5 Ways to Prevent Outside Air Pollution in the Home

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The quality of the air we breathe can have a huge impact on our health and happiness. Poor air quality can lead to respiratory infections, asthma, lung cancer, and a number of other health problems. In fact, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, air pollution causes over 3.3 million deaths around the world each year. Unfortunately, the air inside your home is often even more polluted than the air outdoors because of toxic building materials, cleaning solvents, dust, and trap pollutants. Here are five ways to prevent outside air pollution in the home.

Clean With Nontoxic Chemicals

Most store-bought household cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can cause harm to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. If you’re going to use such chemicals, make sure you open a window or use them in a well-ventilated area. However, there are many more environmentally friendly options. Consider creating your own household cleaners using more natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and citrus. 

Use an Air Purifier

Air purifiers can be a cost effective and easy way to clean your indoor air and reduce harmful particles. If you have a family member with asthma, it may be a good idea to have one in his or her bedroom. Do your research and find out which one is right for your family by using the EPA’s guide.

Get Rid of Mold

All kinds of fungus release spores into the air that can trigger allergic reactions. It grows in dark, damp places like your bathrooms and basement. Fortunately, there are many ways to kill it without using harsh chemicals.

Have Your HVAC System Cleaned

It’s important to have a professional come out and clean your pipes, ducts and vents on a regular basis. Dust and pollutants can accumulate in your ducts and vents so that when the heater or air conditioning kicks on it blows it into your air. Getting these cleaned on a consistent basis will do wonders for improving the air quality of your home. 

Get More House Plants

Image via Flickr by Operating System

Having more indoor houseplants can help improve the air quality in your house. Plants naturally absorb gases through pores on their leaves, which facilitates photosynthesis, the process that converts light energy and carbon dioxide into energy to promote growth. But researchers studying air pollution have found that plants absorb many other gases in addition to carbon dioxide, including VOCs (volatile organic compounds). For example, spider plants are effective at reducing benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene.

Breathing clean air is a basic necessity of life, whether it be for humans, plants, or animals. Clean air inside our home makes us feel more comfortable and healthy. Your home should be your sanctuary from all those harmful things outside, so start by cleaning your air with an air purifier, using environmentally friendly cleaners, and buying more houseplants. Then have your HVAC serviced and see how you feel. If anyone in your home is still having issues with asthma or allergies, it might be time to have an expert come look for mold or other hidden problems.

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