You may not believe it, but in some homes, the air quality is even worse than it is outside. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to improve your home’s air, and the benefit will be felt through fewer respiratory issues. Enjoy these luxury home air quality tips to get you started.
Buy a quality air purifier. It should have a high-efficiency particulate absorption (HEPA) filter, which has been shown to remove nearly 100% of air contaminants. That means you’ll all but eliminate pet dander, dust, and pollen from your home. Look for a purifier with a higher clean air delivery rate (CADR); the higher the number, the more effective the purifier.
Plants are an excellent low-cost, natural way to clean your air. They breathe in carbon monoxide, as well as airborne pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde, and benzene. In return, you get fresh oxygen to breathe. While all plants inhale and exhale the same way, you will find increased effectiveness from spider plants, ivy, ferns, and dracaenas. Use the ratio of one plant to every 100 square feet, so every room in your home should have at least one plant.
Check the Labels
Did you know that most of the poor air quality in your home is attributable to you and the things you’ve brought home? It’s true! Carpet, furniture, sheets, flooring, and paint all emit fumes. While carpet acts as your home’s largest air filter, if it’s not cleaned regularly (both by vacuum and professionally), it’s not able to fully do its job. Purchase organic fabrics when possible and look for paints with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Standard, off-the-shelf cleaners are full of chemicals that pollute the air we breathe. Acetone, ammonia, formaldehyde, naphthalene, bleach and turpentine are common in many cleaners. Instead, opt for organic and chemical-free options or make cleaners yourself using lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar.
Clean It Up
A regular cleaning schedule will help to rid your home of dust, pet dander, mold, and mildew. Vacuum at least twice a week (with a built-in HEPA filter), dust and mop weekly, and wash bedding and towels once a week. In high-water areas, where mold and mildew tend to gather, clean with non-toxic borax. Check humidity levels and ensure sufficient ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens, and be sure to clean them regularly.
Change Those Filters
Air filters should be changed each month using quality filters, such as those with a high minimum-efficiency reporting value (MERV). In addition to changing the filters, be sure to clean the vents, where dust can gather. Some experts also recommend having ductwork professionally cleaned every 3–5 years, more often if you have pets.