Making an effort toward cleaner indoor air is no longer the exclusive domain of asthma and allergy sufferers. There are health concerns for everyone if the air in a structure is toxic or just poor quality. Here are some things to consider to protect the air you breathe in your home, office, or other structure in which you spend a good deal of time.
1. Change your air filters
One of the most common reasons that a repair service is called out to fix a problem with a heating or cooling system is a dirty air filter. Changing it is easy to do yourself, and should be done at least every 90 days. It should be changed more often during periods of heavy usage.
Fresh air can help prevent the accumulation of indoor air pollutants. A well-ventilated home is less likely to harbor mold, and any off-gassing from materials in the home will be moved out with the air rather than left to accumulate.
3. Decorate or redecorate responsibly
If you are going to paint a room, try to choose a paint that is low in volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Such paint is on the market, and while it costs a bit more, the long-term health benefits are worth it.
If you are wallpapering, do not put wallpaper in high-moisture areas, such as a bathroom. Wallpaper exposed to moisture tends to peel, releasing the adhesive into the air. Also, high moisture can cause mold to grow behind the wallpaper. If you are stripping old wallpaper first, look for chemical strippers that are low in VOCs. Even better, use a steamer to loosen the wallpaper instead.
Carpets are a significant source of indoor air pollution; the glues holding them together off-gas toxic vapor and their fibers hold animal dander, dust, and other allergens. If you are re-doing a room, consider taking up the carpet. If there is no carpet in the room, leave it that way.
4. Clean without chemical cleaners
If you use commercial cleansers to clean your home, you may well be putting a lot of harmful vapors into the air, especially bleach. Use natural cleaners or make them yourself to avoid this scenario.
5. Inspect your home for moisture and leaks
Clean up any spilled water around your toilet, sink and bathtub. In the basement, check the walls and floors for leaks and check the hot water heater. Appliance hoses need to be checked for leaks as well.
6. Invest in an air purifier
There are multiple styles, designs, and sizes of air purifiers on the market. They actually filter the air and remove some of the harmful substances. They are worth considering, especially if the source of your indoor air pollution cannot be dealt with immediately.
Keeping the air clean inside your home benefits everyone.