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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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6 Tips For Better Indoor Air Quality In 2022 

Rising global temperatures are a cause of concern. They force us to stay indoors. Closed windows trap air circulation, which harms the air quality we breathe. More such hibernating habits create stagnant air and build up irritants in our living spaces. 

Although air pollution is linked to outdoor air pollution, there is also concern about indoor air pollution. When we spend most of the time indoors in winters, we are prone to adverse health effects. Indoor air pollutants can cause asthma triggers, pulmonary disease, heart conditions, and increased hospitalizations.  

Bad air can also lead to breathing difficulty, dry and irritated eyes, wheezing, coughing, and irritated airways. It may weaken our immune system, and in extreme cases, may cause premature death.  

Following simple tips can help you ward off long-term health effects. Here are six essential tips to improve indoor air quality. 

  1. Vacuum Your Indoors Regularly 

Dust, dander, and other particles’ accumulation are routine. We also have common irritants in our household, some visible and some invisible. Irrespective of room count, size, and weather, regular vacuuming has become more vital than ever. 

Use a vacuum cleaner to help get rid of the air irritants. Vacuum-clean your rugs and carpets regularly. Moreover, install a quality air return vent at strategic places in the house to maintain proper temperature. They are essential to your HVAC or AC system as they suck the air from each room and send it back to the air conditioning system. 

  1. Look for VOC-Free Cleaners 

In addition to a regular vacuum, clean floors and surfaces with microfiber mops and cloths. Microfiber’s thin fibers trap particles like bacteria, dust, and dirt and remove them from surfaces. You must also frequently change and wash your bed linen, tablecloths, curtains, pillow covers, drapes, and any other textiles prone to dust. 

Conventional cleaning products are likely to pollute the indoor environment. Consider using a natural and fragrance-free laundry detergent to avoid skin irritation. VOCs (volatile organic compounds) enter the air quickly and can harm your airways, causing severe irritation or allergic reactions. Check out low VOC cleaners for your living space to prevent lung damage. 

  1. Control Home Humidity 

Excess humidity in indoor spaces can invite mold growth. Mold spores’ inhalation can also cause airways irritation and lead to cough and throat infection. Long-term mold exposure may lead to reduced lung infection and chronic asthma. 

Always use the kitchen fan while cooking and the bathroom fan during your shower to actively control humidity levels. Let the kitchen and bathroom fans run for at least half an hour after finishing your cooking and bathing tasks. Choose outdoor exhaust fans to drive the humidity outside. 

  1. Purchase an Air Purifier 

Plant lovers may feel an air purifier at home is insignificant as plants’ naturally clean air. However, house plants cannot clean the air of the entire house and may be incapable in high pollution areas. Invest in an excellent quality air purifier to make the indoor air healthier to breathe. They can safely remove surface bacteria, mold, and E. coli viruses from the air. 

Opt for an air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filter, as they may remove over 99 percent of harmful particles and flu virus from the air.     

  1. Give up Active and Passive Smoking 

If you are a non-smoker, you have nothing to worry about. But, if you are a regular or a second-hand smoker, you must understand how the air in your room/environment may affect people around you. Nicotine in tobacco contains several toxic and dangerous chemicals that can harm your health. Kids are more likely to get lung and ear infections, allergies, and asthma. 

Resist tobacco cravings by choosing nicotine replacement therapy such as e-cigarettes (vaping), chewing on sugarless gum or hard candy, or engaging yourself in physical activity. You may also join an online stop-smoking program. 

  1. Use Indoor Plants Effectively 

Fresh air has no competition. Many indoor plants like the snake plant, dracaena, peace lily, and Boston ferns are useful resources for cleaning indoor air quality and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. If you have house plants, make sure they don’t emit VOCs. Water your plants as much as needed. Regularly wipe the plants’ leaves using a damp microfiber cloth to remove dust and other particles.  

Talk to a professional gardener or your horticultural friends/community for relevant inputs on the low VOC indoor plants for beautification.    

Wrapping Up 

Check your air ducts and change your AC filter to keep the air clean in your home environment. Stay away from aerosol sprays to maintain indoor air quality standards and for the environment’s sake. Air fresheners, hair sprays, deodorants, and artificial fragrances are full of VOCs and can irritate your airways and skin. Pick unscented or naturally scented products infused with essential oils to smell good naturally. In addition, inspect your vacuum cleaner, kitchen vents, and clothes dryer periodically. Clean or replace standard household filters after every few months. You can consider getting a decontaminating UV lamp to kill microorganisms emitted by the HVAC system. 

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