Poor air quality in your home can have a significant effect on your mood and health. Low air quality has been connected with a number of health issues, such as asthma, fatigue, low energy and lung diseases. There are various factors that affect indoor air quality, including increased air humidity, outside air pollution, building materials that contain asbestos, mold, toxic chemicals or other air pollutants and emissions from home appliances and heating devices.
Improving indoor air quality is especially important after cold winter months. During winter, windows are closed most of the time, laundry is dried inside and heating is on almost 24/7. This leads to accumulation of dust particles and air pollutants, as well as to increased air humidity due to intensive condensation and evaporation. The first warm days of spring are the perfect time not just for general cleaning, but also for air quality improvement in your home. We present a few tips that you might find helpful.
Ensuring good air circulation is crucial for maintaining good air quality. Using natural ventilation of your home is the easiest method to remove stagnant air and reduce the amount of indoor air pollutants. Open all windows for at least half an hour every day to properly ventilate your home. In rooms with higher air humidity, like kitchens and bathrooms, windows should be open most of the time, to reduce condensation and moisture accumulation. However, if you live in a crowded city with very low air quality, this might bring more harm than good. If this is the case, it is best to ventilate your house at a time of the day when traffic isn’t so intensive, like early morning or late evening, and to use air conditioners in the meantime.
Air conditioners can be excellent tools for improving indoor air quality. Almost all of them contain some type of air filter which can remove dust, allergens and other impurities from indoor air. All filters require cleaning or replacing after some time, and AC air filters are no different. It is very important to clean them regularly, otherwise they might start to release all the nasty stuff they absorbed over time and severely deteriorate air quality in your home.
If you ever needed motivation to set up your own indoor garden, here is a very convincing reason – there are various species of houseplants that show air purifying qualities. Aside from producing oxygen, these incredible plants also have the ability to detoxify the air. Keep in mind that having just one or two such plants will not have any significant effect. The more the merrier.
Here is a short list of houseplants that improve home air quality:
- Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Dragon tree or red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
- Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)
- Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
- English ivy (Hedera helix)
- Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
- Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
- Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Carpets, Curtains, Bedding and Clothes
Even with proper maintenance, all of these items have probably acquired some amount of dust particles, dander, pollen and other contaminants during winter, so a thorough cleanup is necessary. Curtains, bedding and cushions should be washed regularly to prevent dust mites, especially if you have pets. Make sure you wash your winter clothes before putting them away, and place them in sealed bags to prevent dust and other impurities from getting in. Blankets, bedspreads, sheets and similar items usually collect a lot of dust, as they are used for covering beds and furniture; it is advised to shake them out at least two times a week to avoid buildup of unwanted air pollutants.
Considering that spring cleaning comes with various aggressive cleaning products, the best option is to pick the least harmful, eco-friendly products for your home. Some conventional products contain very aggressive compounds, which are toxic if inhaled or touched. To avoid the risk of acute and chronic poisoning, opt for the products that are not only effective, but also safe. Luckily, there are now many manufacturers that offer eco-friendly alternatives that are just as effective as conventional cleaning products.
If the air quality in your home is low in spite of all maintenance efforts, you should reach out to a trusted home remediation company that will run a test and give the best solution for your specific situation. The technicians at Inch by Inch Inspections are certified master inspectors that provide their expertise and high-quality service in Toronto and the GTA. With years of professional experience and honest, ethical approach, Inch by Inch Inspections has acquired a long list of satisfied and loyal customers. Call Inch by Inch Inspections today to schedule your air quality inspection.