5 Tips for Reducing Indoor Allergens and Pollutants
Now that summer is here, most people try to spend as little time as possible inside their homes. The beautiful weather should be enjoyed, and that means time at the beach, lazing around in the park or simply enjoying a glass of iced tea at your favorite outdoor bistro. But the haze that settles over most urban centers during the heat of summer can be oppressing and a bit scary. The yellow sky caused by smog and air pollution can actually send people suffering from allergies and asthma running back into their homes. But you might not know that the air in your house can actually be just as polluted as the air outside, and in some cases even more so. Thanks to all sorts of factors, your home is filled with airborne allergens, pet dander, chemical remnants and all sorts of other pollutants that are irritating at best and can cause illness at worst. So here are five tips to help you reduce indoor allergens and pollutants.
First of all, have your HVAC system cleaned out at least twice a year. It’s a great idea to schedule this for right around the change in seasons, so you don’t forget when a maintenance period comes up due. But regardless of when you do it, make sure you have the vents and ducts cleaned, either professionally or with your diligent hand, and switch out all of the air filters as well. Be careful when doing this to make sure you don’t release allergens or mold spores into the air. But a thorough cleaning will insure that the air you’re pushing through the house is as free of unwanted particles as possible.
Next, put vacuuming on your weekly to-do list. In fact, you might even want to vacuum all of the floors twice a week, especially if you have pets and little children in the house. Carpets and rugs trap all sorts of pollutants and allergens, and cleaning with a vacuum that comes with a HEPA allergen filter will help keep those particles out of the air. Just make sure you clean the house top down, so you don’t end up throwing a bunch of dust and debris up after you vacuum, and set mats by all of the entrances so people don’t track dirt inside.
You should also check the labels of all of your cleaning products. The things you use to clean your house may be leaving behind all sorts of nasty chemical residues. This stuff collects on the furniture, on your clothes and even on skin in some cases. And it’s often just as bad for you and your family as whatever mess you were trying to get rid of, especially in aerosol form. Try to use natural, chemical and dye free cleaners, and even go organic if possible.
People use all sorts of unnatural methods to freshen the air in their homes. You’ll find sprays in bottles, plug-in misters and even discs of scent you place inside your air conditioner. None of these are good ideas if you want to keep the air in your home clean. You’re inhaling all of the chemicals in these products that it takes to generate those scents, and many of them have a questionable relationship to health and illness. If you want to freshen a room, open the windows for a cross breeze instead. Ceiling fans are also a fantastic option.
Finally, keep the smoking outside. It doesn’t matter if you have the best WA air conditioning system money can buy, with a built in air purifier. If you’re smoking in the house, you’re releasing thousands of chemicals into the air. Quitting smoking has been proven to be a huge benefit to your long term health and wellness, but if you’re not ready to go that far, at least take it outside to the porch.