The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the average person spends 90% of their life indoors. Additionally, our homes are becoming more energy efficient — they’re better insulated and sealed with less ventilation — which is great for our energy bills, but not so much for our indoor air quality.
The thought of breathing in pollutants can be scary, but the truth is, indoor air pollution is common and simply unavoidable. The good news is there are ways you can easily improve the air quality of your home. Here are five tips to help you breathe a little easier.
Change your air filter often. Clogged, dirty filters reduce the amount of airflow and the HVAC system’s efficiency. When a filter becomes too clogged, the excess dirt and dust are sent through your air ducts, adding unnecessary allergens and other unwanted particles into your living space. During the summer months, the Department of Energy recommends replacing your air filter every month or two. This is one of the easiest ways to promote better indoor air quality and energy efficiency.
Regularly vacuum carpet and rugs — especially if you have pets. Vacuuming carpet and area rugs once a week can greatly reduce the accumulation of pet dander and dust inside your home. Frequently clean other areas that collect dust, like drapes, bedding and cluttered areas.
Use vents to remove cooking fumes. Exhaust fans help remove fumes emitted while cooking and eliminate unwanted moisture and odors.
Get a handle on humidity. Moisture in the air can carry bacteria and other unwanted particles that you eventually breathe in. Dehumidifiers work to remove that moisture from the air, reducing the amount of bacteria, mold and other allergens in your home.
Incorporate air-purifying plants into your living space. There are several varieties of indoor plants that can help detoxify your home from dust and germs found in a variety of home products, furniture and other materials. A few low-maintenance, air-purifying plants to consider are snake plants, aloe vera plants and pothos plants, also known as Devil’s Ivy. These vibrant, lush plants are eye-catching and beneficial for any home.
Taking simple steps to purify indoor air can improve health and overall quality of life. With a little effort, you can improve the indoor air quality of your home and breathe a bit easier.
Regularly changing your cooling system's air filter provides multiple benefits.
- Improved indoor air quality
- Cleaner home
- Fewer indoor allergens
- Improved system efficiency