The year 2020 has a lot of us spending a great deal of time at home. Concerns about indoor air pollution and lung health, in general, have grown stronger. To maintain the best air quality, the factors listed below need to be considered.
Keep Humidity Under Control
High levels of humidity provide an excellent breeding ground for mold and dust mites. Also, warm air holds more moisture, so if you’re striving to reduce your air conditioning bills, keeping humidity down is critical. Even if your air conditioning isn’t running as often as you’d like, you can move air, remove humidity, and reduce the pollen count in the air inside your home.
For the most effective humidity control, monitor your plumbing for drips. Keep your AC pan and your dehumidifier pan emptied each day when the heat is high. Give houseplants a sip every few days rather than a heavy dousing after a longer interval.
Additionally, be aware that moisture in your home, especially standing water in plant pots, can draw insects. Every bug that flies into your home will carry the bacteria of whatever they walked through. Highly humidified dust is also a haven for bacterial growth, so keep the water level down and do what you can to keep the humidity level in your home under 30%.
Air Has to Move
Use ceiling fans to keep cool air moving up in summer and moving warm air down during the winter months. During the summer, use box fans along the floor to keep your feet and ankles cool. Pulse points are critical to staying cool, so keep your ankles, wrists, elbows, and knees uncovered and exposed to moving air when possible.
Even if you have solid surface flooring, use a vacuum to keep things clean. Carefully monitor your vacuum filters to keep pet hair, dirt, and dust removed from your home and the filters. Sweeping may feel productive, but you’ll wind up turning settled dust into airborne dust, which won’t help your air quality.
Finally, invest in good filters for your HVAC system, both for your home and your vehicle. Multiple chemicals come into our homes and cars designed to freshen the air or add a cleaner scent, but these fragrances are not necessarily healthy.
Increasing the fresh air content in your home can reduce your toxin load. If you or family members struggle with pollen allergies, increase fresh air, and invest in the best cabin air filter and best home HVAC filter you can find.
Naturally, Clean Air is Possible
No matter the odors you’re dealing with in your home, be aware that there are many toxins in standard air fresheners. Instead of using a perfumed spray and cleaning products in your home, strive to use:
- baking soda to remove odors from carpet instead of scented powders
- candles that don’t burn paraffin
- houseplants to put fresh oxygen into space
- unscented dryer sheets
- simple cleaning products, such as vinegar
If you have a heavy cleaning project that will require bleach, get air moving first. Mix bleach with warm water in a bucket, apply as necessary, then rinse with more freshwater. Don’t use bleach in a spray bottle if possible; tiny droplets of bleach are not healthy to inhale and may damage fabrics and other surfaces.
Carefully study the surface you need to clean. Is it dirty or dusty? If it’s just dusty or dull, start with a quick water mop to capture any dulling dust on the surface before using a cleaner that will add fragrance to the space. Spot clean dirty areas as necessary, then rinse with plain water and consider taking the time to dry the surface by hand to reduce water spotting.
Not everything that smells nice is right for you. If there’s something in your home or vehicle that smells so bad that you need an air freshener or a perfume, get rid of the activity that’s causing the unpleasant odor. Don’t allow smoking in your home or vehicle. Run exhaust fans whenever you’re cooking or showering. Keep humidity and particulates in your space low.