Simple ways to keep your indoor air fresh
Americans today are focused on cleaning and sanitization — not to mention the air they breathe — more than ever. Indoor air quality has been a growing concern for some time.
According to a study published in the journal “Science of the Total Environment,” indoor air quality can be worse than the air outdoors. Invisible pollution is added to indoor air through normal activities such as cooking, cleaning and practicing hygiene.
With social distancing measures, people are spending more time at home, so being proactive is even more essential. Consider these steps to help maintain fresher air.
Go green with plants
With more people at home, houseplants are a great clean air solution with multiple benefits. According to houseplant specialists The Sill, houseplants boost your mood and productivity, which is essential for anyone spending long hours working at home. The pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum) is highly rated for removing indoor air toxins as well as the snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata), which absorbs toxins through its leaves and produces oxygen. Both plants are attractive and easy to maintain.
Change HVAC filters regularly
Your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system helps maintain a comfortable indoor environment all year long. It includes a filter that captures dust, allergens and other microscopic particles to help keep the air clean and the system running efficiently. Set a reminder, starting with January 2021, to check the filter monthly. At a minimum, it should be changed every three months. During heavy use — such as winter and summer — change it more often. A clean filter helps the system run better and saves energy.
Indoor Air purifiers
These devices can filter dust, smoke and floating pollen from the air. When choosing one, look for the Energy Star® label so you know it’s energy efficient. You may also see the AHAM Verifide seal, which means that the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers has tested the model. If you’re looking for a permanent air purifier in your home, LG’s PuriCare 360 is among products available with both certifications already mentioned. It is also certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
You can also carry portable air purifiers from the car to the office. Look for a chargeable compact version light enough to carry with one hand. Whether you are looking for permanent or a portable product, you’ll also want to consider costs of the products and their filters, and their noise levels at various settings.
Lower moisture levels
Mold and mildew are common culprits that reduce air quality and can trigger asthma and allergies. In your home it’s important to control moisture to prevent mold and mildew growth. When bathing or showering, always use a fan or crack the window. In moist spaces like basements, be mindful about opening windows, running fans and keeping rooms dry. Be aware of your whole home’s humidity levels and use a dehumidifier when necessary to remove moisture from the air.