When you hear the term air pollution, you’re likely to think of images of large corporations or traffic pollution, but the air inside our homes can be just as damaging to our health. Because we spend such a large proportion of time indoors, it’s vital that we pay attention to the pollutants, allergens and chemicals that are in the air. The standard home has a range of pollution sources that we overlook, from heating and cooking to cleaning, furnishings and smoking. Even just walking around can stir up polluting particles that we then breathe in. And the demand to improve the energy efficiency of properties means that our homes are becoming more air-tight than ever before.
The pollution in your home could include carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, radon, oxides of nitrogen and volatile chemicals that are found in cleaners and air fresheners. There are also viruses, dust mites, bacteria and fungi that we have to worry about. Luckily, there are ways to reduce these pollutants. These four tips will help you to minimise the risk of breathing in this pollution in your home to create a healthier living environment.
Regularly Clean or Change the Air Filters in Your AC
Your air conditioning unit is for more than just cooling your property – it can be used year-round as a way of reducing the amount of dust, dirt and allergens that pollute the air inside your home. If you have an AC unit in place or are thinking of getting once, remember to regularly change out or clean the air filters and make sure you have the right air filter sizes so that it works to its peak potential for longer. Air conditioners also help to circulate the air, reduce humidity and minimise mould and mildew from forming, which can be damaging to your respiratory health.
Wash Bedding in Hot Water Weekly
Bacteria, dust and allergens can quickly build up on bed sheets and pillows, so it’s a good idea to wash them on a weekly basis in hot water to keep things like dust mites at bay. It’s also a good idea to keep pets out of the bedroom, particularly if you or your family suffer from asthma as pet hair and dander can exacerbate this condition.
Minimise the Use of Candles and Air Fresheners
Air fresheners, scented candles, incense and other fragrances that are designed to mask odours can trigger asthma and can be harmful to your respiratory system, so they’re best avoided. If you want to freshen up the air in your home, it’s a better idea to open the windows and let the fresh air in each day.
Increase the Amount of Plants in Your Home
Plants aren’t just a decorative feature that brightens up your property – they are actually great for cleaning the air and detoxifying it as well. NASA have carried out studies that show that there are several air purifying plans that rid your home of dusts, germs and airborne toxins. Plants such as ferns, spider plants and snake plants are all brilliant additions.
Image: Jarek Ceborski