Molds, VOCs, Biotoxins, Nano-Particles, and Lead can collect in your home and pose some serious health threats. They are often hidden or just not noticeable until there’s a real problem like nuisance health effects (itches, rashes, dry cough, sneezing) to full-blown deteriorated health requiring a visit to the doctor’s office. Here are 15 helpful hints we have compiled according to the experts and based on GreenWorks decades of field experience to help improve and manage your Home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
1. Open Windows
Adequate ventilation is key to promoting healthy indoor air, and opening windows (when it’s not too cold or the pollen count isn’t too high, of course) is an easy way to encourage a good exchange of indoor and outdoor air.
2. Ban Smoking
“Absolutely no cigarette smoke,” says Norman Edelman, MD, senior scientific adviser for the American Lung Association. Secondhand smoke impairs respiratory health and is responsible for about 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year in nonsmokers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
3. Give Your Pets a Bath
If you have pets, bathe them and wash their bedding often to reduce allergy-causing dander. And we hate to break it to you, but you should also keep them out of bedrooms.
4. Use Exhaust Fans and Ventilators
Run fans in the kitchen to remove cooking fumes and in bathrooms to remove steam. Also, be sure that your dryer vents to the outside to minimize lint. To reduce the level of pollen in the air on days it’s not possible to open the windows, run your window air conditioner on the fan setting with a clean filter.
5. Use a Doormat
Wiping shoes can reduce pollutants carried into the house. Better yet, establish a shoes-off policy when entering the home.
6. Change Filters Regularly
If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, change the air filters more often when there’s more smoke or pollen in the air (minimally every 2-3 months).
7. Skip Fires
Flames dancing in a fireplace and the flicker of candles look delightful, but they release soot and smoke into the air that may migrate throughout your home. If you must, do it sparingly or light those fires outside, away from your home, in a fire pit or chiminea.
8. Don’t Cover Up Odors
Avoid air fresheners, scented candles, incense, and other odor-masking fragrances, which can trigger asthma.
9. Vacuum Often
Do this, especially if you have a pet. Brooms can just stir up more dust. But it’s best if you use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
10. Use a Microfiber Dusting Cloth
Develop a “Dust Destroyer” mentality and arm yourself with microfiber rags and Swiffer-type dusters. These dust collection magnets will remove more dust than typical cotton cleaning rags.
11. Minimize Carpeting
Carpets are notorious microbial reservoirs trapping pollutants such as dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, skin cells, insect fragments, lead dust, and other dirt and dust. Choose hard-surface flooring instead with area rugs that can be easily cleaned.
12. Try to Stay Dry
To reduce microbial organisms (like molds, fungi, bacteria, yeasts, etc.), keep moisture down by using a dehumidifier and cleaning the filter regularly.
13. Store Chemicals Safely
Store solvents, glues, and pesticides away from living areas. And when possible, use homemade cleaning products, such as a mixture of white vinegar and water.
14. Try an Air Purifier
An air purifier alone won’t remove all the impurities in your indoor air. But if you’ve gone to the effort to keep allergens and other pollutants out of your home, an air purifier could help to reduce them further. Try in your bedroom first, as the space is easier to filter than the entire home.
15. Get Your Home Checked
Let’s face it, we all need some help with this stuff. Having a professional establish a baseline every year or two for many of the pollutants you are trying to manage (like mold spores, particulates, allergens, VOCs) is a great way to monitor your efforts and adjust as needed.
In conclusion, your home is your sanctuary, a place where you deserve the highest quality indoor air. The health benefits of improved indoor air quality are innumerable, and the journey to achieving this begins with awareness and actionable steps. The aforementioned tips will significantly contribute to enhancing the quality of your home environment, but a comprehensive solution calls for professional guidance. At GreenWorks, we are dedicated to providing expert indoor air quality solutions with decades of experience in the field and a reputation for excellence.
A healthier home is just a phone call away. Contact us today to schedule your Indoor Air Quality Maintenance (M.O.M. Services) appointment or call (732) 223-2073. Your health, and that of your loved ones, is too precious to risk. Don’t wait, start your journey towards a healthier home today.