Your home is the only place where you can try to control the quality of the air you breathe. For people with allergies, cleaner air could mean relief from allergy symptoms, which is always a good thing. But whether you’ve got allergies or not, you breathe in elements harmful to your health everywhere else in the world. So why not do what you can to keep your air clean? Here are seven things that you can do to improve the air quality in your home.
1. Smoke Outside
For smokers and non-smokers alike, smoking in your home is not a good idea. For starters, the chemicals that are put off in secondhand smoke can cause cancer and severe respiratory illnesses. Secondhand smoke is not something anyone should be breathing in, but especially children. Inhaling secondhand tobacco smoke can worsen and even cause asthma symptoms and is linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as well as increased risks of ear infections.
2. Protect Yourself from Dust Mites
Having a dusty home is a little more harmful than you may think, especially to children. Breathing in dust mites increases the risk of your child getting asthma. Luckily for you, protecting yourself from dust mites is a reasonably easy task. The total eradication of dust mites is not something you can achieve. However, you can do your best to keep the number of bugs in your home to a minimum. Start by working a few simple things into your weekly routine, and before you know it, you’ll be able to breathe a little easier.
The main things you should do are: vacuum regularly, wash everything you can in hot water, and dust frequently. Don’t forget to change or at least clean filters on appliances such as your furnace, dehumidifier, and air conditioners. If you’re serious about increasing the cleanliness of your home’s air, you may want to consider removing the carpet from your home. Carpet is difficult to get completely clean and can contain an enormous amount of dust mites, among other things.
3. Carbon Monoxide
Cleaner air is safer air. Carbon monoxide poisoning can make you sick and even kill you. The best way to protect yourself from carbon monoxide is to get a carbon monoxide detector. To protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning, you should never run a car or truck inside your garage–even if you leave the door open. Also, avoid burning anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented and don’t heat your house with a gas oven. As an added precaution, you should get your heating system and any other appliances that burn gas, oil, or coal serviced annually by a technician.
4. Low Moisture Low Mold
Controlling the moisture level in your home will help to prevent and even reduce the amount of mold in your home. Mold is a significant irritant for most people with allergies and can have an effect on people without allergies as well. Mold can grow just about anywhere, but bathrooms are the most susceptible to mold growth due to the warmth and moisture put off from taking showers and baths.
If you have a fan in your bathroom, you should turn it on every time you take a shower and leave it on for at least 15 minutes afterward to ensure that the maximum amount of moisture is being removed from the area. For bathrooms without a fan, you should do what you can to increase the airflow out of your room. For example, open many doors and windows in your bathroom and use a regular fan to help blow the moisture out. Some other tips on mold prevention use a dehumidifier and clean the filter daily, clean your refrigerator’s drip pan, and get any plumbing leaks fixed as soon as possible.
If you’re trying to be a little more green around your home, you may want to consider getting a few house plants. Plants do a little more than make your home look pleasant. Plants can remove pollutants and provide healthier air indoors. Some plants include English ivy, spider plants, or gerbera daisies.
6. Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Using harsh chemicals in your home does more than pollute the air in your home, it contributes to the pollution level of the entire planet. It may seem easier to pick out the same cleaning product that you always use, but you should keep an open mind. There are many more natural options out there for you to use; whether it be store-bought or homemade, it will be all worth it in the end. If you decide to go the do-it-yourself route, don’t be intimidated. Most recipes are straightforward, and you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand. For instance, mixing one cup of vinegar and one cup of water makes a great cleaning spray.
7. Test for Radon
The second leading cause of lung cancer is a radioactive gas called radon. This gas can enter your home through cracks or other openings in floors and walls that come in contact with the earth. You can test your home for radon with a do-it-yourself kit. However, if you do have a radon leak, you will have to get someone qualified to fix the problem. If you are having a home built for you, talk with your contractor about what you can do to protect yourself from radon.