Indoor air quality in the house or building can affect your well-being. If you didn’t know, indoor air could be about five times more polluted than outdoors. During the pandemic, this aspect of the home became a focus as families worked from home with children attending online classes. While things are back to normal, maintaining air quality inside your cocoon is critical. Some believe the dust is the main culprit in hampering the air’s health in the house. Although it is a pollutant, the household atmosphere suffers from the pollution that interferes with your lungs, causing respiratory problems. Breathing such air for a long time can lead to asthma flare-ups and other issues.
Please understand cleanliness and air quality of the house are two different things. One must know the lingering smell in the air, even if it feels pleasant, or even a spotless-looking home can spell danger that is not detectable by the bare eye.
Signs of compromised air quality
The foul smell from a leaky pipe and stale food can be a prominent sign. Even your health can indicate your home’s environment. Dizziness, fatigue, sinus irritation, headaches, frequent asthma and allergy problems, and difficulty breathing are a few examples. These reveal mold or dust lurking in the house, such as behind wallpapers or below the carpet. How do you track these issues? Some households use carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and air quality monitoring devices to examine and report indoor pollution status. Ensure that you change batteries and alarms occasionally to enjoy their continuous services.
Indoor air pollution types
Pollutants can be odorous or odorless. The cigarette smell itself isn’t the only reason you must get rid of it. Secondhand smoke can cause many health challenges, such as ear infections, asthma attacks, and respiratory troubles. The smoke can stay in the air for a long time. Many household items also contain high levels of toxicity. Think of pesticides, cleaners, and disinfectants. All these release different types of gas in the air, creating short-lived and long-lived health setbacks. Even soothing air fresheners can have formaldehyde-like carcinogenic chemical compounds that may make your health suffer.
There is a certain level of awareness about household products’ harmful sides. But ignoring things like candles, fireplaces, and gas stoves is common. Any appliance that uses combustion or fuel will emit gas into the environment, such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Another gas that can be present in the house is a radioactive Radon gas. The gas in the ground sneaks into your home through basement openings. Radon doesn’t have any color or smell. You need a device to detect it.
Furthermore, products used during insulation and some carpet installation work can contain unsafe chemicals like lead, asbestos, volatile organic compounds, and formaldehyde. Mold is another telltale that your home’s air is under attack. Mold feeds on dampness, so its favorite corners can be kitchens and bathrooms. Long-term mold exposure can cause allergies and lung problems. If you opt for mold remediation, keep a budget of around USD $2,215 aside. Apart from these, the sight of pollen, dust mites, fleas, and pet dander also bodes trouble.
Methods to improve air quality inside
Air purifiers can be one of the best appliances as they eliminate particles and smells from the air. You get them in various sizes and price points. Just as you would examine the features of a sink faucet, you must investigate all the functions of an air purifier to understand its utility in your house and make it a budget-friendly purchase. Some households use houseplants to get rid of VOCs from poorly ventilated spaces. Some beneficial choices include rubber plants, bamboo palms, areca palms, and dracaena. Even a daily habit like opening shoes at the entrance can help. Studies reveal that shoes carry more than 400,000 bacterial units, which can quickly spread in the house if you don’t bleach floors regularly.
You can switch to intelligent thermostats over other gadgets to track the humidity and temperature status of your house. These come with all the functions found in other independent devices. Some models can include features like alerts, energy consumption, HVAC compatibility, etc. On average, a thermostat can be available for USD $175. When you hire a professional technician for installation, they may charge USD $100 per hour based on the location. While it feels expensive, a smart thermostat offers many benefits. You can keep your house’s temperature well-regulated from your smartphone per the weather condition even when you are outside. You can also maintain a suitable cold or warm temperature for everyone. It prevents you from running the HVAC at full speed.
As for household products like cleaners, choose detergents and other cleaning agents free of fragrance. These generally don’t contain VOCs. Or, you can try DIY stuff with a mixture of lemon, baking soda, and vinegar. The solution can remove stains and disinfect the surfaces like a pro. Some people use house cleaning services. If you also call them, select one that relies on fragrance-free cleaners. It’s also better to do away with air fresheners. Your homemade disinfectant can neutralize odor, dispelling foul smells from the fridge, carpet, and other spots. Or, you can opt for essential oils in place of air fresheners.
Every corner of the house should have a proper ventilation mechanism. Install exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Since bathing and cooking release steam and gas into the air, the fan can drive them away, cleaning the indoor air. Indulge in thorough cleaning to keep air vents, air filters, bedding, upholstery, drains, and pipes dirt and dust free.
It may seem demanding, but keep your home safe for everyone. Since invisible pollutants are always ready to attack its pure fabric, you can do various things to protect it from potential damage. You can change things gradually. However, prioritize corners and methods that benefit the most. For instance, smart thermostats and air purifiers can be those. You can replace commercial cleaners with homemade cleaners. When your home’s air is clean, you and your family enjoy health and wellness.