10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

10 Simple Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality {thegreeningofwestford.com}
 
Your  home is your castle.  You feel most comfortable and safe in your home.
Did you know that indoor air quality can be 2 to 5 times worse than outdoor air, according to the EPA?
 
When we use air fresheners, perfume or hair spray inside, they release particles that stay in the air.  Other materials in our homes can let off harmful gases for years.  Things such as carpets, shower curtains, paints, fabric, particle board, cabinets, and mattresses. Dust also contains harmful particles such as lead which can be inhaled.  Newer homes are being built more airtight to reduce energy costs.  However, without proper ventilation, these gases are trapped inside.
 
 Even if you just have a normal build up of household dust, it can cause problems.  Poor indoor air quality has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.  With more of us spending more time indoors, it is especially important to improve our indoor air quality.
 

Reduce The Sources

The best way to improve your indoor air is to reduce what comes into your home.
 
  1. Don’t use air fresheners or other synthetic fragrances.
  2. Remove your shoes at the door to keep out a whole host of chemicals along with the dirt.
  3.  Switch to non-toxic cleaners.
  4. Do not smoke in your home.
Remove What is Already Here
There are other steps to remove what may already be here.
  1. Vacuum often to eliminate allergens like pollen, pet dander, dust mites and dust.  Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter is very helpful.  Don’t forget vacuum those corners and under the sofa and beds.
  2. Wipe down baseboards and walls to remove dust.
  3. Take area rugs and sofa cushions outside to air out.  Beat them to release extra dust.
  4. Open the windows and doors, daily if possible, to let new air in.
  5. NASA discovered that having plenty of plants can reduce up to 85% of the toxins.  Palms, Boston fern, English Ivy, Peace Lily and Spider plants are good choices as they absorb the common toxins.  Plants should be spread throughout your home, roughly 1 plant per 100 sq feet of space is recommended.
  6. Change your furnace/AC filter according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Recently I started having allergy-like symptoms, especially at night sitting on my sofa.  I don’t have allergies.   After just one day of opening the windows, vacuuming every nook and cranny,  and airing out area rugs and my sofa cushions, I feel much better.
 
Have any other suggestions?  Please share them.
 
This post was in response to Reduce Footprints Change the World Wednesday Challenge regarding indoor air quality.

6 Responses to 10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

  1. Small Footprints May 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Great tips! I especially like the one about wiping down baseboards and walls … it’s amazing how much “stuff” clings to those areas. I also read that sunshine helps to freshen the air by killing many germs/bacteria so … if possible, it’s a good idea to open the curtains and let the sunshine in … especially at this time of year when it’s not too hot yet.

    Thanks for sharing these ideas!!

  2. The Greening Of Westford May 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    I couldn’t believe how much stuff was on the baseboards and along the sides of my carpeting! Yuck!
    Did not know about the sun! Thanks!

  3. groovygreenlivin.com May 10, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    Great list! It always feels so nice to open the windows once it warms up outside. Changing filters is so important and something that is so easy to overlook. We try to have dates in our calendar so we don’t forget-we still do sometimes!

  4. The Greening Of Westford May 11, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    I do the same thing with the filters! I have it in my online calendar and I get an email reminder! We still forget!

  5. Scented Leaf June 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Thanks for the tips. I’m glad I came along your articles via Sprouts Green Blog Hop. I’m looking forward to read more.

  6. Jey Raul October 21, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    Nice list of tips to improve indoor quality. I was looking for this to improve my environment in my home. You can check out this if you stay in Minneapolis. Indoor Air Quality Minneapolis.

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