We tend to think of air pollution as only existing outside, but the reality is indoor air is typically 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Making positive indoor air quality changes in your home isn’t hard. In reality, small changes can make a huge impact.
1. Clean it up.
Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter can help you rid allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. You can also reduce other toxins like fire-retardant chemicals. A vacuum with rotating brushes, strong suction, and a HEPA filter will ensure that dirt doesn’t get released back into the air through the exhaust. There are many vacuums on the market that meet these criteria, but the Shark Rotator has our seal of approval. Anti-allergen complete seal technology captures and holds over 99.9% of dust and allergens. Simply put, this vacuum is a cut above the rest.
Mopping will pick up any dust that vacuuming leaves behind. Mopping without the use of harsh chemicals will also improve your indoor air quality. Microfiber mops can capture more dust and dirt than traditional mops – no chemicals required.
2. Keep It Out.
Place a floor mat at every entrance to your home. Pesticides and dirt are commonly tracked in on shoes. A floor mat helps reduce these nasty pollutants from getting into your home. Better yet, have your guests remove shoes upon entering your home.
3. Change Your Filter Regularly.
A clogged filter will not remove airborne particles efficiently. Also, a dirty filter results in higher energy costs because the heating and cooling motors have to strain to push air through the system. A filter upgrade is a great way to boost your indoor air quality. By improving your indoor air quality, you effectively improve the health of you and your family members. The Carbon Clean 16 media filter by Lennox protects your home from more than 95% of allergy aggravating particles down to 0.3 microns. This is the same level of filtration used in hospitals.
How often you need to change out your filter depends on the type of filter you buy. Some require monthly replacements while others can last up to 6 months. If you’ve let your filter go beyond the recommended replacement time frame, a simple switch may not be enough to ensure great indoor air quality. You may have a dirty duct situation on your hands. The dirt and dust adheres to duct surfaces and heating/cooling components. This creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and other fungi that are sources of indoor air pollution.
4. Keep Humidity Levels in Check.
Living in Iowa, humidity levels fluctuate a lot. Depending on the outdoor temperature, your optimal indoor humidity levels may need to change. A good rule of thumb is to never have your in home humidity levels exceed 50% in the summertime. We’ve come up with a nifty chart to better guide you for winter humidity levels.
|Outside Temperature||Indoor Relative Humidity Level|
|10-20°F||No more than 35%|
|0-10°F||No more than 30%|
|-10-0°F||No more than 25%|
|-20-10°F||No more than 20%|
Here are a few tips to keep your humidity levels in check:
Make use of a dehumidifier during the summer
Don’t over water house plants
Crack a door or window when cooking or bathing
5. Smoke Free Zone Ahead.
Secondhand cigarette smoke is probably the most important aspect to indoor air pollution. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, chemicals that have been proven to cause cancer, breathing problems, stroke, and heart attacks. Do not allow smoking in your home. It’s a danger to everyone.
6. Smell good naturally.
You may associate a clean home with the smell of pine or lemon, but these synthetic fragrances emit dozens of chemicals into the air. Conventional laundry detergents, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, air fresheners and household cleaners emit nasty chemical gasses.
Most testing that has been done on these products only test for skin irritation, not inhalation. Testing that has been done in the way of inhalation raises cause for concern. What can you do?
Look for fragrance free or naturally scented options in cleaners and laundry products.
Stop using aerosol sprays including deodorants, furniture polish, air fresheners, and carpet cleaners.
Get a house plant. They are great natural air purifiers that will absorb chemical pollutants.
Let in fresh air to prevent the buildup of toxic chemicals in your home.