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Surprising Little Things That Improve Indoor Air Quality

According to the Government’s report, Australians spend more than 90% of their time indoor and this is true for other corners of the world as well. The full effect chemical components in building materials and cleaning products have on our health is not completely explained. Not to mention the impact of the environmental tobacco smoke, molds, ozone (from some air cleaners), pesticides, etc. For now, it’s thought to trigger respiratory difficulties and asthma.

This is why it’s important to do everything you can to improve indoor air quality. It doesn’t have to be involve an expensive venture for your household. You’d be surprised how adjusting your habits a bit or switching to alternative types of products can make a huge difference in the long run. Here are the changes you can implement today for a healthier home.

Regularly Air Your Home

Nurture the habit of opening your windows regularly. This helps with lowering the concentrations of toxic chemicals and carbon dioxide. If you don’t live in the high traffic area or an extremely polluted city area, air out your home as frequently as you can. Especially in situations where there is a high risk of pollution and toxins piling up (e.g. painting the walls, bringing in a fresh new piece of furniture, heavy cleaning the entire house, polishing the parquet), you should spread your windows wide and let outdoor air in. On everyday basis, open the windows for at least 10 minutes everyday. Don’t wait until you feel the room being a bit stuffy, but make airing a daily habit.

Keep Your Home Clean

Dirt and dust contribute to poor air quality, which is why you have to put thorough cleaning into your weekly schedule. Vacuum and mop all floors at least once a week right after wiping all the dust. In addition, you should clean your air condition and dehumidifier/humidifier. You need to keep the humidity levels optimal. Increased humidity means higher chances of mold developing. The advisable values are about 40-50%, a bit lower during winter. But has it ever occurred to you that outdoor mats also play a role in improving the quality of indoor air? They prevent moisture, dirt, mud, and other debris from entering your home. The mat’s width should match the door and be long enough for you to walk across it with both your feet before stepping inside.

Avoid Smoking Indoors

Lighting a cigarette indoors isn’t just harmful for the smoker, but for others present in the same room. Dangers of secondhand smoke are very serious: there are over 4000 chemical compounds in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are harmful for human health. If you can’t seem to kick the habit, try avoiding smoking indoors. Ask your guests who smoke to step outside if they want to light up. This will improve the indoor air quality and prevent unpleasant tobacco smell get stuck on your curtains, furniture, or pillows.

Make Your Home Greener

Make your home greener in order for it to become healthier. Nearly three decades ago, NASA has conducted a Clean Air study and it has been proven certain species of houseplants can filter out toxins such as ammonia, formaldehyde, and benzene from indoor air. Buy plants like Peace ivy, English ivy, Spider plant, Dracaena, Snake plant, or Aloe vera. Also, be smart when choosing paints or cleaning products. Opt for paints that have low concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and use cleaning products that are non-toxic. You can even use the ingredients you have in your kitchen: for example, baking soda is great for cleaning and disinfection, while cornstarch can be used for window cleaning and furniture polishing. Avoid using air fresheners that are filled artificial fragrances and turn to natural alternatives.

Simply by being more mindful every day, you can make a better and healthier home for both yourself and the ones you care about. Paying more attention to the product label helps, as well as changing your habits for the well-being of the entire household.