6 Easy Ways to Keep Indoors Free from Air Pollution
We always associate air pollution with the dark, cloudy air outside our homes. We tend to forget that the air inside our homes can also be polluted. Meaning, the air you breathe while you are sitting comfortably on the couch watching TV can potentially make you sick.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution is caused by so many factors. Firstly, outdoor air can still find a way to enter your house. If you keep the doors and windows open longer than they should, they are portals for common air pollutants which linger inside your home.
Anyone who enters your household is a carrier of toxic gasses and filth that can mix with the air. Your fur babies can bring inside not only soil but a lot of dirt and germs after playing outdoors. Their urine and poop also produce nasty smells when not taken out immediately.
Another common air pollutant is cigarette smoke. The fumes from cigarette smoke can settle into the air and pose health hazards, particularly in rooms with many fabrics or carpeting. These fumes are called third-hand smoke, which can still pose risks, especially to children, the elderly, and those with respiratory illnesses.
Household cleaners contain chemicals that release fumes into the air. These gasses can irritate the eyes, nose, and skin. They can also worsen asthma and sinusitis and slow down the healing process for people with severe lung conditions. They can also trigger allergies which make the sufferer lightheaded and restless all day.
Other sources of indoor air pollutants are the following:
- Candles and incense particulates;
- Dry-cleaned garments;
- Mold, pollen, and dust mites;
- Improper ventilation;
- Gas stoves;
- Building materials like asbestos and lead.
How to Reduce Indoor Air Pollutants
Although you cannot make indoor air 100% pollutant-free, there are several ways that you can do to reduce it to a harmless level.
#1 Keep Indoor Plants
Science tells us that plants use carbon dioxide for their food production. They trap not just CO2 but other small particulates in the air. Plants can absorb other toxins like formaldehyde, toluene, octane, and carbon monoxide.
Keeping indoor plants is beneficial to improving indoor air quality as they continuously supply fresh oxygen. Here are some indoor plants that add an outdoor feel to your indoor space and help clean the air:
- Heartleaf Philodendron
- Dwarf bamboos
- Spider plants
- Peace lilies
- Snake plants
- Weeping figs
- Rubber plants
#2 Open your windows
Opening your doors and windows for at least five minutes once a day helps replace stagnant air with fresh air from outside. If you live in an area with good air quality, you can leave your windows longer. This promotes better air circulation inside your house. For residents of a busy city, keeping windows open for a long time is not recommended.
Keep your windows open if you use volatile chemicals like paint strippers or paint. If you need paint, look for a low-or no-VOC brand to avoid exposing toxic fumes.
#3 Choose non-toxic cleaners
Household products that you are using for cleaning and sanitizing parts of the house also contain harmful chemicals. Most air fresheners, detergents, and cleaning solutions have certain levels of toxic compounds on them that can mix up with the air.
When shopping for home cleaning products, be mindful of the following tips:
- Choose no-VOC or low-VOC paints, stains, paint thinner, and glues. When painting, use a brush instead of spray.
- Opt for plants and flowers instead of chemical-filled air fresheners.
- Use environment-friendly products instead of chemical-filled brands.
- If you’re not going anywhere, don’t use perfume. If you need to, wear perfume lightly.
#4 Do not smoke
Several studies confirm that cigarette smoke has more than 70 carcinogenic compounds that can linger in the air or in fabric for a long time. Exposure to these toxins can cause serious health problems for other family members.
If you’re a smoker, don’t smoke inside the house. The toxic compounds can quickly accelerate to a dangerous level if you do. Consider taking your last stick of cigarette after your work. Once you arrive home, change your clothes first before playing with your kids.
#5 Use humidifiers
A humidifier doesn’t really clean the air. What it does is helps in keeping the proper humidity inside your house. Depending on the level of technology a humidifier uses, one unit can keep the right humidity level in a limited space. In terms of mechanism, a humidifier works the same way as an air conditioner, less the cooling effect provided by the latter.
#6 Keeping your home clean
Most household dust is a mixture of organic matter and particulates from outdoor air transported inside the house every time someone enters the house, including pets.
You cannot prevent dust from entering your home, but you can reduce your exposure to it by cleaning regularly. Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters should capture most of the hazardous particles.
Cleaning your heating and air conditioning filters, ducts, and vents regularly can also help in maintaining the cleanliness of the floor. It will remove dirt that has collected over time, resulting in fresher and cleaner indoor air.