Air quality is something that people don’t often think about until they realize that it is affecting them negatively, but the air that you breathe indoors can be just as bad for your health as the air outside. If you are concerned with air quality inside of your home, here are some helpful tips to improve it.
Get An Air Filter
An air filter is an inexpensive way to improve the quality of air in your home. Whether it’s an 8 inch carbon filter or an air purifier for a whole house, you will be surprised by the amount of dust and allergens that this filter can trap from your air. To illustrate how they work, think of your air filter as a giant strainer. It catches all of the big particles like dust, pet hair, and pollen while allowing the smaller particles to flow through. Here’s how to choose the right air filter:
The size of the air filter is important because you want to make sure that it is big enough to cover the entire area of your fan. If it is too small, then it will not be effective at trapping contaminants. To gauge the right size, measure the diameter of your fan’s blades. The air filter should be the same size in inches.
If you have a central air system, then you want to choose an air filter that is designed for cooling systems. Despite their name, these filters are not just for summer months when your air conditioning unit is running—they are effective all year round. While you might be tempted to buy an air filter that is the cheapest model, there are some things that you should avoid:
Avoid Cheap Plastic Filters
Some cooling systems come with cheap plastic filters and these can easily break. If they do break, then your central air system will not work as effectively because it will not be able to filter the air properly.
Avoid Air Filters With a Chemical Scent
Some air filters have a chemical scent that is meant to cover up the smell of contaminants. While this might seem like a good thing, it can actually be harmful to your health because you are breathing in these chemicals.
Open The Windows
Another easy way to improve air quality in your home is to open the windows. Fresh air is one of the best ways to get rid of contaminants and stale air. Just make sure that you are not opening the windows during times when there is a lot of pollution or pollen in the air.
You can take this a step further and install new windows entirely. Here are the best types of windows for better quality air:
Vinyl windows are affordable and they come in a range of styles to suit your home. They are made out of durable vinyl so you do not have to worry about them becoming damaged by the weather, but their thick frame keeps cold air from seeping through during the winter months. Plus, since it is one continuous piece, there are no cracks or joints for dirt and dust to accumulate.
Casement windows open outwards which allows for a lot of airflows. They are perfect for homes that have limited space because they do not take up a lot of room when they are open. Plus, since they are hinged on one side, you can easily clean the glass from the inside.
Double-pane windows are a good investment because they help to keep your home energy efficient. In addition to blocking out the cold air in winter, they also keep the hot air out during the summer months. Plus, they reduce noise pollution from outside sources.
The best triple pane windows offer the most advanced noise reduction and insulation. They are 30% more effective at reflecting heat than single or double pane models, which means that your AC will not have to work as hard to keep you cool in the summer. Plus, they can block out up to 60% of outside noise pollution.
Create An Indoor Garden For Fresh Air
One of the best ways to improve air quality in your home is to create an indoor garden. Not only will you have fresh air coming into your home, but you will also have a source of fresh produce right inside your house. If you don’t have any room for a traditional garden, then try installing a walled garden or even a hanging garden. Here’s are some gardening tips:
- Get a green thumb: If you’ve never grown plants before, try starting with herbs—they are the easiest to take care of and they can be used in cooking.
- Choose small plants: Instead of going for large plants that will require a lot of maintenance, choose small plants instead. This is especially true if you don’t have a lot of space.
- Install a watering system: Automated watering systems are a great way to make sure your plants get the water they need without having to worry about it yourself.
- Use vertical space: If you don’t have a lot of horizontal space, use vertical space to your advantage. There are many plants that can be grown vertically, like tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Choose plants that purify the air: There are many plants that are great for improving air quality. Some of these plants include aloe vera, bamboo, and English ivy.
Avoid Air Fresheners
Air fresheners might seem like a good way to get rid of bad smells, but they can actually be harmful to your health. Many air fresheners contain chemicals that can be irritating to your lungs. In fact, some of them can release chemicals that are more dangerous than the smells they are meant to be eliminating. Here are some of the bad chemicals:
Benzene is a chemical that can cause dizziness, memory loss, and even death. Benzene has been linked to various types of cancer, like leukemia. It is found in cigarettes, gasoline, plastics, paints, furniture waxes, rubber adhesives, glues used for plywood subfloors, and particleboard floors—and it can also be found in air fresheners.
Formaldehyde is a chemical that is used in the production of building materials like particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard. It is also found in some types of insulation, automotive products, and air fresheners. Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer and can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation as well.
Toluene is a chemical that has been found to be harmful if it is inhaled for too long of a period of time. It can damage your nervous system—which means you might experience problems with vision, hearing, and balance.
The quality of your air is essential to your health and well-being. If you want to do something about the air quality in your home, try getting an air filter, installing better windows, getting plants, and avoiding using air fresheners.