Did you know that humans spend up to 90% of their time indoors? We spend on average 19 hours a day in our homes. It is why it’s essential to make sure your home or office has good air quality to keep yourself and those around you healthy and happy! Here are some top tips for improving air quality in your home and at work.
Wherever you go, there you are, which is especially true for where we spend our time. So it’s imperative to consider air quality when inside the home and at work as we spend so much of our lives breathing in those toxic indoor particles.
1. Make sure to keep your home and office well-ventilated
Don’t forget that you can also open the windows in your office during the day to allow fresh air inside. And if you’re working from home, make sure you know the signs of sick building syndrome (SBS), especially if you suffer from headaches, nausea, or fatigue. It is where the air quality in your home isn’t quite right and can be usually indicated by a musty ‘old’ smell, inadequate ventilation, and low indoor temperatures.
At work, keep your workstation well-ventilated and open windows whenever possible. Make sure you’re not sitting near any sources of heat or toxins, such as printers, microwaves, and coffee machines.
2. Direct outdoor air into the living spaces of your home with sun tunnels or ventilation systems
Ventilating your home can significantly reduce pollutants like carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3).
3. Invest in an air purifier to eliminate allergens and irritants
This will help prevent asthma, respiratory infections, and eye irritations. It has been proven that air purifiers reduce symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and congestion. Regular cleaning of office air ducts improves the airflow and air quality.
Air purifiers also serve as humidifiers in dry climates to improve air quality and comfort. To get the most out of an air purifier, you must regularly replace or clean your filter to maintain optimum performance.
4. Replace the windows in your home with energy-efficient versions to keep the air inside clean
Make sure your windows are properly insulated to help retain heat during winter and cool air during summer.
5. Install an indoor plant as a natural air freshener and improve oxygen levels in the home
Houseplants can help cleanse indoor air –this is because, as well as providing fresh oxygen, certain plants can absorb pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. The best ones for this job are English ivy, Spider plant, Peace lily, Bamboo Palm and Janet Craig.
Keep your houseplants well hydrated to get the most out of them, especially if you have a dry home or an office that is tightly sealed off from fresh air outside.
6. Use scented candles sparingly
It’s advised that you don’t use candles on hot plates or near the curtains as this can cause an accidental fire. Do not burn the candle for more than 3 hours at a time, and never leave it unattended.
7. Don’t smoke indoors
It’s not healthy for you or those around you to be breathing in secondhand smoke. Better yet, stop smoking indoors altogether to improve indoor air quality for your family and yourself. If you’re using smokeless tobacco, make sure you dispose of it properly by placing it in a bucket of water before throwing it away. It ensures that you aren’t putting the smokeless tobacco waste into the regular trash with other household items.
8. Avoid exposure to toxic fumes when in your car
Make sure your car engine is turned off if you are waiting in traffic for more than 10 seconds. Keep air vents closed while driving to reduce the amount of polluted air entering the cabin.
9. Maintain your HVAC unit to ensure it operates at maximum efficiency
Make sure you get your HVAC unit serviced by a professional every few years, as this will reduce the amount of dust and dirt that accumulates inside. If you don’t know how to clean your HVAC unit, speak to a professional for advice.
Dry your clothes on a clothesline instead of using an electric dryer -this will reduce the amount of moisture in your home and help improve air quality (the dryer can release certain pollutants like formaldehyde). It also saves money and energy. Don’t run your gas appliances such as stoves, ovens, or microwaves without good ventilation nearby –ventilate the room well by opening windows before you start.
Keep pets outside or well away from any indoor air quality control systems that ventilate the house, as they can release allergens into the air. Use upholstered furniture in natural fabrics to avoid off-gassing chemicals from synthetic materials, which are particularly bad for your health.
Follow these tips to keep the air quality of your home and workplace at its best. Remember that good indoor air quality is vital for a healthy lifestyle. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that the air around you is as clean as possible. It’s not enough to buy air purifiers or air filters. They won’t work if you don’t maintain them. Regularly change the filter of your air cleaner and ensure that your houseplants are well hydrated.