Checking our homes’ air quality is a task that often gets put on the backburner. However, having a global outbreak of a respiratory virus made many people think about air quality and the adverse effects of leaving it unaddressed.
If you’ve been wondering what you can do to keep your home clean and fresh, use these six simple tips for improving air quality.
Schedule Routine HVAC Maintenance
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning— the core systems that impact the air quality of your home. These complex systems often get neglected until something breaks, but a little TLC can help extend the lifespan of your systems while maintaining your air quality.
Ideally, homeowners should schedule annual check-ups and maintenance on their HVAC systems. However, there’s more to be done between tune-up appointments that make a significant impact over time. According to the HVAC experts at JAK Services, cleaning your filters each month helps keep your air clean while improving the lifespan of your HVAC system. Talk to your technician to learn about the best practices for keeping filters, vents, and blowers clean and debris-free.
Dust and Vacuum Regularly
Dusting and vacuuming aren’t overly enjoyable tasks, but they make a big difference when maintaining air quality and removing pollutants from your home.
Dust contains allergens and tiny mites that trigger the respiratory system and can cause long-term issues in those with asthma or allergies. Scheduling time each week to do a quick run through the house with a vacuum and dust cloth goes a long way in protecting your air quality— especially if you have pets!
Decorate with Green Plants
The NASA Clean Air Study was revolutionary in its time but has since been subject to some controversy. While the idea that decorating with indoor plants alone can improve air quality is a myth (you’d need an indoor jungle for that), they do have moderate air-improving effects. Beyond that, indoor plants can boost your mood and productivity, so it’s worth the investment.
Consider investing in a few indoor green plants to help brighten your surroundings and contribute to better air quality. If you’re feeling bold, create a living wall of green plants using an old photo frame and some plant foam.
Monitor the Humidity Levels
Humidity levels in the home also factor into overall air quality. The key is to channel your inner Goldilocks and find something that’s not too humid, not too dry, and just right.
The general recommendation for homes is 30-50% humidity. If you have a modern HVAC system, you should have clear humidity level controls. If not, you may require a portable humidifier or dehumidifier. Look for signs of excess humidity, such as:
- Condensation on windows
- Mold and mildew growth
- Warped wood and laminate
Be sure always to use vents and fans when cooking or showering to help keep humidity under control. The more humid the air, the easier it is for airborne viruses to transmit from one person to another.
You can determine whether your air is too dry by putting a few ice cubes in a glass and leaving them to melt. You should notice droplets on the outside of the glass within ten minutes. If there are none, plug in a humidifier.
Wash Your Textiles
Remember to wash your sheets and blankets each week and your curtains and other textiles monthly. Consider renting a steam cleaner for annual mattress and sofa cleaning. These areas tend to hold a lot of debris but are challenging to clean.
Open a Window
Finally, know when it’s time to crack a window and let the fresh air in. Take advantage of temperate winter days to open the windows for 15-20 minutes to air out your home. Take advantage of cooler, less humid nights to turn off the air conditioning and let the fresh air in in the summer.
With these simple tips, you can dramatically improve the air quality in your home. These solutions are all affordable and reasonable, making them well worth the investment of your time and money.