Tips for Improving Air Quality in Your Home

The air we breathe in our homes ultimately helps keep us alive, so it makes sense for us to pay some extra attention to the quality of that air. There is a lot you can do to regulate and improve the quality of the indoor air that flows through your home. Here are some tips to ensure that the air you and your family breathe on an everyday basis is as clean and healthy as possible.

Air purifier

Keep your home clean.

Keeping surfaces dusted and floors swept and vacuumed is a great way to reduce the amount of dust, dander, and allergens traveling through your home. Don’t forget to clean hard-to-catch areas, either—such as the top of the fridge, fan blades, door frame trim, curtains, and in between window slats. Keep in mind that it’s best to clean with a damp cloth rather than a dry duster because this will remove dust more effectively. In addition, you’ll want to wash large linens like blankets, sheets, duvets, tablecloths, shower curtains, pillows, and drapes at least every few months to keep them free of dust and mites. So as if there weren’t enough reasons to keep your home clean already, here is another one. And if you find that you’re having difficulty keeping your home clean, maybe it’s time to purge some unnecessary items from your home to reduce clutter.

One extra tip for your house cleaning: make sure that the cleaners and detergents you buy are nontoxic and free of aerosols, pollutants, and strong scents. This will ensure that you aren’t polluting the air you’re trying to improve as you clean.

Open the windows.

It’s best not to have windows open while you are running the heat or air conditioning systems in your home, as this only wastes energy. But opening them while you are cleaning, cooking, or painting is a good way to bring in fresh air and prevent dangerous fumes from overtaking your home. Just be sure when you open your windows that you keep the screens down to prevent any major debris from entering the home.

Use your fans.

Similarly, it’s a good idea to use the fans built into your home on a regular basis to keep air circulating and to eliminate moisture and odors. This means using the exhaust fan over your range as you cook and turning on overhead fans to a slow speed whenever you feel that air needs circulating. The exhaust fan is also great for eliminating odors and minimizing moisture, which will help eliminate mold and mildew.

Window with mosquito net

Maintain your ventilation system.

This article underlines the importance of maintaining the heating and cooling systems, air ducts, and vents in your home for maximizing air quality. To maintain your home’s ventilation system, you’ll first want to check and/or replace your furnace and AC filters at least every two months (maybe even more often if you have pets or particularly strong allergies). Electrostatic filters are the best filters to use in your home since they attract more dust particles with an electric charge. Beyond this, you’ll want to regularly vacuum the vents in your home to keep them free of dust and to have your air ducts professionally cleaned every three to five years (or sooner if you feel it’s necessary).

Watch what you burn.

Burning logs and candles in your home can easily worsen the air quality in your home, so be sure that you are burning nontoxic candles as well as cured and dried logs (rather than pressure treated ones) to minimize pollutants. Be sure to have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly as well. And, of course, you should never allow smoking indoors.

Watch what you diffuse.

A similar concept applies to the scents that you diffuse and spray throughout your home. Look for scents that are free of pollutants and that contain essential fragrances and natural perfumes. When in doubt, it’s better to diffuse essential oils and boil natural ingredients like cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Vintage home decor

Add houseplants.

Houseplants are a great way to help fight air pollution. Some houseplants will be more effective than others at improving air quality. Aloe, spider plant, snake plant, ficus, English ivy, Chinese evergreen, and bamboo palm are just some of the many great plants for improving indoor air quality.

Groom any pets regularly.

Dirt, fur, and dander from pets can reduce the quality of air inside your home significantly (not to mention bother those who happen to have allergies), so it’s a good idea to bathe and groom your pets—especially dogs—regularly to keep those allergens to a minimum. Don’t forget to clean any bedding, blankets, and toys while you’re at it. You should also be sure to take your pets to the vet regularly to ensure that they are maintaining healthy skin and coats.

Use an air purifier.

If you feel that the air in your home still needs that extra boost, you may want to invest in an air purifier in your home. You can find small, portable units as well as large-scale systems for the entire home.

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