The 13 Best Ways to Have Clean Air At Home

San Rafael

(415) 942-6565

Santa Rosa

(707) 452-3464

While indoor air quality within your home may not be constantly on your mind, it does have a constant effect on human health. While poor outdoor air quality can be attributed to many problems, indoor air quality is not as often analyzed. Things like irritated ears, nose, and throat, as well as headaches, can all be symptoms of unhealthy indoor air quality. In severe cases, things like cardiovascular disease and lung disease can even occur. It is possible that the air within your home can be even more polluted than the air outside, putting you at even greater risk. Since we spend most of our time indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is vital that we are able to breathe healthy air.

Indoor sources such as gas stoves, fireplaces, and other appliances like furnaces can release extremely hazardous toxins into the air, such as natural gas and carbon monoxide, that are a danger to your overall well-being, even though they are such common household tools. Particulate matter, such as dust, pollen, mold spores, etc., is a part of everyday life that will naturally accumulate in your house. Even furniture contains chemicals that are regularly released into the air without your knowledge. So how can you get ahead of this issue and fight against the indoor air pollution in your house? In this article, we will take a look at what causes indoor air pollution in the first place, as well as all of the different steps you can take to clean the air in your home and avoid things like respiratory diseases while living comfortably indoors.

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution

One of the biggest reasons indoor air can be so contaminated is from everyday household products, such as stoves, floor coverings (rugs, carpets), cleaning products, and furniture. These items release indoor air pollutants that can’t be seen from these indoor sources. Building materials also have toxins within them that are released into the house and affect air quality. These are released continuously, which is why it is important to stay on top of your indoor air quality so that you can battle against these toxins and other unavoidable debris in the air.

Candles and fire burning are another source of air pollution, as are pets, which can cause hair and other small particles to float through the air. Spraying air fresheners is also incredibly harmful to your indoor air quality. These chemicals can cause significant health issues and are not a good solution to actually improve indoor air quality. Then there are the natural airborne pollutants from everyday living, such as dust mites, mold, and dander.

Thankfully, there are many ways to improve the poor air quality in your house, through things like air filters, air purifiers, and even houseplants. An air cleaner can improve indoor air quality by taking the air within a single room and filtering it to make it more fresh. But there are also many other simple ways to make the air cleaner in your home.

Steps To Improve Poor Indoor Air Quality

While attempting to improve indoor air quality in your home might sound like a lot of work, there are some tasks you can perform regularly that are incredibly simple. Here are some of the best steps to follow when trying to improve the indoor air quality in your home in the healthiest way possible.

Open Windows

Opening windows can be an easy and effective way to get ventilation in your home when trying to get fresh air. Rather than using something like air fresheners that can be harmful to indoor air quality, simply opening windows to get fresh air is a great alternative. There are specific times when the outdoor air quality is not healthy and you should not open the windows (during fires or heavy pollen days), but opening them at night, even just a crack, can greatly improve air quality and breathing inside your house by circulating outdoor air in to freshen the air in your home.

Buy Houseplants

Plants will actually help increase the oxygen levels in your home as well as purify the air from volatile organic compounds. Like a furnace filter, they can filter out some of the harmful toxins floating through the air. Spider plants are an example of a plant that can actually reduce volatile organic compounds (vocs) like formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide. Even toxins like carbon monoxide can be removed by plants if the levels are low enough, greatly improving indoor air quality.

Remove Shoes Inside

There are millions of dirty and toxic dirt particles we pick up on our shoes throughout the day, and continuing to wear our shoes inside the house tracks all of these small particles inside. Removing or switching out of your shoes into a pair of indoor shoes is a great way to not only keep your floors cleaner but to keep the air cleaner by not having the outside particles tracked all over your house.

Keep Pets Properly Groomed

Particulate matter, such as hair and skin cells from pets, can be especially rampant in the air inside your home. Pet fur and pet dander can cause respiratory diseases if breathed in constantly, so it is vital that you keep all pets groomed. Clean them regularly and brush out their fur outside if possible so that you can reduce the amount of debris around the house. If you can, use a HEPA filter when you vacuum to be sure you are cleaning up as much of the debris left by pets as you can.

Central Air Conditioning

If you don’t have it already, consider putting in a central air conditioning system. AC works by pulling in outdoor air, cooling it, and sending it back in as fresh air. The filter in an air conditioning system is able to trap any small particles in the outdoor air while it performs this task, which can greatly improve your indoor air quality. As long as you replace filters regularly, you can get rid of a lot of dust, dirt, and other harmful indoor air pollutants that are in your home. It is a good idea to inspect your HVAC system regularly as well, preferably right before the heating and cooling seasons, so that they are recirculating healthy air when you begin to use them frequently. This includes cleaning the ducts, checking the wiring and components, and replacing the furnace filter regularly. Be sure to choose an air filter with as high a minimum efficiency reporting value as your system can accommodate.

Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

Keeping in mind what ingredients are in the cleaning chemicals you use is important. Homemade cleaners are a good alternative, like baking soda, vinegar, and citrus juice. Air fresheners can be especially harmful and cause poor indoor air quality. When you are cleaning, and if you can’t avoid using some unhealthy cleaning products, try opening windows to lessen the harmful chemicals lingering within the air of your home. There are even some cleaning supplies out there from companies that use healthier products so that you can have a clean home and clean air.

Keep Track of Mold

Staying on top of mold spores that can pop up around your house can help you clear out a lot of harmful toxins in the air. Mold can grow wherever too much moisture gathers, such as in the bathroom, laundry room, basement, and around the windows. Instead of letting it gather for long periods of time, use chemical-free cleaning ingredients to clean it up so that it reduces the harmful toxins in the indoor air. Use the exhaust fan in the bathroom when showering in order to reduce moisture and musty odors and to remove the humid air that can cause a mold problem.

Air Out the Furniture

Since there are many harmful chemicals that are put in common household furniture, it can be a good idea to let any new furniture you buy air out in the outdoor air before bringing it indoors to preserve clean air inside. The brand new furniture can emit fumes that are unhealthy for your indoor air quality, so it can be helpful to leave them outside, in the garage, or even in a room with all the windows open for a week or so.

Use the Kitchen Exhaust Fan

When using gas stoves, there are tons of toxins that are emitted into the air and can cause serious human health problems. natural gas increases nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in the air. Using the exhaust fan above the stove is a way to draw out the harmful air and keep it from floating around in indoor environments. Much like how a bathroom fan can draw out the stale, humid air and prevent mold from growing.

No Smoking Indoors

Tobacco smoke is harmful to everyone’s health and can definitely contribute to poor air quality. You should ideally stop smoking completely to reduce life-endangering health effects such as lung disease and cardiovascular disease. But until you can make the step to quit completely, keep the smoking outside of your home so that the air in your home can be free of the unhealthy smoke that can settle into things like your clothes, carpets, and furniture. Secondhand smoke is harmful to others as well, so it is best to keep tobacco smoke outdoors and close the windows to the house so that the smoke does not float back inside.

Beware of Scented Products

Though they can add a more pleasant smell to your home, the unfortunate truth is that a lot of scented items contain harmful volatile organic compounds (vocs) that can pose a great risk to your health and will harm indoor air quality. These products can be cleaning supplies, makeup, perfume, and candles. The harmful chemicals contained within many of these can include things like benzene, formaldehyde, and toluene, which can have severe health effects.

Get an Air Purifier or Air Cleaner

You can put an air purifier or air cleaner in a room to try to reduce the amount of particulate matter or gases in the air. An air cleaner will take in the unhealthy air and filter it back out, removing a large percentage of the pollutants. You will have to change the filter of an air cleaner regularly to be sure it does not become clogged with particulate matter, but this can be a great way to have clean air within individual rooms if you feel there are heavier air pollutants in one area of the house. An air cleaner is also a great option if you are unable to open the windows of your house for ventilation. Though an air cleaner won’t rid your home completely of air pollution, it will help you breathe cleaner air while inside. It is important to get air filters that are big enough for the room and will fit in the specific air cleaner you purchase.

Clean Indoor Environments Regularly

Dust furniture with either a damp cloth or a microfiber cloth, vacuum carpets, clean filters, and clean the windows from mold regularly. Even if you follow the above steps and do everything you can to reduce the number of air pollutants in your home, you should always have a regular cleaning schedule where you can take care of the natural dust, debris, and mold that will accumulate in your home. It is also good to check on things like cooking vents to be sure that they are cleaned and working correctly so that you don’t run the risk of carbon monoxide emissions. Clean your furnace filter regularly as well to reduce things like dust and pet dander from being recirculated through your home’s indoor air.

Indoor air quality is important because of how much time indoors we spend on average, which is about 90%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If we are not continuously breathing in healthy air, it could have a severe effect on our health in the long term, so it is crucial that we find ways to make the air cleaner in our homes. There are chemicals that are inherently going to be present in your home, but there are things like an air cleaner, a furnace filter, and even houseplants that can reduce carbon monoxide and debris particles. Having carbon monoxide detectors is also a good idea for safety in case there is a leak, since this gas is poisonous and cannot usually be detected through sight or smell. If you find that you must use scented products, unhealthy chemicals, or have a fire or candles burning inside, an air cleaner can be a good option to improve indoor air quality.

Having fresh air to breathe is a vital part of our health. Because indoor air quality is not something we often think about, it can be a serious danger to our health. For many of these steps, you don’t even have to purchase any products, though things like an air cleaner are recommended because of how useful they are. But much of the process involved with improving indoor air quality can be accomplished by doing things like taking off your shoes at the door, opening your windows, or turning on the fan above the stove when you cook to reduce the fumes that enter the air. Following even just a few of the steps described above is a great way to have more clean air within your home so that you can be one step closer to improving indoor air quality and your health as the warmer season approaches.

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(415) 942-6565
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(707) 452-3464



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San Rafael
(415) 942-6565
Santa Rosa
(707) 452-3464