By Jennifer Parris
There’s nothing like the start of spring to make you want to get your home looking (and smelling) the best it can. But after a long winter, there’s a good chance that your home’s air quality might not be as healthy as it could be. From household cleaners to trapped odors to even radon, you might not be breathing in the best air possible. That’s why you’ll need to make an effort to prioritize the health of your home. These five ways to improve indoor air quality in your home will make your house well again.
Open the Windows
If you’ve had your windows sealed shut for most of the winter, now’s the time to open them up. Allowing fresh air to circulate through your space is a great way to improve the overall air quality in your home, Mind Body Green reported. It will allow odors (such as those from cooking, chemical cleaners, and even home furnishings) to leave the home, and reduce the amount of indoor air pollutants that you and your family members are breathing in. Additionally, you should clean or replace your home’s air filters so that you avoid breathing in pesky particles floating in the air.
Halt the Humidity
Humidity is a haven for mold and other allergens, so it’s important to keep the moisture to a minimum. How? Well, using a dehumidifier can help lower the amount of humidity found in your home, which should reside somewhere around 30%-50%, WebMD reported. And during the summertime, cranking up the AC will actually help reduce allergens, which can also contribute negatively to your home’s air quality.
Use Natural Cleaners
Almost everyone associates the smell of bleach with cleanliness, but what you’re really smelling is the chemical component of the cleaner. That’s why you should rethink what you’re cleaning your home with and opt for more natural cleaners instead. For example, look for products that don’t have added fragrances, or those that have VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to reduce your exposure to unnecessary chemicals. Using vinegar, soap, and water can clean many areas of your home safely and effectively. But if you still want that fresh scent feeling that comes with cleaning, you can use natural alternatives, such as sliced lemons or even flowers to make your home smell fresh and clean.
Check Radon Levels
Radon isn’t something that homeowners necessarily think about when it comes to air quality–that is, until there’s a radon problem. A radioactive gas, radon typically comes from the natural erosion of uranium in soil, entering the home through the home’s foundation. (Radon can even be found in granite countertops, the United States Environmental Protection Agency found). Since radon is odorless and colorless, you might not even know that it could be contaminating the air quality of your home. You can have your home tested for radon to ensure that it’s at an acceptable level.
Do a Deep Clean
By far, the biggest offender for air quality in your home is dust and dirt. That’s why you should sweep and mop your floors frequently to reduce the amount of allergens you have in the home. Not only can you lower the levels of dust mites, but also pet dander and pollen, too. Be sure to mop after you sweep, since mopping can pick up anything that your broom left behind.
Thankfully, improving your home’s indoor air quality isn’t too challenging. It just requires you to think of your space in a new way, and adopt new practices to ensure that you’re cleaning, caring, and sanitizing it to make it the best it can be. And once you do that, you’ll definitely be breathing in fresh, clean air.