The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to transition to working from home. Although this reduces the likelihood of catching the virus, indoor air contaminants can still affect the health of your family. Here are eight things you can do to improve the indoor air quality at home.
1. Replace Air Filters
As your HVAC system heats or cools the air in your home, the filter collects airborne debris. Clogged filters cause the HVAC unit to run less efficiently. A dirty filter cannot trap more irritants, so dust, mold, and pet dander are recirculated through the air, triggering allergies and other health issues.
Along with the filters in your HVAC system, replace or clean the filters in your vacuum cleaner and air purifier machines as recommended by the manufacturers.
2. Clean the Linens and Upholstery
Dirty sheets, cushions, pillows, and curtains encourage dust mites, the most common indoor allergen. To keep dust mites at bay, wash these items each week or at least twice a month in hot water.
3. Houseplants to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Not only are houseplants aesthetically pleasing, but some help to eliminate airborne toxins while replenishing oxygen. Some of the best purifying houseplants are English ivy, Boston fern, gerber daisy, and spider plant. If you choose to keep plants in your home, learn how to care for them properly. Overwatering is a common cause of mold growth which can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
4. Use an Air Purifier
Despite your best house cleaning efforts, some pollutants will still remain in your home. To help you breathe easier, use an air purifier, a portable machine that captures and eliminates many indoor contaminants. Find an air purifier with a high CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate).
Use purifiers in the busiest rooms in your home and install one in the bedroom of any family member who suffers from allergies. You can also install a whole-house purifier in your HVAC system. This type of purifier filters air as it passes through your entire house.
5. Vacuum Regularly to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Carpet fibers and rugs trap dust mites, pollen, dirt, mold spores, and other irritants. Improve indoor air quality by vacuuming at least twice a week using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. Make sure that your vacuum has powerful suction so that debris doesn’t get blown back into the room.
6. Keep Pet Dander in Check
As much as you love your pets, they contribute to poor air quality with their fur and dander. Brush your cat weekly and bathe your dog regularly to keep your home cleaner. You may need to groom long-haired pets daily. You’ll have better air quality, plus your pets will love the attention.
7. Use Door Mats
Place a doormat inside and outside of each exterior door. Things like pesticides, dirt, and allergens can be tracked into your house via shoes. A mat will trap some of these contaminants before they are carried inside. Choose doormats that are easy to wash and spray them down with a garden hose frequently.
8. Improve Indoor Air Quality by Reducing Humidity
If your home has high humidity, the excess moisture will support mold and mildew growth. These conditions also foster termite and dust mite infestations. Reduce moisture in the air by using portable dehumidifiers throughout your house. You can also integrate a whole-house dehumidifier with your HVAC system. Your home’s humidity level should be between 30 percent to 50 percent.
Staying home during this pandemic can be challenging. It’s difficult to feel well if you’re breathing unhealthy air. Improve indoor air quality by following the tips listed above and enjoy a healthier, contaminant-free home.