In Pottstown, PA and around the country we spend a lot of time indoors, but the air we breathe isn’t always the cleanest. In fact, the EPA reports that indoor air can have pollutant levels 2 – 5 times higher than outdoor air. These pollutants can come from sources such as oil and gas furnaces, tobacco products, carpets, furnishings, and chemical cleaners. While indoor pollutants can lead to respiratory health issues, there are also simple steps you can take to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) in your home.
Clean the Ductwork
While you may have had the ductwork in your home cleaned or inspected when you first bought your house, chances are good you haven’t thought about them again in the time since. Dirty air ducts are one of the many ways that pollutants can enter your home.
If your vents are dusty or show signs of a vermin infestation, it’s a good idea to have them professionally cleaned. You should also consider a yearly inspection for leaks or gaps in your ductwork that could be costing you extra money in your heating and cooling bill.
Keep Your Floors Clean
To stop dirt from ever entering your home in the first place, put a mat outside of every entrance and encourage everyone to wipe their feet before they enter the house. This mat can catch pollutants including pesticides and chemicals found on the ground. Also, encourage everyone to remove their shoes as soon as they enter the house. This way, any pollutants not caught on the doormat will be unable to spread through the house. Finally, try to vacuum your floors at least once a week with a vacuum that has a strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA filter.
One natural way to improve your home’s IAQ is to add houseplants. Plants filter out harmful chemicals found the air and make it healthier to breathe. Certain plants are better at filtering out different chemicals. For example, aloe vera and English ivy help clear the air of benzene, which is a chemical commonly found in paint and cleaning products. Plants such as the spider plant and peace lily are good for those who suffer from allergies because they reduce the levels of mold spores that can grow in a home.
Regularly Clean Your Soft Surfaces
Dust mites and other allergens can quickly accumulate on the soft surfaces around your house. To help reduce your exposure to them you should wash fabrics such as window curtains, fabric shower curtains, and towels once a week. Bedding such as sheets, pillowcases, and comforters are a very common place for dust mites, so you should wash these pieces in the hottest water possible every week. You can also purchase mattresses and pillows that are specifically designed to ward off dust mites. And don’t forget to wash new clothes before you wear them, to eliminate any chemicals remaining from manufacturing.
Change Your Filters
The filters in your HVAC system are an ideal way to improve the IAQ in your home. A high-efficiency filter can trap particles including mold, dust, viruses, and bacteria before they enter the air in your home. Not only can a clean filter improve your air, it can also improve the efficiency of your system. You should inspect your filters at least once a month and, depending on your household circumstances, change them every three months.
Don’t Add Extra Chemicals to Your Air
Air fresheners contain chemicals that can harm air quality in your house and the propellants in their aerosol cans are harmful and irritating if inhaled. Additionally, many conventional cleaning products also contain chemicals that can irritate the lungs and skin, and they leave behind a residue that plays a part in indoor air pollution. Instead, opt for natural and nontoxic cleaners made from baking soda and vinegar.
For even more help with improving the IAQ in your home, contact the professionals at New Age Air at 610-298-0271 and set up an appointment for an indoor air quality test.
Image provided by Shutterstock