Four Quick Ways to Improve Home Air Quality
The quickest way to improve indoor air quality in your home is also the most obvious one: buying an air purifier. The first thing you want to look for when considering this purchase is whether or not it has HEPA filtration. HEPA filtration has been shown to be most effective at removing harmful particles from the air. Other factors to consider are availability of filters and their costs, fan speed options, and how large of an area the air purifier is rated for.
The next way to improve air quality in your home is by keeping it clean of dust. Vacuums, like air purifiers, are now available with HEPA filtration and are a wise purchase for those that need to improve their air quality. Chemicals and allergens are actually stored in dust particles and when disturbed are released back into the air. A good vacuum with a HEPA filter will trap these toxins and leave your home a healthier place. Other tips include regular dusting and mopping as well as asking family members and guests to take their shoes off at the door.
Toning down fragrances and switching over to all-natural or unscented cleaners will also help. Scented air-fresheners, candles, laundry soaps, and fabric softeners are made up of hundreds of chemicals and every time you breathe in their scents, you are breathing in various amounts of low-level toxins. At higher concentrations these compounds are known to cause skin irritation and disrupt hormone levels in animals. You should make it a point to buy candles as well as cleaning and beauty supplies that are organic and scent free or naturally scented. If you cannot find an alternative, open up your windows while cleaning, or doing laundry.
Lastly, buy some plants. In 1989, NASA begun to look for alternative ways to purify air on the Space Station, and they settled on a very simple and effective method: plants. A variety of plants are great at both brightening up your home and making it easier to breathe in. The most effective air purifying house plants include bamboo palms, spider plants, potted mums, and peace lilies, to name a few. A complete list is available from NASA. If you are wondering how many plants you need, the answer is probably 15. Or at least, that was the number the study concluded was necessary to improve the air quality of an average size home.