If you’ve ever found yourself sitting at home with a stuffy nose or having a hard time breathing, then it’s probably time to think about the air quality in your home. Even if you don’t experience these things, air quality is an important consideration for anyone!
Surprising Facts About the Air Quality in Your Home
Before we answer “How can I improve the air quality in my home?” let’s first share some surprising facts about indoor air quality (IAQ) that help highlight the importance of ensuring the air in your home is safe!
- According to the United States EPA, indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the top five risk factors the public faces when it comes to their health. Interestingly, the EPA also found indoor air pollutants are two to five times stronger than outdoor pollution levels.
- Furniture can be one of the greatest contributors to poor IAQ. Prior to 2006, a lot of furniture contained toxic PBDEs, chemicals used as flame retardants. But even furniture made after 2006 can have harmful chemicals that affect air quality and your health which is why it’s so important to ensure the air quality in your home is top notch.
- Candles and air fresheners can pose serious risks to indoor air quality. This is particularly true if they’re made with paraffin wax, and contain the carcinogens benzene and toluene. As Global Healing explains: “The NRDC determined most air fresheners contain phthalates, noxious chemicals known to disrupt hormone function in babies and children, interfere with reproductive development, and aggravate respiratory ailments such as asthma.  A recent study found the terpenes released by air fresheners interact with ozone to form compounds like formaldehyde and acetone at concentrations which can cause respiratory sensitivity and airflow limitation.”
- Poor IAQ does more than just affect respiratory health. While air quality is a big contributor to asthma symptoms, there are a number of other systems that air quality affects. This is because not only can certain particles be inhaled into the respiratory system, many can also enter the bloodstream and some can even cross the blood-brain barrier.
Signs the Air Quality in Your Home is Poor
There are a number of signs that can point to the air quality in your home being lower than it should be. In some cases, these signs and symptoms may be mildly inconvenient, but in more serious cases, they can pose serious risks to your family’s health.
Unexplained health problems
A number of unexplained health problems can point to air quality issues, including:
- Recurring colds
- Only feeling sick at home but feeling better when you’re outside
Have you ever noticed you sleep better in fresh air or after a day spent outside? Fresh, good quality air can have a powerful effect on our sleep quality! If you’re struggling with poor sleep or always feeling tired, your IAQ could be one of the causes.
Unpleasant smells in the house are an obvious sign of poor indoor air quality. The smells could be from pests and microbial growth that reduce the quality of indoor air. You might get used to the smells inside your home. Therefore, you can step outside and go back inside to ascertain that you have unpleasant odors in the house. In that case, you might require a dehumidifier to get rid of favorable conditions for mold growth to improve indoor air quality.
(Check out this post to read more about these signs in greater detail)
How Can I Improve the Air Quality in My Home?
Now that we’ve covered some startling facts about indoor air quality, you’re probably itching to find out what you can do to make your home a safer place to live and breathe. So, here are some easy ways to improve the air quality in your home.
Keep your home clean
The more dust and dirt you leave around your home, the more likely it is to end up in the air and make for bad air quality. To help keep your home clean and limit troublesome particles in the air, vacuum, clean your bedding, and clear out clutter as often as you can.
Change out your filters
Changing out your air filters regularly is important in making sure that dust and irritants become trapped instead of in the air in your home. It can also be helpful to get your ducts cleaned out to remove any trapped dust. If you hire someone to replace your air filters for you, ask them to show you how the dirty filters look when they’re taken out. The image of all of that trapped dirt and dust you could have been breathing will be enough to make you want to stay on top of replacing your air filters from here on out!
Consider the plants you keep in your home
Sure, plants are beautiful, but they could be collecting mold. This means allergens could become a problem. While some plants can improve air quality, they can still be a trigger for some people.
So, if you’d like to have plants in your home and you’re concerned with the air quality in your home, here are some of the best plants to keep around that can actually improve the air in your home:
- English Ivy
- Bamboo Palm
- Chinese Evergreen
- Gerbera Daisy
- Dragon Tree
- Pot Mum
- Peace Lily
- Spider Plant
(Click here for a list of the 20 best plants for indoor air cleaning)
Let the fresh air flow
It can be good to open up your windows and doors every now and then to let the fresh air in. In fact, adequate ventilation is one of the best things you can do to help maintain optimal indoor air quality levels. We know this can be challenging in places like South Florida where it may be too hot out to leave your doors or windows open. But be sure to ask us about this and we’ll be happy to share our ventilation solutions for your home.
Use an air purifier
An air purifier can be a big help in controlling indoor allergens. Put it in one of the common areas of your house and those allergens are sure to be cut down. When you have an air purifier in your home, not only can your asthma or other health symptoms improve almost immediately, but you can also sleep better at night with the peace of mind that you’re breathing clean air.
Keep mold and mildew in check
If you’ve spent any time in a humid climate like South Florida, you know just how moist and heavy the air can get! Unfortunately, this humidity can also mean the air quality in your home suffers as a result. Your air conditioner is a great way to help keep humidity levels in your home in check. Additionally, taking cooler showers can help with this too.
Controlling the moisture and maintaining adequate ventilation in your home is critical to improving your indoor air quality. Unfortunately, moisture is a common culprit for promoting mold and mildew growth. Lack of ventilation can exacerbate moisture problems because there’s no air circulation, which evaporates moisture in the air. This is why it is important to have your HVAC system checked once a year; many heating and air conditioning systems include some dehumidifying devices to help maintain comfortable temperatures.
How AC Care Can Help Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
You might not be sure if the air quality in your home needs to be addressed in the first place.
If you answer yes to any of these questions, be sure to give us a call right away:
- Is there a moisture problem within my home?
- Has there been a recent flood or water damage inside my home?
- Do I change my air filters in my HVAC system regularly?
- What type of pollutants do I want to eliminate?
- Does my home have adequate ventilation?
- Am I willing to install new equipment to improve my indoor air quality?
- Is my home properly insulated and sealed?
- Do I have more than one indoor pet with fur?
If you’re ready to explore the options for improving the air quality in your home, we’re on standby to help!
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