May 6

9 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

By changescape

May 6, 2022

Many people are surprised to learn that indoor air pollution is a serious problem in both urban and rural areas. Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors, and indoor allergens and irritants play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. Taking steps to improve indoor air quality can dramatically decrease allergy symptoms, asthma attacks, and improve the overall health of your entire family. The following tips can help keep your home clear of many contaminants, allergens, and dust mites.

1. Wash Items in Hot Water

Some clothing needs to be washed in warm or cool water. For the rest of your laundry, use water heated to at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Washing in hot water helps prevent the spread of allergens throughout your home. Regularly wash bedding, curtains, stuffed animals, and other items in the washing machine to remove dust and allergens.

2. Use Mattress and Pillow Protectors

It’s common for dust mites to hide in mattresses and pillows that can’t be washed in hot water. Invest in covers that are designed to repel dust mites and other allergens. Because of the amount of time spent in bedrooms, removing allergens and dust mites is a critical part of improving air quality and controlling asthma and allergy symptoms.

how to improve indoor air quality

3. Change Your HVAC Filter

A clogged air filter means your heating and cooling system has to work harder. It also means trouble for your indoor air quality. For improved air quality, invest in a HEPA air filter for your HVAC system and any room air conditioners. Filters should be changed at least every 90 days. 

4. Use Your Kitchen Exhaust Fan

Many indoor air pollutants come from the kitchen. Gas stoves release contaminants, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Even electric burners produce the same pollutants, although at much lower levels. A kitchen exhaust fan removes particles, smoke, carcinogens, and odors from the air. No matter what you are cooking, turn on your exhaust fan and, if possible, open a window to help filter the air even more. 

5. Regularly Clean Carpets and Rugs

Rugs and carpets trap dust, pet hair, and other particles in their fibers. Clean your carpets and rugs weekly and even more often if you have indoor pets. Look for a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter – they do a better job of removing dust and other fine particulates.

6. Surface Clean 

Many common household items can harbor allergens and dust mites, so create a regular cleaning routine. Setting up a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual cleaning routine can limit the amount of dust, animal dander, and mold found throughout your home. A HEPA furnace filter can capture some allergens and contaminants, but it’s important to regularly clean:

  • Curtains
  • Bedding
  • Carpets
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Hard surfaces
  • Pets

7. Control Indoor Humidity Levels

Humid and moist conditions breed mildew and mold that can trigger sensitive individuals’ respiratory issues like asthma and allergies. The optimal relative humidity level for indoor air is between 30 and 50%. Consider investing in a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels under 50%. Anything above this range may promote bacteria growth. 

8. No Smoking

It may seem obvious, but don’t allow smoking inside your home. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals, many of which are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke causes odors and increases the risk of developing asthma and cancer, among other health issues. 

how to improve indoor air quality

9. Add Plants

Plants add color to your home, and they also act as natural air purifiers. Some plants thrive in sunlight, others need little light, and many require little maintenance, so it’s easy to find houseplants that work for every situation. The spider plant has become a popular houseplant because it is non-toxic, low-maintenance, and works well as a carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) eliminator. 

Trust Your Local Cleaning and Restoration Professionals 

Call St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration at (314) 328-7793 or contact us online to discuss your needs when you need professional cleaning or restoration services. We offer a full range of services, including fire damage restoration, mold remediation, and water damage restoration. In business since 1991, our technicians are trained professionals who can restore any disaster in your home or business. 

We proudly serve the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, and our emergency response teams are available 24/7 when time is of the essence. Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate. 

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