We’ve all driven down the freeway and seen the warnings to drive less. Our society has scales and colors to let us know the quality of the air outside, and warnings to stay inside when the air quality drops too low. However, the air quality inside your home or office building can be just as dangerous or damaging to your health if not regulated. Here are some easy steps to take to improve your indoor air quality.
Clean Your Air Filters
One of the most important things you can do is regularly clean or change your air filters. Your air filters are part of your HVAC system, and control the amount of dust, debris and pollutants that is sent into the rooms of your home or office. When your air filter is clogged, it’s unable to capture subsequent pollutants. By regularly changing temporary filters or cleaning permanent filters, you can ensure that the vast majority of dust, dirt, and pollutants are not circulating through your home or office.
Keep Your Floors Clean
Another way to help the quality of your indoor air is to keep your floors clean. The amount of dust, dirt, and pollutants trapped in your carpet or hardware floors can have a huge impact on the air you breathe. Regularly vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping can go a long way in controlling your indoor air pollution. Just make sure you have a vacuum with a HEPA filter that is regularly cleaned. To help reduce the amount of debris on your floors, place mats by all of your doors so the majority of the pollutants attached to shoes are deposited in one place.
Keep it Smoke-Free
An extremely important part of improving your indoor air quality is to make your home or business a no smoking zone. The smoke from cigars and cigarettes is one of the leading contributing factors to asthma, cancer, ear and respiratory problems, and sudden infant death syndrome. If you’re looking to quit, look for local support groups and programs that will help you in your journey. If you are a smoker with no desire to quit, then make a commitment to only smoke outside of your home. If you’re a business owner, make sure there are clear restrictions as to where people can smoke – including how close to your entrance.
Control the Humidity
A simple way to help control your indoor air pollution is to control the humidity level in the home or office. The ideal level is 30-50%, depending on your individual comfort level. If your humidity level is too high, then your home or office will become a breeding ground for dust mites and mold.
Make it Green
One last, often overlooked, way to control your indoor air pollution is to bring in plants. There are several houseplants that have air cleaning properties, including aloe, spider plants, gerber daisies, snake plants, golden pothos (devil’s ivy), chrysanthemums, red-edged dracaena, weeping fig, azaleas, and others. Each plant cleans different air pollutants, so if you have a specific air problem, look into getting the plant that specifically combats it.
By trying one or more of these tricks, you can drastically improve the air quality inside your home or office, making it safe and healthy for everyone.