No More Irritation: 6 Ways to Reduce the Amount of Fine Particles in Your Home
The EPA now reports that indoor air can easily have two to five times more pollutants than outdoor air. That means anyone, but especially people with existing respiratory conditions can have their health negatively impacted simply by breathing while in their own home. So, what precautions can homeowners take to improve the quality of the air supply in their homes? Here are six commonly cited strategies to make your home healthier.
Filter the Air Entering a Home
Opening the home’s windows allows fresher air to enter the property. However, it’s also important to filter the outside air to minimize the number of pollutants entering the home. Sites like allergyguard.com provide a wealth of information for property owners exploring options for improving their home’s air quality. Special screens are designed to filter a variety of particles that jeopardize the well-being of a home’s residents.
Understand the Pollutants Already Present
Health threats related to indoor air contamination vary from one property to the next, meaning it’s always a good idea to have your home’s air analyzed to determine what pollutants are present. An indoor air monitor can easily determine if contaminants are already in the home. Monitors detect a wide variety of pollutants and provide users with recommendations for remediating the threats. That advice generally makes it easier to determine how to proceed.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Effectively cleaning a home requires some effort. Air quality professionals routinely recommend vacuuming all carpets deeply to eliminate as much dirt as possible. Next, upholstery should be cleaned frequently. A professional cleaner will provide recommendations for how often chairs, couches, and other upholstered furniture should be professionally cleaned. The suggested timetable will depend on the local environment, the number of people in the home, whether pets are present, and other factors.
Use Fewer Cleaning Chemicals
The majority of cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that pose a significant threat to a home’s residents. Look for natural cleaning products that include less-toxic ingredients or use DIY products you can make using all-natural items most people already have in their homes. There are numerous recommendations for cleaning products online that will clean almost anything found in a home.
Check and Replace Furnace Filters Often
Furnace filters need to be changed often. When air conditioning is operated during hot months, and while the furnace is on all the time during cold weather, those filters will get dirty quickly. In some cases, filters will last for up to 90 days without needing to be cleaned or changed. However, in harsher conditions, those filters may need replacing in as little as 30 days. Checking the filters is easy, so it’s a good idea to inspect them at least once per month. By the same token, don’t neglect dirty ductwork. If there are dirt and other debris in the ducts, have them cleaned by a professional.
Test for Carbon Monoxide and Radon
Even low levels of carbon monoxide and radon can cause problems. Every home with gas or oil appliances or wood heat should have carbon monoxide detectors located in different areas of the home. Radon is found throughout the country in varying quantities, so checking a home for the presence of radon is always recommended. If either element is found, there are specific solutions available to correct the situation. While professional help is usually needed to eliminate those problems, the health benefits are well worth the investment.
Ventilate the home as often as possible. In warmer months, open the windows and allow the stale indoor air to be exchanged. During colder weather, it’s still possible to freshen a home’s indoor air supply. HVAC experts can explain the various options to improve indoor air quality and allow property owners to select a solution that fits their needs.