If you're like most people, you spend at least half of your time in your home. So if the air in your home is not of good quality, it can have a drastic impact on your overall health. Poor quality air can lead to allergy symptoms, asthma, and even nausea. Not to mention, odors can make your own home feel unpleasant. Here are three ways to improve the quality of your indoor air today.
Upgrade to a HEPA filter.
Standard cotton or fiberglass HVAC filters – the kind that cost a dollar or two – will trap enough particles to keep your furnace from accumulating dust and debris. But they won't necessarily trap the smaller allergen particles like dust mites and mold spores. You'll be left to breathe these in. A HEPA filter costs a few dollars more, but it will trap these smaller particles effectively, cleaning your air. Consider buying a few HEPA filters while you're at the store. You should be changing your filter every month or two for best results, and keeping a few extras on hand makes this easier to remember.
Minimize your use of harsh cleaning solutions.
It's important to keep your home clean because this reduces the number of mold spores, bacteria, and viruses in the air. However, harsh cleaning solutions themselves can harm your air quality. Some people find the gasses given off by cleaning solutions irritating, and they may cause asthmatic reactions, too. So try to rely on less-toxic cleaning solutions like vinegar and baking soda when possible. When you do use harsh cleaners like bleach or ammonia, do so with the windows open to encourage better ventilation.
Opt for low-VOC products.
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemicals given off by many plastics and synthetic materials. They can continue leeching out of products like paints, carpets, and even textiles for many years. So when you choose new products or building materials for your home, make sure you choose low-VOC versions. These may cost a little more than conventional materials, but since VOCs can cause everything from respiratory irritation to an increased risk of certain cancers, it's worth the price. There are also many no-VOC products that don't give off any of these particles – but they carry an even higher price tag.
For more tips on improving your air quality and removing odors, speak with an HVAC professional. They may recommend having your ducts cleaned or installing an air purifier depending on the current state of your house and whether you have any allergy sufferers in the home.
For more information, see sites like Advanced Air Quality Services.