How To Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
Did you know that the air inside of your home may be more polluted than the air outside of your home? Yep, it’s true!
Things like allergens, skin cells, dander, dust and more all affect the quality of indoor air. It doesn’t matter if you’re the only one living in your home, or if you’re a family of eight with three dogs — pollutants will contaminate the air.
But no worries! We’re here to help. By the end of this blog you’ll be saying goodbye to air pollutants and hello to clean, fresh air.
Ready the vacuum — here are our five tips for improving your home’s indoor air quality!
1. Clean the Floors
Improve your indoor air quality by deep cleaning your carpets and hardwood floors throughout the entire house. Bacteria and viruses can survive in uncleaned carpet for over four weeks. Not to mention the several pounds of soil, dust, allergens, skin cells, and pet dander that accumulate in and under carpet every year. Gross, right?
A good rule of thumb is to vacuum the carpet in your home at least once a week for every person in the home, including pets. If you’re the only one in your home, congratulations! You get to vacuum once a week. For those of us with big families, good luck.
The average American family consists of approximately four people, meaning the carpets would need to be vacuumed four times a week. Once you add pets into the mix, that number quickly increases. So keep the vacuum handy and prepare the chore chart — you’ve got some vacuuming to do!
In addition to your weekly cleanings, your carpets should be professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months. Sweep, vacuum and mop your hardwood floors as well to remove any remaining bacteria or residue.
2. Balance Humidity Levels
Start by doing an initial assessment of your home. Is there condensation on the windows, or paint peeling off the walls? If so, your home’s humidity level may be too high. Alternatively, if your hair is constantly frizzy, or you’re getting shocked every time you touch a doorknob, your home’s humidity level may be too low.
If your home’s humidity level is high, use a dehumidifier to control moisture and maintain a healthy level of humidity. By keeping your home’s moisture in check, you’ll reduce allergens and pollutants in the air as well as prevent harmful mold growth. Also, keep an eye on basements and crawl spaces to make sure there’s no moisture build up with the potential to cause mold or fungal growth in those areas of your home.
If your home’s humidity level is low, use a humidifier to add moisture into the air. In homes with wooden floors, a lack of humidity can cause boards to shrink and crack. While you don’t want your home to be humid, you do want to add moisture to the air for improved air quality.
Read our blog, How To Maintain Ideal Humidity Levels in Your Home, for more information to improve your home's indoor air quality.
3. Replace Vents & Filters
Clean all heating and air vents throughout the home and replace filters. Filters should be replaced once a month to allow your home to circulate fresh air through your heating and cooling system. Dirty vents and filters lead to polluted air getting pushed around the interior of your home.
A clean air filter not only filters dust and allergens out of the air, but also prevents large particles from reaching your HVAC system. In fact, dirty filters are the leading cause of issues with HVAC systems.
4. Add Indoor Plants
Consider adding plants to your indoor space to clear your home of pollutants and promote fresh air throughout your living spaces. Plants remove toxins like Trichloroethylene, Benzene, Formaldehyde, Xylene, Toluene and Ammonia from the air, as well as product oxygen.
There are plenty of plants that are known to clean the air, such as Spider Plants, Dracaenas, Peace Lilies, Boston Ferns, Bamboo and Aloe Vera.
Place plants in the common areas of your home, such as the living room or bedroom. Some houseplants are even known to help you sleep better!
As with any plant, be sure you’re giving it the care it needs. Some houseplants will need to be watered more regularly and may require more sunlight than others. Do your research to determine which indoor plants will work best for your home. And don’t forget to check them for pests!
Indoor plants work wonders for your office space, too. Learn more here.
5. Improve Indoor Air Circulation
Make sure the air inside your home is properly circulating not only in your main living spaces, but also in your attic! Much of the air you breathe filters through your attic, which is why it’s important the air in your attic is properly vented and circulating well.
In your living room and bedrooms, open the windows and let the fresh air in! This can help to refresh your home and remove dust, allergens and other pollutants from the air.
By vacuuming regularly, replacing air filters, adding houseplants, balancing humidity levels and improving your indoor air circulation, you can work towards a happier, healthier home. Don’t take your home’s air quality for granted! Instead, be proactive to make your air cleaner for you, your friends and family (even the four-legged ones)!
Here at Killingsworth, we know how important home maintenance is. Schedule a service with our expert team today!
Content was originally written on February 19, 2016. Content was refreshed on November 13, 2019.