Modern innovations like grocery delivery and streaming services have made it easier to spend time at home. In addition, work-from-home jobs have become more common after the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to these changes, the average person is more likely to spend the majority of their time indoors, which makes it even more important to maintain a healthy home environment. The benefits of having a healthy home can include better sleep, better mental health, and reduced exposure to environmental pollutants. However, it takes much more than a tidy living space to create a healthy home.
Surprisingly, indoor air is just as likely to carry airborne pollutants as the air outside. Pollen, dust, mold, mites, and carbon monoxide are just a few of the contaminants you may encounter in your own home. If you're a relatively healthy person, you may not notice any ill effects at first. Instead, consequences become noticeable as the long-term effects build up over time.
Poor indoor air quality is especially harmful to people with chronic illnesses. These individuals may experience allergy attacks, asthma flare-ups, and other health crises more often. Children and elderly adults are just as likely to experience the negative effects of poor air quality due to weak or underdeveloped immune systems.
Fortunately, it's relatively easy to make sure the air inside your home is safe to breathe. First, build awareness by educating yourself and your family about the harmful effects of poor air quality. From there, you can improve your indoor air in a few ways.
Your AC filters are responsible for trapping airborne contaminants as your HVAC system circulates air throughout the house. Eventually, these filters can become clogged, which impacts their ability to do their job. If you neglect to change them on schedule, they can fail to trap pollutants and may even release more pollutants into your household air. Avoid this by changing your AC filters every 2-3 months, or as often as your manufacturer recommends.
Airborne particles like dust, pollen, and dander will eventually settle on various surfaces of your home. This makes them less likely to be picked up by your AC filter. To avoid the accumulation of dust and allergens in your home, make and commit to a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning schedule. For best results, clean each room from the top down, moving ceiling-to-floor. This way, any dust that falls from higher surfaces can be swept up as you move to lower levels of the room.
At times, changing AC filters and housekeeping may not be enough to address poor air quality. This is especially true if you live in an older home or your HVAC system hasn't been serviced in a while. In these cases, consider hiring an HVAC technician to conduct a professional duct inspection and cleaning. A technician will have the right tools to make sure your HVAC system is working efficiently. He can also make repairs or recommend changes to improve your indoor air quality.
An air purifier is a portable device that can suck in contaminated air, filter out particles, and recirculate the same air back into the room. Basic models are relatively affordable if you're on a limited budget. On the other hand, high-end models usually come with additional perks, such as noiseless operation or an aesthetic appearance. Whatever your needs are, you can easily find air purifiers at most major retailers in a variety of styles, options, and price points.
The quality of your environment will have a direct impact on your health. If you spend most of your time indoors, you should ensure the quality of the air inside your house is the best that it can be. To keep yourself and your family safe, make indoor air quality a priority this year.