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When the air in your home is not allowed to circulate freely, it can become a health risk to you and your family. There are hundreds of harmful organisms and chemicals in the air that you can’t see, but which can make you very sick.
Some of the most common air pollutants found in the home include carbon dioxide, molds, pollen, smoke, pet dander and bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumonia, all of which are wise to avoid. By removing only some of these airborne irritants from the air, allergy and asthma sufferers could find marked relief from their symptoms.
Although serious enough that air quality in your home deserves your full attention, this is an easy problem to remedy. Here are 5 quick and easy tips to restore your home’s air quality and your peace of mind.
1. Clean Regularly
This may seem obvious, but in today's busy day and age, a quick surface clean is often all we can manage. However, a deeper clean is necessary, especially for allergy sufferers. Add pets and kids to the mix, and the level of cleaning required goes up a notch or two. Carpets and mattresses are two of the obvious culprits. Carpets collect everything we walk into the house and mattresses are often slept on for years without cleaning.
Children’s mattresses are easy to keep clean by fitting a mattress protector. It’s also much simpler to throw into the laundry every few weeks. And what about what lies beneath? The space under your child’s bed is not reserved for lost toys alone. Clear it out regularly, or better yet, install a trundle drawer to keep things organized. If the trundle drawer stores a spare ‘sleepover’ mattress, consider selecting a green mattress that will prevent odors and bacteria build up, explained here by WellWorthLiving.com.
Homeowners with pets need to pay extra attention to where the animals sleep, eat and does its business. Cat boxes should be cleaned out every 2-3 days (if you have a single cat). This will also ensure the house remains odor free.
If you have indoor heating or air conditioning units, be sure to change the filters regularly to avoid cycling the dust back into your home.
This is an effective way to draw allergens out of the air and safe to be left on throughout the day, even when you sleep. It should be placed in a part of the home that gets the most traffic. Ionic purifiers can help capture some of the irritants that can trigger allergies. If you suffer from allergies, have one in your bedroom while you sleep.
If your home is affected by damp or mold in bathrooms or basements, a dehumidifier will definitely help in these damp areas. Again, clean these areas regularly to avoid buildup in showers and damp corners.
3. Air Purifying Plants
Plants, natures natural air purifiers, are a great way to bring the outdoors in and get some quality oxygen production going on in your own home. There is a wide selection of plants, including lavender, which help cleanse the air you breath and have calming effects that relax the body.
Along with improved air quality comes to improved sleep, which is a welcome side effect. Breathing cleaner and better sleep could be the first steps to improving your general health.
More sensitive, asthma or allergy sufferers may prefer to have a ‘no plant policy’ in their home, but for the most part, choosing a nonflowering plant will avoid pollen issues while freshening up your home.
In both summer and winter, open doors and window to allow fresh air in. Even if your home is kept clean, high Carbon Dioxide levels in closed or confined rooms can heavily impact on your health and productivity. You can use a fan to help circulate the air and freshen up stuffy corners. Kitchens and bathrooms can do with a little extra attention to ensure fumes or unwanted moisture is replaced by clean, dry air.
5. Clear Out the Clutter
Clutter, especially in family homes is inevitable at one stage or another, be it overfull laundry baskets or play areas where toys pile knee high. This is, unfortunately, a breeding ground for dust and mold which are two major air pollutants you’ll want to reduce.
Storage baskets are the best way to keep this problem under control. If everything has its place, you can simply keep a lid on it, and limit the dust collection with an easy to wipe surface.
A few minor adjustments to your routine could have a major impact on your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The same principles apply to your workplace or the school your children attend. Clean air will not just have you breathing easier but will help you cut back on those doctor’s bills.