Exposure to air pollution has detrimental effects on our bodies and overall health. Short-term exposure can lead to temporary illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, or discomfort and irritation in the form of headaches, nausea, and more. On the other hand, long-term exposure can cause chronic health conditions, such as lung cancer and heart disease, and can also damage your nerves and organs. If you have young children and older adults in your household, it’s even more important to keep the air at home clean and safe for breathing, as they tend to have weaker immune systems.
From green cleaning products to air purifiers, here are a few ways to get you started on your journey to cleaner air at home.
Take Smoke and Other Dangerous Vapors Outside
Whether it’s from cigarettes or a charcoal grill, smoke can cause all sorts of problems for your health. Smoking cigarettes on its own is already bad enough for your general well-being. Aside from this, it also has an unpleasant smell that can stick to walls, furniture, and clothes. It even speeds up the aging process. However, the worst side effect of smoking is that it affects not only you but the people around you.
You should make sure that odorless gases do not accumulate in your home. Heaters and stoves that use propane and wood can emit harmful gases and toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous for your health.
Avoid any kind of smoke, fumes, or gases from gathering in your home to ensure that the air you’re breathing at home is safe for you and your family.
Leave Your Shoes at the Door
Shoe soles tend to carry all the dirt, pesticides, bacteria, feces, fungi, and other unpleasant germs that you don’t want in your home. Consider taking them off as soon as you arrive home and leave them by the door. Not only will you keep your floor clean, but you’ll have cleaner air, too.
Check Your Air Ducts
Air ducts are a crucial part of your home. They help distribute both hot and cold air throughout your house and allow it to stay at comfortable temperatures. However, if they’re not properly maintained, they can accumulate dust, mold, or even dander. These unhealthy particles can spread, reducing the air quality throughout your home.
Always remember to have your air ducts serviced regularly to make sure that they’re always clean and working as they should.
Decorating Your House? Use Low-VOC Paints
With more people turning to house renovations and remodeling during the pandemic, it’s important to make sure that you’re buying the right materials. If you’re planning on repainting your walls, make sure that you’re choosing paints that are low in volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs often contain toxic chemicals, such as ammonia, formaldehyde, chlorine, and acetaldehyde, which can be released by regular paint even months after the smell disappears.
Get an Air Purifier
Air purifiers, like the name implies, purifies the air by sanitizing the air with filters that catch allergens and pollutants that can be harmful to your health. Having one in your home is an effective way to keep the air in your house safe for you and your family, especially if someone in the household has asthma.
Regularly Clean Rugs and Carpets
Aside from providing a splash of color and keeping your feet comfortable during colder months, carpets are an effective way to keep the air in your home clean. They are the cheapest form of air filters that can catch dust, fibers, and other particles that usually float around your home. Just remember to vacuum them at least once every week.
It may also be a good idea to remove the carpets all together to prevent dust buildup. However, you’ll still have to vacuum the rest of your upholstered furniture and curtains.
Ventilate, Ventilate, Ventilate
At a time like this, proper ventilation is one of the most important steps to keep your household healthy. Fortunately, making sure your house is properly ventilated is easier than you think. It’s one of the simplest and most efficient ways to keep the air in your home clean. All you have to do is keep your windows open for a few minutes in the morning to let all of the stagnant air inside circulate with the air from outside. This is especially effective for houses in the countryside or somewhere with a lot of vegetation.
If you live in a city with heavy pollution, doing this may be difficult. Instead, consider trickle ventilation techniques, such as cracking your window open a bit to allow fresh air to come in.
Many may not realize it, but even simple decisions, such as opening a window or leaving your shoes at the door, can have a significant impact on our health. As we continue to live through this global health crisis, taking care of ourselves is one of the most important things we have to keep in mind. With these tips, you’ll have a cleaner house as well as better quality air to breathe.