You probably think of air pollution as being an outdoor problem, right? What if you found out that the air inside your home was actually dirtier than the air outside? Statistically, this is likely to be true. The EPA recently studied indoor air and found that it can be up to five times dirtier than outdoor air. That might be scary to think about, but there are plenty of ways to clean up your indoor air. In fact, if you follow these steps, you just might have the cleanest indoor air on the block.
1. Switch to Natural Cleaning Products
In an effort to keep your house clean, you might actually be making the problem worse. A lot of cleaning products contain dyes and fragrances that linger in the air and irritate your respiratory tract. Switch to natural cleaners whenever possible — your air will stay much cleaner. White vinegar and baking soda can clean almost everything.
2. Use a HEPA Vacuum
Vacuuming more often can help keep your indoor air clean, but you must be sure that your vacuum is actually holding onto the dust, rather than just kicking it up into the air. Look for a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This type of filter will trap more small particles. They're a little more costly, but they are worth it.
3. Dust More Often
When was the last time you actually dusted your house? Most people these days get busy and do not dust nearly as often as previous generations. Then, when as much as a gentle breeze blows through your home, the dust gets into the air and reduces your air quality. Start dusting once a week and make sure you use a microfiber cloth or dusting towel that actually clings to the dust rather than just spreading it around.
4. Install a Dehumidifier
High humidity is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to air quality. Humid air is, in and of itself, harder to breathe. However, the moisture in the air also causes mold to grow. Even if you don't have any big, noticeable moldy spots, you may end up with traces of mold on surfaces that could be enough to put mold spores into the air. Have a dehumidifier installed to remove excess moisture from the air. Keeping your relative humidity around 55 percent all year long will do wonders for your air quality.
5. Change Your Filter
You should be changing your air filter every two months, if not every month, all year long. A filter that is already clogged and dirty won't do a good job of trapping dust and other contaminants. Look for a pleated cotton filter. They trap more than the cheap fiberglass filters but still only cost a few dollars apiece.
6. Install an Air Purifier
An air purifier will help catch the smaller bacteria, pollen granules, and dust mites that your furnace filter does not trap. You can place the purifier in a space that is a good distance from the furnace so it treats air that the furnace misses. Once you have a purifier, make sure you follow the instructions to change its filter and clean it regularly. It won't do much if the system is dirty.
Remember that cleaning up your indoor air is a process, not something you can do in a day. If you start taking the steps above, one at a time, you'll have cleaner air before you know it. Your friend will enjoy the freshness, and they might even ask how you did it.
For more information, contact a company that offers air quality services.