Home air pollution: not cool. But sadly, it is quite common. Our homes are, according to the EPA, 2 to 5 times more polluted than the outdoors. And since humans in the US spend about 90% of their time indoors, pollution outdoors is a lot less consequential to our health than outdoor pollution.
As we are well aware of here at aeris, air purifiers are a great way to remove air pollution in your home. But they are not the only way to help the air quality in your home. In fact, if you own an air purifier, all of these strategies will not only increase the air quality but reduce the load on your purifier, thus saving you energy costs and wear on your machine. Win win!
Here are the top tips as recommended by experts for reducing indoor air pollution:
1. Smoke outside (or quit!)
Smoke, of course, is a pollutant. And while the dangers of second hand smoking has been well-established, the truth is that even after the smoking has ended, particulate matter is left behind by cigarettes and cigars, leaving your home polluted in the long term.
So make sure to take that smoke outside. Or, you know, quit.
2. Replace your furnace filter regularly
Ideally, you should be doing this every 30 to 60 days. More specifically, replace disposable fiberglass panel filters at least every 1 to 3 months and replace higher quality, pleated filters at least every 3 to 6 months. If you also have your venting system cleaned by a professional every year or two, you’ll be doing a great job of making sure that your furnace doesn’t add to any indoor pollution in your home.
3. Reduce the use of, and store carefully, your chemical products
Disinfecting sprays, paints and solvents can trigger asthma attacks. That’s on the extreme side. But even leaving things like glues and pesticides out in your home can increase the pollutants in your home. And while you’re at it, switching to using homemade cleaning items like a mixture of white vinegar and water can greatly reduce your indoor pollution. DIY blogs are a great place to learn about these things, by the way!
4. Plants plants plants
We all love plants in our homes, but often we may feel not as motivated to purchase them due to the maintenance required. But maybe this may help motivate you: plants do an excellent job of eating up indoor (and outdoor!) pollutants. And, in fact, there are some plants that are better at doing it than others. Check out this great resource.
5. Watch (or cut out) your carpets
Carpets can be magnets for indoor pollutants, especially if a wet mess is left unattended. Leaving carpets damp will lead to the growth of bacteria such as mold spores (ah!). Especially if you have children, who just love spilling things, making sure to reduce the pollutants created by carpets is absolutely essential. And if you’re feeling up for it, you might even want to have them removed instead.
6. Clean your pets
Pets, as you probably are aware of, are a huge cause of air pollutants. Pet dander is one of the leading causes of indoor pollution. One of the easiest ways to reduce the spread of dander is to give your pets regular baths. I mean, you should probably be doing this anyway. But you hear what I’m saying, right?
7. Open a window
Yep, as I mentioned, the outdoors have less pollution than your home, so simply opening your window can make a difference. And if you combine that with an air purifier with a high CADR (hello, aair products!), then you can have the benefits of fresh air combined with even more air purification. Win win.
8. Don’t cover odors
Listen, I get it. You’re concerned about the smells in your home. But things like air fresheners, incense, and even scented candles actually make your home more polluted. They literally cover odors, thus not getting to the source of the problem but creating a new one. What you want is to remove odors (ahem).
Yes, that old standby. Vacuuming is very important, especially if you’re mainly using a broom to clean your rooms. As above, your goal when dealing with indoor pollution should not be to just cover it or move it, but to remove it. Vacuuming will do just that.
10. Well, getting an air purifier
Yes, I know, I already mentioned it! But look, (good) air purifiers make a huge difference in air pollution in the home, cutting out 99.95% of pollutants in homes. Of course, doing your research is critical: there are lots of air purifier companies that make false claims, or that don’t mention they destroy one pollutant while creating another one.
If you want to chat about these details, we’re always available. But either way, make sure you make your purchase intelligently.
Wishing you well on your air health journey!