Perceptions can be dangerous. For one, you could be thinking that the air you breathe inside is cleaner than the one outside. But a recent study published in the Journal of the Total Environment begs to disagree. Researchers from the University of Surrey found out that there are air pollutants inside that could compromise your health. These include varnishes, paint, and cooking residue. If we’re not too careful, indoor air quality or IAQ can bring more harm than the air outside.
Hence, you need to monitor your indoor air. For instance, not only will poor IAQ exacerbate the symptoms of someone with asthma, but it may also play a crucial role in the eventual development of asthma in people who are susceptible to it. At the top of that list are children. The problem can be most pronounced during winter. As you are stranded indoors in the cold months, the heating system combined with stale air boosts the presence of allergy-causing pet dander and dust mites. Add mold spores to the equation, and your asthma could flare up in no time.
Indeed, IAQ can be at its worst when winter comes, as you are devoid of the continuous flow of fresh air. The good news is you’re not actually left out of options. The following methodologies should help you get the IAQ that you and your family so deserve.
While you may not notice those specks that compromise your IAQ, they can circulate in your home. Nevertheless, you can still minimize them. A quick first step for you is to keep your house clean. For instance, a clean floor means minimal pet dander roaming around. As much as possible, use a vacuum to suck all the dirt even from your favorite couch, carpet, and rugs.
Additionally, you should make it a habit to clean the drapes and the beddings regularly. These two items are known magnets for allergens. Experts recommend you wash these linens in water that’s at least 130° F every now and then, especially if you own a pet. Consider getting mite-proof covers for your pillows and mattresses instead.
What’s more, you should minimize the clutter in your home. The more you have them, the more you provide allergens spaces to thrive.
Limit Greenery Outdoors
It may sound counterintuitive and against being eco-friendly. But it’s not. Indoor plants can undoubtedly boost your house’s aesthetics. However, the presence of flora indoors can actually promote the growth of molds. Thus, if you want to minimize allergens, you’ll have to make the call and avoid putting plants inside your home.
Change Your Filters
Forced-air systems or HVACs that use an air duct system are ideal, assuming that the air being distributed is free from asthma triggers. To do that, you have to change your filter regularly. Electrostatic filters ensure that asthma triggers and other irritants are trapped and kept out of circulation. Moreover, you should have your air ducts cleaned to minimize dust build-up.
Another effective way to minimize indoor allergens is to use residential spray foam as insulation. You may think that these allergens enter through your home’s main entrances (e.g., doors, windows). However, most of these allergens find their way through holes in your walls. Spray foam can effectively minimize these chemical agents. Fortunately, this foam is easy to install and is cost effective.
Make Use of an Air Purifier
Pet dander is a major cause of air allergens. But like most Americans who enjoy time with their best hairy pooch, giving up on your pet may be out of the question. At a time when the coronavirus is pummeling America, having a dog or a pet cat can go a long way to calm your nerves and make your day.
In this regard, consider getting an air purifier. Ionic purifiers, for instance, can capture irritants to minimize the triggers for your symptoms. Take note that even with air purifiers, totally removing toxins in the air could be out of the question.
If your problem is the uncontrolled growth of molds and mildew, consider getting a dehumidifier. These allergens thrive in moist areas, so a dehumidifier should go a long way in curtailing their existence.
Moreover, make sure your bathrooms receive ample ventilation. As soon as you notice the growth of molds, deal with it. Don’t give it time to populate. Scrub it off and be done with it.
Maximize Incoming Fresh Air
Don’t forget, outdoor air is quality air. So even if it’s winter, open your doors and windows for some time to let fresh air in. When you let quality oxygen enter and circulate in your home, you also get to replenish your energy and boost your productivity.