According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.” (www.epa.gov) People who would be more easily affected by pollutants (young children, people who suffer from cardiovascular and/or respiratory disease, and older adults) usually spend more time indoors. To keep you and your family breathing the best air possible, here are five ways to achieve the best indoor air quality.
- Change Your Air Filters
Clean filters remove particles and allergens from the air. When you allow the filter to remain too long, it will eventually clog up. A clogged air filter will re-circulate unwanted particles into your home, which can cause chronic allergies.
- Make Your Home a Non-Smoking Zone
Not only is smoking indoors a fire hazard, but second-hand smoke is just as harmful as smoking a cigarette. The smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes seeps into clothing, hair, carpet, furniture, etc., and the toxins from this smoke can still be inhaled long after the smoke has cleared.
- Reduce Humidity and Mold Using Dehumidifiers and Exhaust Fans
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends, “Indoor humidity levels between 30 percent and 60 percent. High indoor humidity creates a breeding ground for toxic mold and bacteria.” (www.epa.gov) In the summer, you should use air conditioning (helps remove moisture) and exhaust fans. In the winter, it is recommended to use humidifiers.
- Install and Monitor Carbon Monoxide Levels
“Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can increase the severity of lung ailments, cause dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and even death.” (www.epa.gov) Installing and routinely detecting these detectors could save your family’s life.
One of the simplest ways to insure great air quality in your home is to bring in houseplants. Plants produce oxygen, which we breathe in, and take in carbon dioxide. Plants are nature’s air filters and listed below are some great houseplant options. Make sure to do more research on these plants because some are toxic to animals.
- English Ivy (rated best houseplant by NASA)
- Snake Plant
- Rubber Tree
- Aloe Plant
- Bamboo Palm
- Red-Edged Dracaena