All of us face a number of risks to our health as we go about our daily lives. Driving in cars, flying in planes, playing softball at the park...all of these activities pose varying degrees of inherent risk. Some are risks we choose to accept because, well...to stop driving or going to the park would mean forgoing the parts of life we enjoy the most. Some risks, however, are completely avoidable.
Indoor air pollution? That's risk you can do something about.
In the last several years, a growing body of research has indicated that the air within our homes can actually be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even our most industrialized cities. With modern people spending approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, this is really alarming.
Stale indoor air can increase the amount of allergy-inducing dust mites, pet dander and mold spores circulating throughout your home. But it's not just dust you need to worry about. Most of the things that cause serious health problems are odorless; in many cases, there's nothing to alert you to a problem!
Those most at risk for diseases caused or exacerbated by poor indoor air quality? The young, the elderly and the chronically ill — particularly, those who already suffer from respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, this is something we can fix!
Improving indoor air quality
While it's not yet possible to eliminate all allergens and pollutants in your home, you can absolutely reduce exposure to them by making some simple changes. Here are five foolproof strategies that will help you improve indoor air quality and, hopefully, set your mind at ease.
1. Keep things clean
A clean house is a healthy house! Good indoor hygiene cuts down on dust, animal dander and chemical remnants and reduces accumulation over time. Focus on:
Vacuuming carpets and area rugs at least once a week with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter.
Regularly cleaning soft surfaces like bedding, drapes and pillow covers that tend to attract allergens, especially if you have pets.
Wash linens in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consider using dust mite-proof covers on pillows, mattresses and box springs.
Clear clutter that traps dust.
2. Keep your greenery outside
While some plants help improve indoor air quality because they release oxygen, too many means allergy triggers. Sometimes, they create more problems than they help. If indoor allergens are a problem, consider keeping most of your plants on the patio where you can enjoy them outside your home.
3. Invest in an air purifier
If you can't control the source of the problem inside your home — maybe you can't bear the thought of letting your family pet go — it may help to invest in an ionic air purifier. These devices capture irritants with a removable filter. From there, all you have to do is toss it!
4. Start using a dehumidifier
Consider using a dehumidifier in particularly damp areas of the home, such as a basement, in the laundry area, or in bathrooms. Mold commonly appears in these areas, only adding to indoor air pollution and irritation.
5. Keep pure air inside
Air leakage occurs when outside air enters and conditioned air leaves your house uncontrollably through cracks and openings in the home's structure. Not only does this air leakage mean cold drafts and uneven temperatures throughout the house, it also results in poor indoor air quality!
The number one recommendation for reducing air leakage? Detect leaks and seal them off through weatherstripping.
While air sealing doesn't eliminate the need for proper insulation, it can work wonders for indoor air quality. After all, what's the point in purifying your indoor living space if it's just going to be re-contaminated by outdoor pollutants?
Protect your health. Invest in air sealing by an expert.
To learn more, reach out through our chat box or call 307-632-7777. We'll take care of you!