Air quality issues in a home or building can cause allergies, asthma flare-ups, an increase in colds, an increase in respiratory problems, and more. Testing the indoor air quality can help determine if this is causing possible health issues, and if so, there are easy things to do to improve the quality of the air inside any home or business. Some of the best ways to quickly and easily improve indoor air quality include the following:
Keep the Building Clean
Cleaning is crucial for homes and businesses, but it’s not just about preventing the spread of germs or making sure the space looks good. A clean home is going to have cleaner air. Dust, dirt, mold spores, animal dander, and more can be in the area, which means they’re being breathed in whenever anyone’s in the building. Vacuuming regularly, cleaning fabric like bedding or drapes, and dusting throughout the building can help to cut down on the contaminants that may be in the air. Clear out the clutter, too, as clutter just collects dust over time. When cleaning and dusting, use a damp cloth to collect the dust instead of spreading it into the air.
Change Air Filters Regularly
Air filters for the HVAC system do need to be cleaned or changed regularly. Reusable filters should be cleaned at least monthly, if not more frequently, in homes with pets. During allergen seasons, clean the filters more frequently to prevent allergens from getting into the home. Disposable air filters should be replaced at least monthly to keep the air flowing to the HVAC system. It is also a good idea to have the ducts cleaned regularly. Though the filters are designed to minimize the amount of dust that gets into the ducts, they do need to be cleaned occasionally to remove any dust or debris that gets past the air filters.
Use an Air Purifier
Air purifiers can help remove indoor allergens in the home. Iconic purifiers can help remove quite a bit of contaminants from the building but may not remove everything. It is a good idea to have one in each of the rooms that are used the most in the home or building. Dehumidifiers can also help remove the moisture inside the building, keeping the areas free from mold. Air purifiers can be used throughout the year, but it is a good idea to at least use them during allergy season to keep the air as clean as possible.
Open the Windows to Let Fresh Air In
Opening windows does allow the air to move through the home and can bring in fresh air. Rooms should always be well ventilated when using cleaning products with chemicals, painting, or using other products that can produce fumes. When cooking, using a fan to push cooking fumes out of the building can help improve the quality of air inside the room, too. Even though the HVAC system may be running, at least opening the windows a little bit allows for better ventilation and can help keep the air in the home fresh.
Be Cautious of VOCs
VOCs are fumes that are given off by many new materials. They can appear in fabrics, glue, and paint, and they can cause damage to the lungs. When new products are brought into the home, they should be allowed to air out as much as possible to reduce the VOCs. Simply setting the product by an open window until the chemical smell is gone can be enough. It is important to be aware of VOCs when buying new furniture, as wood, fabric, paint, and other materials can give off fumes when they’re initially purchased.
When painting the home or business, opt for low-VOC paints and keep the windows open while painting to remove the remainder that may be in the paint. It’s a good idea to have the windows open for at least a few days in the room to allow as much of the VOCs as possible to dissipate. If the room still smells like new paint, there are still VOCs being released, so let the room air out a little bit longer.
Opt for Green Cleaning Products
Cleaning products traditionally contain a number of chemicals. When cleaning products are used, the chemicals are released into the air. However, there are non-toxic alternatives available for most cleaning products. Opt for eco-friendly cleaning products that contain food-grade ingredients, as these do not contain chemicals like most cleaning products. If more robust cleaning products are needed, opt for something that’s solid or liquid, as these won’t release chemicals in the air as aerosols do. When possible, clean with steam, as this uses only water but is an effective way to clean and sanitize surfaces.
Keep Smoke Out of the House
Smoke should not be in the house. Most people do not smoke indoors anymore, and it is illegal to smoke inside most businesses. However, cigarette smoke isn’t the only kind of smoke to worry about. Incense sticks, candles, and other materials designed to burn will still release carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Instead, opt for candles made from natural materials and avoid any synthetic dyes or fragrances. Wood-burning stoves can heat the home to make it more comfortable, but they also can produce smoke that can lead to respiratory problems. Instead, opt for an electric fireplace or open the windows frequently to let fresh air into the home.
Get Rid of Air Fresheners
Air fresheners just mask the smells in the home, and they do that by releasing synthetic chemicals into the home. Instead of using air fresheners, opt for natural diffusers or oil burners. Try out natural methods for removing odors, such as using baking soda or vinegar, to remove smells without allowing more chemicals to enter the air in the building. A mixture of baking soda, lemon juice, and hot water can be sprayed throughout the building to create a fresh smell without the chemicals that can linger in the air and reduce the air quality. Air quality indoors can have a huge impact on everyone’s health and well-being. To reduce the potential for respiratory issues and keep everyone healthier, focusing on improving indoor air quality is a must. For businesses and homeowners in Charlotte, NC, and surrounding areas, Clean Air Carolinas can help. Call 704-628-6887 today to schedule air quality testing for your home or business and to learn more about how to improve the air quality so you can breathe easier.