Everyone wants to breathe fresh, clean air inside their home. Beyond just comfort, clean air is important for reducing the chances that inhabitants develop respiratory conditions such as asthma. It also protects people who already suffer from asthma or other chronic lung conditions like COPD who must have clean air or they may have a flare up or full-blown attack. Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to improve your home’s air quality.
What About That Air Purifier?
An air purifier might be helpful in some situations, but it is far from the magical solution to all of your potential issues. Additionally, the wrong unit could actually do more harm than good. If you decide to try one, consider the following:
A better option is to upgrade your heating and cooling system to help you filter out much of the dust, dander, and other allergens before they settle on furniture. Having a professional HVAC specialist come out and give you tips is one thing to consider. Adding a HEPA filter to your existing unit is another.
Cleaning the Right Way
For people who have asthmatic family members, the need for clean becomes a constant battle. It is important to properly clean, including frequent vacuuming and dusting, but it is also important to do your chores the right way.
- Use a wet dusting product or a specially designed duster that will not simply flick dust back around to settle on other surfaces.
- Make sure that you are cleaning your vacuum correctly between uses. If it has a bag, change it often, and resist the urge to try to reuse bags as it makes cleaning far less efficient.
- If you are upgrading your vacuum, look for one that has a powerful motor and an equally powerful filter, preferably a washable HEPA one.
- Avoid using harmful chemicals, especially in spray form. These chemicals often linger in the air and can trigger very serious asthma attacks.
- Baking soda, pure vinegar, fresh lemons, and table salt are all great, all-natural substitutes for virtually every cleaning product there is. Denture tablets do a great job at cleaning the toilet.
Opening Windows for Fresh Air
Don’t discount how valuable fresh air is. Open your windows on bright, sunny days. This might be especially important in the kitchen to allow cooking odors to be dispelled. Another area that benefits from open windows is in the basement. Stale, musty air can travel up through vents and cause odors and other issues throughout the house. If you have worn down windows in your basement that do not open, it might be time to update and upgrade your windows so that you can air out that area on a regular basis.
A Charming, Simple Way to Clean the Air
NASA did a study on the effectiveness of using houseplants to clean the air in the average home. That study concluded that most plants did a fairly thorough job of removing some major toxins from the air that we breathe. You will need roughly 15–18 plants for an 1,800-square-foot house, according to the study, and there should be at least one in every bedroom. Here are some easy-to-grow plants that are almost impossible to kill:
- Mums – Not only do these do lovely in a nice pot, but they can be moved outdoors to grow year after year once they have stopped blooming for the season.
- Spider plants – Forget to water it one week and then overwater the next and the spider plant will not care. It is forgiving to even the worst neglect and will grow little baby plants that can be transplanted and moved to new locations or given to friends.
- Dracaena – This plant comes in over 40 types.
- Ficus – A bit fussier than the others on the list, it can grow to be up to 10 feet tall.
- Sansaveria – Otherwise known as the snake plant (also called the mother-in-law’s tongue), is difficult to kill. It enjoys being left to dry out a bit.
- Aloe vera – This is not only easy to grow and aces at cleaning the air but it is also a health care essential that is great for burns and other ailments. It should be a must in every kitchen.
As great as houseplants can be, do not allow them to contribute to the problems indoors by frequently overwatering or by not paying attention to struggling plants. Look at soil, and consider repotting when the soil looks gray and dry regardless of watering status. Remove all dead stems and leaves, spent blooms, or any plants that just are not going to make it.
Leave Shoes by the Door
Eliminating dirt before it becomes an airborne nuisance is key to good air quality. One of the easiest ways to lessen the dirt inside is by keeping it outside. The simplest solution for that is to remove any shoes at the door. Shoes can track dangerous bacteria into a home.
If your family members will not comply, restrict shoes to only one level or area of your home. Slippers and a bench by the door may help everyone get into the habit.
Please reach out to us if you want more information on this topic!