cities or highways, but not your house. Air pollution has no place in your home; you want your home to have clean air. Indoor pollution increases a person's chances of having episodes of chronic lung problems such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There are also other issues that can arise from indoor air pollution such as increased likelihood of lung cancer or irritation of the nose, throat, eyes, and lungs. Let's look at some of the causes of and solutions to indoor air pollution so you can be equipped with the knowledge needed to keep your air quality high throughout your house.
The most basic way to keep the air in your home clean is to eliminate smoke. This includes cigarette smoke and smoke from cooking - as well as any other kind of smoke. Smoke clings to the paint on walls and settles into the furniture in your house. The health risks associated with smoke in the house are dangerous. The risks disproportionately affect children, who are more likely to play on the ground where smoke has seeped into the carpet. People with chronic heart and lung problems will also be more impacted by the smoke in the house.
Another common source of home pollution is household cleaners. These strong and toxic chemicals can leave a lasting imprint on the air in your home. Harsh chemicals give off fumes that can irritate your skin, nose, mouth, and lungs. According to pulmonologist Sumita Khatri, MD, "Those with sensitive lungs and upper airways, like people with asthma and chronic sinusitis, may notice their symptoms getting worse." These fumes can also trigger people with allergies. It is recommended that you use natural cleaning supplies to eliminate the fumes and chemicals from traditional cleaners.
Opening windows will help ventilate the house, but air filters for your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems) will greatly improve the air quality. Air filters trap allergens and pollutants before they spread throughout your home. A high quality air filter is vital to keeping your house clean. There are even washable, reusable eco-friendly HVAC air filters that not only keep your air clean, but also the planet by reducing waste. These filters trap bacteria, mold, spores, dust mites, and carpet fiber that may contain pollen, dander, and dust.
For rooms that don't have HVAC ducting to them (garages or outbuildings) or are still troublesome after upgrading to a better HVAC filter, try the powerful and portable HealthMate Air Cleaner.
Dust and Wash
Besides filters, there are other ways to reduce allergens and pollution in your home. Frequently dusting your home will keep dust from being thrown into the air. Vacuuming your carpet, floors, and furniture will control allergens. However, be sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter which will trap small particles and dust from being spread into the air. For best results, try to vacuum at least once a week.
Another way to clear out dust is to wash it away - literally. Dust and dust mites reside in rugs, bedding, and pillows, and more frequent washing of these items will cut down on the amount of dust. Wash these items in water that is at least 130°F and then dry them in a very hot dryer. For items that cannot be washed - such as mattresses, non-washable pillows, or comforters - encase them in allergen-proof covers.
Mold and Mildew
Damp and dark areas like bathrooms and basements breed mold and mildew. Mold spores float in the air just like pollen and pollute the air in your home. To reduce the continued appearance of these spores, replace wallpaper with tile or paint that is mold resistant. Ventilate the area by opening windows or running an exhaust fan after taking a shower or bath. Take the time to scrub off mold from tiles and other bathroom surfaces and replace old, moldy shower curtains. Also, replace any moldy carpets in your home. For basements, clean the mold and mildew off the allas and reduce the moisture by running a dehumidifier.
Air pollution should not be in your house. To prevent pollutants and allergens from filling your home, reduce smoke and keep floors, furniture, bedding, bathrooms, and basements as clean as you can. Follow the simple yet effective steps from this guide and enjoy clean air inside your home!
Uma Campbell is a yoga instructor and freelance writer. She currently lives in Southern California. She enjoys writing about meditation, natural medicine, and home design. Her interests include home decor, yoga, and running. She also really loves crafting and has her own line of homemade jewelry. She lives alone with her cat and two turtles.