By using insulation, homes have becomes energy efficient yet air quality is poor. As such, the home may trap many contaminants, irritants and other materials affecting personal health. By spending time at home, you may be increasing your exposure to these irritants. Luckily, there are some simple steps to remove these pollutants and promote good health in the house.
A list of the common pollutants:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
Clean the floors
Pollutants aren’t always suspended in the air. Sometimes it lands on the floors and becomes stirred up when disturbed. Remove them by vacuuming carpets and mopping floors. Microfibre mops and cloths are specifically designed to trap dust. To avoid tracking these materials into the house, remove your shoes before entering and request your guests to do the same. If that’s not possible, keep a mat near the entrance to wipe your shoes.
Drier air reduces pollen and also makes germs less contagious. If you already live in a dry climate, that will help. Otherwise, try the following:
- Run a dehumidifier
- When cooking, bathing, mopping, or washing dishes, turn on the exhaust fan and open windows if it’s not humid outside
- Water plants moderately
- Fix leaks
- Empty pans under plants, air conditioners and dehumidifiers
Restrict the use of smoke and fragrances
Cigarettes release toxic chemicals into the air. Extensive studies on the harm from smoking have been published. If eliminating the habit is not possible, allow smoking to take place on balconies or outside the door.
Synthetic fragrances have not been so heavily documented but they contain a chemical called a volatile organic compound. Furthermore, most are made from petroleum-based products. Phthalates, which may cause cancer, are commonly used as well.
It’s important to read labels carefully since household products can contain synthetic fragrances. Products labeled scent-free may still contain harsh chemicals. Products that can cause poor air quality in the home include:
- Perfumes and colognes
- Air fresheners
- Shampoo, conditioner, and soap
- Body lotion
- Laundry and dish detergent
- Fabric softener
Instead, choose products that contain natural ingredients. Lemon and vinegar are two natural cleaning agents. For odor removal, try baking soda and coffee, as they will absorb smells. Flowering plants is an alternative to introducing fresh scents into the home. Also, potted plants in general will act as an air purifier.
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