Believe it or not, indoor air can be more polluted than the one outside, especially after the cold season when most windows are kept closed. Each day, toxins and chemicals run free inside your home, which can give health problems for all members of your family - and even your pets! This is an issue that's easily overlooked (after all, you don't see all the pollution that's flying around) but that definitely needs your attention. What should you do? Take a look at these tips!
1 - Reduce the smoke
Don’t allow smoking inside and avoid put a smoking area near vents or HVAC exterior units. Also avoid smoking inside cars because pollutants stick to clothing will follow you home. You should also read the World Health Organization recommendations on protection from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoketo truly understand how damaging it can be.
Additionally, avoid starting the car’s engine and keeping it idle inside the garage because its concentrated smoke is even more harmful than tobacco’s.
2 - Ventilate and dry spaces to avoid mold and mildew
More critical areas like kitchens and bathrooms need to be perfectly ventilated and dry. The excess of moisture can favor the presence of mold and mildew that cause a wide range of respiratory problems.
Install additional exhaust fans with filters and dehumidifiers in the bathrooms and kitchen and check the basement and attic for leaks or water damage that can propagate to other areas of the house.
3 - Clean HVAC filters
Change periodically your HVAC filters and keep the whole system well maintained. Most of the pollutants in indoor air are taken care by your HVAC, so a dirty one can scatter dirt instead of getting rid of it.
Ask your service if you can install special purifiers or can be added to your existing vents.
4 - Keep harmful chemicals out of your house
From the very innocent fumes from dry cleaned stuff to noticeable pesticides, a lot of irritant chemicals find their way to indoor spaces.
Prefer the water based insecticides and use them with the windows wide open, and leave your dry cleaned clothing hang them outdoor till completely odourless before put them in the closet. Always choose eco-friendly, non-toxic paints and cleaners based on vinegar, peroxide or phosphate-free soap that don’t release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with use.
5 - Clean after your pet
Keeping your pets cleaned is half of the job: you need to clean thoroughly the spaces and the stuff they use.
Loose hair and skin cells can be irritant to some people, even with the most frequently washed pet. Keep the furry family members out from bedrooms, and vacuum at least twice a week carpets and upholstered furniture from the rooms they visit. Clean floors and non-fabric surfaces with a dampened cloth to avoid suspended dust and mites.
After all those things are taken care of, you can consider do a radon gas test and installing a carbon monoxide detector, to make sure your house is free from those very harmful and odorless gases. There are also high tech detectors that can send an alert to your phone in the presence of undetectable gasses or smoke, like Nest Protect.
And you can bolster your air cleaning efforts with the purifying qualities of plants, beeswax candles and bamboo charcoal, for better smelling and cozier rooms. Let’s put in practice today our 5 tips for a cleaner indoor air and enjoy all the comfort of a healthier home.
Posted March 21, 2016
by Gabriel Posternak.