This also means that the quality of the air in our homes stays pretty constant, including toxins, chemicals, molds, and bacteria. Irritants like pollen, mold spores, dust mites, dust, dander, pet hair, and viruses can accumulate in your home. These can cause substantial damage to your lungs and airways. Indoor air pollution is included in the TOP FIVE environmental hazards to the public by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If someone in your home is a smoker, your air quality is even more compromised.
Here are some tips to help you keep your home's indoor air quality healthier:
- Keep floors clean. Vacuum, sweep, and mop regularly. Don't wear shoes in the house unless they are indoor-use only shoes.
- Reduce the humidity in your home. Water can cause mold, so make sure you have no water leaks or condensation building up. Use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Don't allow smoking inside your home under any circumstances.
- Open several windows to air out your home every week. If it's cold outside, even just a few minutes helps.
- Put green plants in your house (caution: over-watering can cause mold). Plants naturally help clean toxins from the air.
- Have your HVAC system cleaned and serviced at least once a year. Companies like Aramendia Plumbing Heating and Air in Houston hire technicians who receive extensive training in the process of air quality repair.
- Change the air filter in your HVAC every 1-3 months. Consider spending a bit more for a more expensive, higher quality filter.
- Window air conditioners need to be cleaned regularly. Be sure you empty drip pans.
- Reduce the number of aerosol cans you use in your home. Opt instead for natural cleaners, natural air fresheners, and pump-style hair spray.
- Regularly remove surface dust from the heating and air conditioning vents in your home. Keep exhaust fans and ceiling fans clean of dust as well.
- Use a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home.
- Ventilate any room where you are painting or using strong chemicals. Always look for low-chemical or natural products when possible.
- Reduce dust mites by replacing old mattresses and steam clean your soft furniture.
Although there is no fool-proof way to completely eliminate air pollution in your home, it's important to make even small changes. If you have family members with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues, the more changes you can make, the safer your air quality.