On average, Americans spend around 90% of their time indoors which makes us more susceptible to indoor air pollution.
Aside from outdoor air pollution, we’re also vulnerable to pollutants in our homes without realizing it. If you’re not sure how to get rid of indoor air pollution, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s everything you need to know: read on and get informed!
What Is Indoor Air Pollution?
Before we discuss how to improve air quality, it’s important to understand what indoor air pollution is. This occurs when air pollutants contaminate your home which often comes from chemicals, products, and even pets. As a result, you may suffer respiratory issues and in worse case scenarios, cancer.
The Main Culprits
There are many reasons why your home may have pollutants in the air. But luckily, once you know the causes then you can take action to purify air again. For example:
Asbestos is found in materials associated with the automotive and home construction industry. You’ll find them in coatings, paints, and floor tiles but nowadays, manufacturers steer clear away from them.
But asbestos may be an issue if you have an older home so get a house inspection so they can do a thorough examination.
Recently installed carpet can affect your indoor air quality. This is because chemicals have likely been released in the process known as off-gassing. These chemicals can linger five years after installation and can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, and asthma-like reactions.
To be safe, open all the windows during the first three days after installation to remove the pollutants.
Paint and VOCs
Household paints contain volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs. Once you’ve painted a wall, you may become light-headed because chemicals like methylene chloride and benzene have been released. Because of this, choose low- or no VOC paint for a more natural option.
A common cause of indoor air pollution is formaldehyde. Although it’s banned in the 1970s, this chemical is still present in certain paints, sealants, and wood floors. Plus, carpets use formaldehyde as a permanent adhesive.
Secondhand smoke kills around 41,000 American adults every year.
Tobacco smoke is a threat to both the smoker and the rest of the household. This is serious especially if you have children as it increases the risk of asthma and even cancer.
Many deodorants and your favorite perfume contribute to indoor air pollution. This is because they’re not regulated by the government so there are often extra chemicals. For instance, you’ll find semi- and volatile chemicals that pose a risk to your health.
Further, fumes from paraffin wax candles can cause harm too. It’s known that paraffin wax emits toxic chemicals like toluene which can build if there’s no ventilation.
How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Once you’ve identified the causes, you can take the next step and solve the problem. Luckily, there are many ways to do this. For instance:
Open Your Windows
One of the easiest ways to purify the air is by opening your windows, especially in the kitchen, attic, and basement. Make sure they’re open at least five minutes a day to prevent the buildup of harmful air pollutants.
You should also use trickle ventilation where you fix merv 13 filters onto windows to welcome fresh air and release air pollutants.
Turn on the AC
In the summer, crank up the AC. Many air pollutants are water-soluble and when the AC is on, they not only remove water from the atmosphere but also the harmful pollutants. Note that you should regularly change the AC’s filter otherwise there’ll be a build-up in dust particles.
Use Beeswax Candles
Don’t worry, you don’t have to forgo candles completely. Simply swap out paraffin candles for beeswax ones because they ionize the air and neutralize any toxic chemicals. Plus, beeswax candles burn slowly so you don’t have to replace them as often.
Or if you want to be completely free from soot, consider LED candles.
Try Salt Lamps
Another fantastic air purifier is salt lamps as the crystals reduce airborne irritants and allergens. Himalayan pink salt is perfect for this so place the lamp in your room or your home office. A bonus is you can leave it on overnight as the natural orange glow doesn’t affect your quality of sleep.
Introducing houseplants to your home is a cost-effective, easy way to counter the impact of air pollutants. To reap the benefits, have at least one houseplant per 100 square feet so your household can enjoy pure air.
The best houseplants for detoxifying the air include Chinese Evergreen, Rubber Plant, and Bamboo Palm.
Clean With Non-Toxic Chemicals
Many store-bought detergents and cleaners have pollutants in them so go natural. Whip up non-toxic cleaning products by using ingredients in your cupboard like vinegar, baking soda, and citrus juice. And, to be safe, use an air purifier as it will also reduce harmful particles in the air.
You should also regularly clean your home with a vacuum cleaner and wipe down dusty surfaces with a damp cloth to reduce air pollutants.
That’s How to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
Now you know the causes and how to reduce indoor air pollution in your home.
Identify the culprits and opt for natural options like beeswax candles or creating your cleaning agents. Once you’ve pinpointed the problem, use trickle ventilation, add houseplants, and use salt lamps to help purify your air. Good luck!
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