As we head into the colder months of the year, this is the best time to think about ways to improve your indoor air quality at home. It’s often said that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air and when you consider the amount of time we spend at home, indoor air quality can make a big difference for your health and wellbeing.
- Replace air-filters. Using an air-filtration system is great but they are only effective when maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Take this opportunity to check your air-filters and always use a HEPA filter to remove allergens and other fine particles.
- Monitor humidity levels. Too much moisture in the air can lead to mold growth and poorer air quality. Maintain humidity levels around 50% and consider a room dehumidifier if necessary.
- Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to dry out excess moisture and keep adequate air-flow throughout your home.
- Choose natural cleaners. Conventional cleaners contain harsh chemicals that release toxic fumes into the air. Organic alternatives clean just as effectively without the negative effects on your health and the environment.
- Avoid scented products, which also contain irritating and sometimes harmful substances. Enhance the smell of your home naturally with fresh flowers, citrus fruit and essential oils.
- Remove your shoes. Pollen, dander, mold and other allergens can enter your home on your feet. If you’re not ready for a no-shoes policy, use a doormat and wipe down your shoes with a damp cloth before coming inside.
- Open windows. Take advantage of opportunities to open your windows on warm days throughout the year. Natural circulation prevents toxic substances from getting trapped and accumulating inside your home.
- Reduce soft surfaces, which act as a magnet for dust, dander and other pollutants. Consider eliminating carpets and upholstery, if possible, or replace them with rugs and cushions that can be removed and easily cleaned.
- Clean often. It may sound simple but regular, basic cleaning can really help eliminate irritants and contaminants from your home. At least once a week, dust and vacuum your home thoroughly and wash all bedding in hot water.
- Care for your pets. Reduce pet dander by having your pets groomed often and allowing them to spend time outside. It’s best to keep cats and dogs out of sleeping areas where you will be exposed to dander overnight.
Kevin Arnold writes about health, wellness and travel. For more tips and information, check out all of his posts at www.pureroom.com/blog.
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