What Can Be Done About Indoor Air Pollutants?
Indoor air pollutants are a rising concern for people all over the country. Indoor air pollutants can come from almost anything: furnishings, air fresheners, building materials, central heating, and cooling systems, gas stoves, excess moisture, outdoor sources, and much more.
While traditionally we think of air pollution being bad outdoors in cities, regardless of where you live, you could be exposing yourself and others to polluted indoor air. Plus, you spend a majority of your time inside your home, so if your home is polluted, it means you might be breathing more polluted air than you are breathing in clean air. On top of all of this, we are always trying to save money by insulating our homes to save heat and energy during the winter, which further traps the pollutants, potentially making the problem worse.
Therefore, you must ask yourself: what can I do about indoor air pollutants?
8 Ways to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
Here are 8 strategies you can implement to improve your indoor air quality.
- Stop smoking indoors. Studies show that tobacco smoke is one of the most common indoor air pollutants. Cigarette smoke is even worse in rooms with a lot of carpets and fabric. Therefore, if you have to smoke, smoke outside.
- Open windows. Unless it’s very cold outside, it’s allergy season, or you live in a city with lots of outdoor air pollution and smog, you should consider opening your windows. Opening your windows will provide some ventilation allowing the trapped pollutants to disperse into the outdoor air and be replaced by the cleaner air outside.
- Vacuum. Vacuuming is a great way to prevent and mitigate indoor air pollution. Vacuuming often prevents dust, dander, hair, and other particles from building up on your floors and getting into the air.
- Bathe your pet. If you have a pet, they could, unfortunately, be contributing to your indoor air pollution, mostly through their hair and dander. One way to reduce this is by washing them frequently, whether they like it or not. Also, it’s best if they stay out of your bedroom too.
- Use exhaust fans. Use exhaust fans in the kitchen to reduce fumes produced from cooking and in your bathroom to remove steam from showering. Also, check to make sure that your dryer vent is connected to the outside to minimize lint.
- Use natural cleaning supplies. Harsh chemicals in cleaning products can create poor air quality and irritate or inflame the lungs and airways of sensitive people. To prevent this, purchase cleaning supplies that have natural ingredients, or consider making your own. Mixing lemon juice and vinegar is an effective kitchen-surface cleaning supply.
- Stop using artificial odors. Air fresheners, incense, scented candles, and other artificial fragrances can trigger asthma. If you must have a scented environment, consider natural aromatherapy sources.
- Ventilate with a whole house fan. Besides eliminating things in your home that actively pollute your air, the best thing to do is to properly ventilate your house. Whole house fans make ventilation easy. They effectively push out the stale, polluted indoor air from your house and replace it with fresh outdoor air. Installing a whole house fan in your home will ensure that indoor air pollutants can’t build up to dangerous levels and that you breathe much cleaner air.
There are many other ways you can reduce indoor air pollution, but the best thing for you to do is to first stop using or doing anything that makes your indoor air quality worse. Then, you need to make sure that you are properly ventilating your house. This means opening your windows, using exhaust fans, and best of all, using a whole house fan.