Healthy Air for Living A Healthier Life
Whether you have problems with allergies in spring, or you have health or breathing issues all year round… perhaps you have a cough you can’t get rid of; or you might find your eyes itching when it rains outside. Regardless of what time of year it is and what the weather is like outside, there are ways you can ensure your breathing is easier when you’re living inside the home.
And for that, it’s time for some straight up honesty, so ask yourself these questions…
Do you use conventional household cleaners?
Do you take specific items of clothing to the dry cleaner?
Do you use air fresheners and burn candles all day long?
If this was a game of truth or dare you would be squirming in your chair right now. Believe it or not, these are all contributing to a lack of indoor air quality. If you want to breathe better you’ll throw away your air fresheners and buy a new vacuum, one with a HEPA filter.
The indoor air quality of your home is more than likely more polluted than the outdoors… even in big cities that are industrialised. That’s bad news, but there is some good news. There are plenty of ways you can improve it and breathe better.
Okay, indoor pollutants fall into three categories, so it’s important that you know what they are.
These are the particles (or gases) that come from materials that burn. For example, space heaters, fireplaces, stoves (gas or wood), dryers, and water heaters which have not been vented or were vented improperly. These pollutants include nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.
Volatile Organic Compounds are gases that are released by liquids (and solids). They are commonly found in household products like cleaning supplies, paints, furniture, craft materials, air fresheners, dry cleaned clothes, carpeting, textiles, vinyl, cosmetics, pesticides, and personal hygiene products. Some of the most common VOCs are formaldehyde, acetone, methylene chloride, and benzene.
There are triggers to allergies and asthma such as smoke, pet danger, mould, pollen, and dust mites. Whether it’s mould on the shower curtain, pet hair on the furniture or dust mites in your bed sheets.
Reducing Your Exposure to Breathe Better
Once you have a better understanding of what pollutants are present in your home you will be able to reduce your exposure to them. There are a few easy tips you can put into play that will make a serious impact right away.
- Open your windows as often as possible as this will introduce fresh air into your home and push stale and stagnant air out.
- Keep your air filters clean. Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer and change them as required.
- Track your home’s humidity levels and adjust accordingly. You should be able to find an inexpensive gauge at the majority of home stores. 45% is the optimum level but if it’s under 30% or over 50% you have problems. If you need to increase your home’s humidity level you will need a humidifier to do so. If you need to decrease it then open a window (provided it isn’t humid) or run a dehumidifier, air conditioner, or fan.
- Don’t use air freshener unless you have made it yourself or you’ve chosen a beeswax or soy candle.
- Keep some plant life in your home. There are a variety of plants that are ideal to help keep your indoor air quality high, they’re also great for mood boosting, so you get a two for one.
- Make sure you groom your pets regularly.
- When buying an air purifier make sure it eliminates VOCs.
- When buying paints and varnishes ensure you are choosing non-toxic products.
- Make your own household cleaners or purchase eco-friendly options.
- Vacuum weekly (at a minimum) and always get the furniture, edges of carpet, and walls. Ensure you are regularly cleaning (or changing) the filter.
- Choose bed linens that are dust-mite proof and if you can avoid carpeting in your bedroom, do so. You should make bed changes and sheet cleans a weekly occurrence.
- Use a microfiber dust mop to get into all the areas your vacuum just can’t reach.
Take some of these tips and get started in the home and we can almost guarantee you, that before you know it you’ll be breathing a lot easier.