Improving your home indoor air quality (IAQ) can have a direct effect on your health and wellness. Common health conditions such as allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, and other conditions are often directly related to the amount of pollution found in homes.
Even though there is a subjective range of the body’s tolerance for common indoor pollutants, there is enough concrete scientific evidence to prove that indoor toxins can be dangerous to human health.
Common baseline precautions can be taken to make anyone’s home somewhat safer by following these easy, simple, low cost steps to improve your IAQ.
1. Ventilation – Today’s modern, energy efficient homes are built so well that a home cannot properly ‘breathe’ in order to allow harmful toxins to escape the housing envelope.
Energy efficiency is great for reducing an energy bill, but may not be good for a person’s health. Increase the exchange of fresh air indoors to remove pollutants. Using kitchen and bathroom fans, as well as opening windows when possible is helpful.
2. Replacing filters – Replacing your heating and air conditioner filters often is a good way to reduce irritants and particles in your indoor air.
In fact, if you want to significantly reduce particulates and pollution by using your heating and air system, then replace conventional filters with electrostatic filters that can be washed every month. They are much more effective, plus can save money in the long run.
3. Control humidity – The optimum humidity range in any home is between 30-50%. This level reduces the likelihood of mold growth. You can pick up a humidity gauge at any hardware store for under $15. It’s a good idea to measure home humidity periodically in order to monitor the indoor levels throughout the year.
4. Remove or reduce toxin sources – Whenever possible, it’s wise to replace products and materials that emit toxic VOCs or other harmful chemicals. Products such as household cleaning supplies, candles, air fresheners, detergents, dryer sheets and other common products can now be easily replaced with natural, nontoxic, green alternatives.
Implementing these 4 basic steps to improve your home IAQ can go a long way in creating a healthier home for yourself and your family. You may be surprised at what a healthy difference there is in the air you breathe.