If you’re looking for easy ways to improve indoor air quality, here are 14 tips that can help!
- Don’t wear shoes in the house
- Dust often
- Change furnace filters as recommended
- Open windows and allow fresh air to come in
- Eliminate chemical cleaning products
- Make sure your home isn’t too humid (or dry!)
- Clean air ducts
- Smoke outside (or not at all!)
- Buy less toxic furniture, paint, and home improvement materials
- Test for radon
- Check for mold and mildew
- Ditch artificial fragrances and candles
- Invest in a good air purifier
- Add probiotics to your home environment
Interested in learning more about the steps you can take to have better indoor air quality and create a healthy home for you and your family?
Great! Let’s dig in 😉
Why Worry About Air Quality?
To many people, air is air, and unless there is some visible or obvious contamination, that air is just as safe to breathe as any other.
Sadly, this isn’t the truth.
There are all sorts of microscopic contaminants that can affect the quality of the air, many of which you may not be able to notice by sense alone.
These contaminants can affect the quality of the air outside of your house, but also inside of your house, as well.
How Does Indoor Air Quality Become Poor?
There are all sorts of things in our daily lives that contaminate the air around us, some of which are natural and some of which are man-made.
No matter what, some level of air contamination is always going to
happen, and the fact that our homes are enclosed means that these contaminants are not always able to leave.
For this reason, it’s important that homeowners take the steps to educate themselves on the many ways that the air quality in their homes may be compromised, as well as how to improve air quality in your home once
it’s been contaminated.
Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?
Air quality isn’t just about smells– it’s about health.
Even if the air contamination in your home isn’t causing obvious problems, such as foul smells or structural damage, it may be causing health problems in you or your loved ones.
Oftentimes, these health problems might not rear their ugly head until it’s too late.
If you want to ensure that there are no respiratory problems waiting to happen in your home, read on to find out 14 easily implementable tips that can help you transform your home’s air quality.
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14 Easy Tips for Naturally Improving Your Home’s Air Quality
Tip 1: Always Leave Your Shoes at the Door!
Many people may not realize that much of the dust in their homes comes from their shoes.
Not only do shoes drag in unwanted particulate matter from outside the house, but they also create unwanted particulate matter as they rub against the materials of your floor.
The friction created from your shoe grazing your carpet or other floorings can release fibers from both the flooring materials and the shoes themselves, creating dust that will, in turn, find it’s way into your lungs.
Tip 2: Make a Dust-Date, and Keep It!
On the matter of dust, it is important that you are proactive in eliminating as much dust as possible from your home.
Keeping your house dust-free is a never-ending battle, and the more often you dust, the easier that battle will be in the long run.
It’s a common misconception that dust simply settles on surfaces and stay there, but the truth is that dust is constantly traveling– any visible dust in your home is just one slight brush of the hand away from going back into the air.
The more often you dust, the less dust you will end up accidentally inhaling as you occupy your living space.
To make dusting easy, many homeowners will decide on a set day once a week where they will give their house a quick and simple dust-over.
When you do it routinely, it’s easy as pie!
Tip 3: Change Your Furnace Filters As Advised
Depending on the size of your furnace filters, they may need to be changed multiple times a year in order to provide the optimal degree of filtration for the air in your home.
When furnace filters become too old, they can provide an effect that is decidedly the opposite of the one intended, acting as a hotbed for dust and other particulate matter that you don’t want anywhere near the air in your home!
After you purchase a furnace filter, it’s always a good practice to write down or take a picture of the area on the label that tells you when the filter should be replaced– that way you don’t forget!
Tip 4: Let the Outside World In!
The natural world has its own ways of filtering air, but, sadly, our man-made homes don’t allow for much of the natural airflow that helps blow away the contaminants outside.
This means that your home might need some help in order to alleviate the built-up particulate matter that contaminates its air.
Thankfully, houses are built with windows!
Although windows won’t allow total and complete airflow through your
house, opening up all of your windows for a few hours every couple of days is one easy thing you can do to help give your home naturally clean air.
Tip 5: Eliminate Harsh and Artificial Cleaners
It’s a sad fact of life that many cleaning products that you find in the store end up doing more harm than good.
Artificial fragrances and other noxious chemicals found in common cleaners may seem to liven up the room at first, but they actually severely degrade the quality of your home’s air in the long run.
The truth is that the companies who make these products put “good smells” and “cleanliness” before lung health– a great deal of these products are simply NOT healthy to breathe in.
This is made all the worse by the fact that so many of these products are aerosol sprays that permeate the air in your home and seem to stay there for days on end.
If you or your family are having respiratory issues and you’ve tried everything to get rid of them, the issue may be your cleaning products.
Thankfully, there are many natural alternatives so you can freshen up your house and still have naturally clean air!
Need a few ideas to get you started?
Tip 6: Don’t Let Your Home Get Too Humid or Dry
If you live in an environment with either extremely low or extremely high humidity, it may be severely affecting the quality of your air without you even knowing it.
When the air in your house is either too dry or too humid, this can create an optimal environment for viruses and bacteria.
These, in turn, may go on to cause serious respiratory issues for you or your loved ones.
Higher humidities, as well, promote the growth of mold spores and increase the amount of other toxic particles in the air, such as formaldehyde and ozone.
Tip 7: Clean Out Your Air Ducts Once a Year
Air ducts are another area, similar to furnace filters, where dust can build up and become a huge issue, negating all of the good that they are supposed to be doing for your indoor air quality.
Unlike furnace filters, however, there is no specific protocol to follow when it comes to eliminating the dust from your air ducts.
This means that you’ll have to decide when to clean your air ducts and how you’re going to have it done.
There are many ways you can try to clean your air ducts yourself, and those who are curious may seek out tutorials online to help them figure out which way’s best.
Trying to clean air ducts by yourself isn’t always recommended, though, as the proper cleaning of air ducts requires some heavy and powerful tools, and can also create some temporary breathing hazards in the process.
Luckily, there are many professional air duct cleaners who can get the job done in a matter of hours, leaving fresh, clean air ducts in their wake.
Tip 8: Smoke Outside! (Or Not At All…)
This one may seem obvious, of course, but smoking in your home can cause long-lasting damage to indoor air quality that goes well beyond the smell.
You see, the smell itself only signifies the exposure of secondhand smoke, but thirdhand smoke can stay around well after the secondhand smoke has
left the building.
Thirdhand smoke contains chemicals that interact with the air and form carcinogens, even when there is no obvious smoke present.
That means that if you have children or pets, they may be subject to
thirdhand smoke longer than you might realize.
As well, you and your family may be subject to thirdhand smoke from before you even moved into your home!
If you are not the first ones to live there, a previous occupant may have been a smoker, and that smoke may have left a permanent mark on the fixtures
in your home.
If you notice any yellow staining on your walls, or any strange smells coming from surfaces that you can’t account for, your home may have thirdhand smoke residue that you aren’t even aware of!
Tip 9: Be Aware of Toxic Chemicals In Your Home
Just as we talked about with your shoes, the materials in your home, be they furniture, flooring, or paint, can decay over time, or due to friction, and release unwanted particulate into the air, creating dust and breathing hazards.
No matter how hard you try, some amount of particulate will always be created from the surfaces in your home.
Therefore, it is best to keep in mind exactly what kinds of materials you are choosing to include in your home.
Not all materials are equal, and some materials may contain toxic chemicals, particularly asbestos.
Asbestos can cause major issues for the lungs, so much so that it has been actively phased out of most construction materials over the past few decades.
However, many structures still exist that have some amount of asbestos in their materials.
If you have an older home, there may be asbestos in it’s building materials. Those who have asbestos in their homes may understandably wish to have it removed.
However, to do so is an expensive process that requires a team of professionals who are licensed to deal with asbestos abatement.
For many, the price of asbestos abatement may be worth it, as dealing with asbestos abatement now may be cheaper than dealing with asbestosis (the respiratory illness caused by asbestos) in the future.
Beyond asbestos, many older homes may have lead paint, which can also decay over time and turn into particulate matter contaminating your air.
You can find out if you have lead in your home a few different
Firstly, you can buy a home testing kit, which you should be able to find online or at your local hardware store.
However, these tests will simply give you a “yes” or a “no” answer as to whether there is lead in the air, and won’t tell you exactly how much lead there is.
If you need more information, you can have a more official lab test done.
These tests are done by labs certified by the NLLAP, or National Lead Laboratory
Accreditation Program, and you can find a lab in your area that will perform an official test here at the official EPA website.
Finally, your city’s local health department should have a licensed lead risk assessor on call that can come out to your home and help you understand if there are any high-risk areas that may be causing lead contamination to your indoor air.
Tip 10: Check for Mold and Mildew Once a Year
Mold and mildew are huge problems when it comes to indoor air quality, however, unlike lead and asbestos, mold and mildew occur totally naturally, regardless of when your house was built.
Mold and mildew can become an issue for anyone, especially those living in humid climates.
The worst part is that you may not even realize it’s there until it’s too late.
For this reason, having your home routinely examined for mold and mildew at least once a year is always recommended.
Tip 11: Test for Radon Gas Every Two Years
Radon gas is another natural contaminate0 that can occur regardless of when and how your house was built, although it tends to be most common in houses with basement.
Radon gas naturally occurs in a lot of sediment, and it is not good to breathe.
The EPA recommends that you have your home inspected for radon gas at least every 2 years, regardless of its structure or location.
Tip 12: Use Natural Scents to Freshen Your Home
As we discussed in the cleaning section, artificial fragrances can wreak havoc on the air quality in your home.
Those who rely on artificially scented candles and air fresheners to liven up their indoor air once again risk doing much more harm than good.
If you want pleasant scents in your home, you can opt for natural essential oils (this is one of my personal favorites! 😉 ), homemade potpourri, or a DIY home freshening spray.
Another go-to option to make your home smell delicious is to bake some organic
chocolate chip cookies…
Tip 13: Invest In an Air Purifier
This is perhaps the ultimate means to guarantee healthy air for your household, but it is an investment.
Good quality air purifiers, such as those made by Austin Air, can cost a pretty penny, but it is worth it for the amount of difference they can make in your indoor air quality.
I can tell you from first hand experience, these air purifiers work! I have 3 in my home and LOVE them.
Investing in a good air purifier is always going to be a great way to ensure the best indoor air quality for you and your loved ones.
Tip 14: Try Air Fresheners That Use Probiotics
You’ve probably heard of the difference that probiotics can make for your gut health, but many are just now learning that they can aid in your respiratory health, as well.
Just as probiotics help eliminate bad bacteria in your digestive system, they can also help eliminate bad bacteria in your air!
Natural home sprays containing probiotics, such as those made by Homebiotic, can freshen up your home by attacking musty smells head-on.
When you use Homebiotic spray, you know that the smell being gone means that the problem is actually taken care of and that your health is no longer being negatively affected!
Let the Bad Air Out and the Good Air In!
While any step, no matter how small, is going to make a difference, for some homes, more than one method may be needed to achieve the level of air quality you’re hoping to reach.
The more steps you take to ensure the freshest air quality for your home, the healthier you and your loved ones will be!
Making sure that your home is free from contaminants such as mold, toxic chemicals, and dust can make a huge difference in your overall indoor air quality.
In addition, keeping your house opened up to the outside world and choosing
natural cleaners instead of artificial options can ensure that your naturally clean air stays that way, and contaminated air stays far, far away!
Hi, I’m Amy
I’m a Licensed Massage Therapist and have a degree in Human Services, but my most important job is being a wife and mom. My goal is to provide others with researched and reliable natural health information just for women so you too can live….
A Radiantly Healthy Life!