Everybody thinks their home’s air is the cleanest, but you may be surprised to learn that the air inside our homes and offices can be even more polluted than the air outside. This air can be polluted by any number of pollutants including lead (in house dust), formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon, mold, dust mites, even volatile chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners. While some pollutants are tracked into the home, others may arrive in a new mattress or furniture, carpet cleaners, pesticides, or paint on the walls.
Luckily, there are some easy fixes you can make to get your air quality on the right track. As the Albany and Adirondack area’s resident indoor air quality experts, we’ve listed compiled out top five tips below.
Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality
Here are some simple changes you can make to ensure the air in your home is healthy for your family!
1.) Remove your shoes
So many pollutants are tracked in by our shoes including germs, dirt and dangerous pesticides. Put a large mat on the inside of the door and a place for everyone to store their shoes. Not only are your floors cleaner, but everyone can find their shoes when they are running out the door!
2.) Test for Radon
Many people think that radon is only in old homes. It is not! Any home could have radon and it can change. Whether you have an old or new home, you should test for radon every couple of years! Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is produced from the natural decay of uranium in soil. When inhaled, it gives off radioactive particles that can damage the cells that line your lungs. Long-term exposure to radon can cause lung cancer.
3.) Stop using harsh chemicals to clean
Sure, they smell clean and work great BUT while you are using store bought cleaning solutions and air fresheners, they are emitting dozens of chemicals into the air. They can also be very dangerous if you mix them. Keep it natural, baking soda, lemon, vinegar…..they are all excellent alternatives.
4.) Open the windows
Even in the winter and hot days in the summer, open the windows for a little fresh air. This will decrease the buildup of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and toxins in the air. It will also make your home smell fresh and make everyone feel better! (A more advanced version of this is an air exchange system.)
5.) Check the humidity in your home
Mold loves moisture! Reduce indoor humidity to 30-50%. Use a humidity monitor to check the humidity in your home. Decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning.
Is your home’s air safe to breathe?
Keeping your home’s indoor air quality in check is an ongoing process. While these five simple tricks are a good start, we recommend having an indoor air quality test done on your home or office to see what types of pollutants you’re dealing with. We proudly provide comprehensive indoor air quality testing for residential and commercial customers in Albany, Clifton Park, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, Queensbury, Lake George, Plattsburgh and other nearby areas. Contact us today to get started!
*Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in 2017 but has been updated as of September 2019.