You may not realize it, but the air inside your house may not be as clean as you think it is. While we tend to think of air pollution as an environmental issue that only affects us outside, the reality is, the air inside your home can be from 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air.
There are a number of factors that lead to lower indoor air quality. Some pollutants come from building materials, such as lead, formaldehyde, and asbestos, which were commonly used in building homes well into the 1970s. Other sources are biological, like dust mites, mold, and pet dander. Smoke can also be a potent pollutant, whether from tobacco or from sources outside your home, like wildfires.
Before you panic, there are a number of ways you can help reduce air pollution in your home. While you could buy an expensive air purifier, there are several inexpensive ways you can improve your air quality—several of which don’t cost you a thing!
1) Keep Your Home Clean
No matter how hard we try, it seems like there’s always a mad rush to clean up whenever a company is coming over. But more than just avoiding that last-minute rush of scrubbing and sweeping, keeping a clean home can help improve the air quality.
Regular vacuuming and dusting can help you get rid of allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander, which naturally accumulate on every surface of your home. When you wipe the dust off your shelves and vacuum your carpets (make sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA air filter), you lower the number of particles in the air inside your home.
2) Say No to Smoking
Smoking is a potent source of indoor air pollution, releasing a huge amount of chemicals into the air that can cause asthma, respiratory infections, and other severe health conditions. If you’re addicted to smoking, try to consider your indoor air quality as just one more reason to quit. But if you still feel the urge to smoke, take it outside to avoid contaminating the air in your home.
3) Scan for Radon
Whether your home is old or new, you should be sure to test for radon, a carcinogen that can seep into your home from cracks in your foundation. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas, making it impossible to detect without a specialized kit. Luckily, these kits are readily available and usually cost less than $20.
If your home test comes back positive, there are several relatively inexpensive ways to reduce your home’s radon exposure to safe levels. It’s a simple, easy process, and it’s well worth your time.
4) Air-Purifying House Plants
Adding houseplants to your home is a simple way to help improve air quality while making your home more inviting. Not all plants are created equal, though, so be sure to choose one that’s an efficient air purifier, such as:
- Bamboo plants
- English Ivy
- Snake Plants
- Aloe Vera
- Boston Ferns
And don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to one plant. Many different houseplants are especially good at purifying specific pollutants, so mix and match your plants to cleanse a broad range of impurities from your air—and to add a little variety!
5) Keep up with HVAC repair
Your HVAC system helps heat and cool your home by circulating hot and cold air throughout your house. If you don’t pay attention to regular HVAC repair and maintenance, your own heating and cooling systems may be polluting the air in your home.
Regularly replacing your air filters is a big first step to cleaning your home’s air. Clogged air filters disrupt your HVAC system’s airflow and blow extra dust, pet dander, and other pollutants throughout your home. When changing filters, be sure your HVAC technician uses HEPA filters, which catch much smaller particles than older styles of air filters.
Having an HVAC technician perform regular maintenance and repairs on your heating and cooling system also helps improve your air quality. This is especially true of heating systems, which often use combustion materials like gas or heating oil to provide warmth. If your HVAC technician detects a problem with this equipment, they may suggest a furnace repair to help improve your home’s air quality.
If you want to learn more about improving the air quality in your home, contact Complete Comfort Plumbing, Heating & Air for a consultation, where NATE-certified technicians can talk with you about innovative solutions to indoor air pollution.
We proudly serve the needs of Orange and LA County including:
- Mission Viejo, CA
- Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
- Irvine, CA
- Fountain Valley, CA
- Lake Forest, CA
- Aliso Viejo, CA
- Ladera Ranch, CA
- Laguna Niguel, CA
- Newport Beach, CA