Indoor air pollution can cause health problems and worsen the symptoms of people suffering from allergies and asthma. Here are a few steps you can take to improve indoor air quality at home.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air?
Several factors contribute to the poor air quality inside your home. If your home is well-sealed and poorly ventilated, indoor pollutants accumulate. Cigarette smoke is a common cause, along with dust, mold, and pet dander.
Formaldehyde is another relatively common indoor pollutant. This toxic gas can come from hardwood, plywood, insulation, particleboard, and other building materials. Some detergents, household cleaners, and pet products also contain formaldehyde. Other sources of indoor air pollution include:
- Gas stoves
- Chemical cleaners
- Stains, paints, and lacquers
- Permanent press fabrics
- Fabric softeners
- Glue and adhesives
Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Health
Poor air quality can affect your family’s health. Some of the symptoms caused by indoor air pollution are listed below.
- Sinus congestion
- Dryness of the throat and eyes
- Coughing and sneezing
Because these symptoms are similar to getting a cold or seasonal allergies, it can be difficult to know the difference. However, if you feel better whenever you are outside or away from home, this is a sign that contaminants inside the home are affecting you.
Improve Indoor Air Quality with House Plants
Some houseplants filter chemicals and toxins from indoor air. Adding houseplants in your home can help clean the air. Some of the best houseplants to improve indoor air quality include philodendron, pothos, spider plant, and peace lily. The heart-leaf philodendron is easy to grow and is one of the best houseplants to filter out formaldehyde.
Simply opening your windows will circulate stale indoor air, especially if your home is usually closed tight during the winter or summer. When cooking, use the kitchen fan to improve ventilation and move smoke and odors out of the home. Using ventilation fans in the bathroom while bathing circulates the air and helps prevent mold growth.
Change Filters and Clean HVAC Vents
Change your HVAC filters every month or as recommended to improve indoor air quality. Debris in your air ducts gets circulated through your home each time the system is turned on. Have a professional company clean your air ducts and vents every few years.
Take Your Shoes Off to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Many of the toxins in our homes like pesticides, germs, and pollutants are tracked in on the bottom of our shoes. Depending on where you’ve been in a day, your shoes can carry in various pollutants. Get into the habit of taking your shoes off at the door. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve indoor air quality.