The atmosphere of urban areas is essentially different from their rural surroundings due to the presence of harmful pollutants in higher concentrations. Air quality is an important parameter that affects the health, comfort, and well-being of human beings.
Besides causing respiratory diseases, such as asthma and COPD, the quality of air is also linked with cancer, heart diseases, reduced life expectancy, and many other health problems. Some of the simple and easy ways to improve indoor air quality are as follow:
1. Keep Windows Closed
Tightly-sealed homes help prevent pollutants from coming in and minimize the amount of outdoor pollution that can pollute the air inside, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Make sure windows and doors have screens to keep out insects. Some latest technology air conditioners help in maintaining optimum air quality inside the home. But, you need to replace the filters of AC by calling the professionals such as air conditioning Sydney contractors.
2. Don’t Bring Smog Indoors
Avoid polluting the indoors by eliminating smoke and fumes from burned fuel, suggests the CDC. When using heaters, fireplaces, and woodstoves, make certain to ventilate properly and follow all manufacturer directions.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that indoor air can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air, due in large part to poor ventilation.
When running the heater or an air conditioner, make sure windows are closed,” suggests the EPA. “Keep fresh air flowing by opening a window when possible.”
3. Ventilate Before Vacuuming
Vacuuming stirs up dust and increases the pollutant concentration in the air,” explains the EPA. “Do not vacuum if possible; instead, thoroughly clean rooms with damp cloths or mop, and open windows to remove dust and other particles.
4. Dust Off Your Houseplants
According to NASA research, houseplants such as spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) and golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) are effective in removing organic pollutants from the air.
The best-known method of purifying indoor air is a houseplant, states the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Many varieties of plants can effectively remove airborne Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) or chemicals that become airborne easily.”
5. Use Right Laundry Detergent
“Switch to phosphate-free household cleaners,” says Eustace Conway, founder of The Wilderness Classroom in North Carolina.
“Phosphates are pollutants that destroy water quality, they don’t belong down the drain, nor in your household cleaners. Some home laundry detergents are also phosphate-based.”
6. Keep Your HVAC System Clean
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension recommends that homeowners change filters twice per month, or once every 60 days during periods of high use. Additionally, they should have their HVAC systems inspected and tuned up twice each year.
Also, you should smart choose the vacuum cleaner. Change vacuum cleaner bags when they are one-third to one-half full,” suggests the EPA. “This will maximize airflow through the bag and help maintain the suction power of your vacuum cleaner.
In addition to keeping your dryer vent unblocked and clear of obstructions, the EPA recommends that homeowners clean their vents at least twice a year. We recommend you call reputed professionals like ducted air conditioning Sydney contractors to maintain your AC.
7. Beware Of VOCs
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension lists the following as chemicals associated with sick building syndrome: formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and vinyl chloride.
They recommend that homeowners have their heating, cooling, and ventilation systems inspected regularly to ensure that any cleaning chemicals used by the system are being properly burned in the furnace.
“The most effective way to rid your home of VOCs is to identify where they’re coming from in the house,” notes Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D., in his book “Surviving Mold.”
“The common sources are pressed wood products, carpet, air fresheners, deodorizer (sprays and solids), mothballs, cigarette smoke, and combustion. All of these materials give off different VOCs at varying rates depending on the product type.”
8. Choose Right Painting Solution
“It is important to know that some paints give off chemicals into the air for several years after they have been applied,” cautions Dr. Shoemaker.
“VOCs and other pollutants off-gas from paint and solvents used in maintenance and repair, as well as those spilled on surfaces such as clothing, carpets, and furniture.”
9. Consider High-Efficiency Air Filter
The EPA suggests that homeowners either purchase an Energy Star low-smoke zero-halogen air cleaner or a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to lower the risk of indoor air pollution.
This type of filter is especially important for people with allergies or respiratory conditions that can be aggravated by mold, bacteria, and other pollutants.
10. Refrigerate Wisely
The EPA recommends that homeowners not store food in refrigerators or freezers longer than necessary. The agency also suggests cleaning spills immediately and defrosting the appliance every three months to avoid an accumulation of condensation inside the unit.