7 Ways to Significantly Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
Here are some interesting facts from the United States Environmental Protection Agency:
- 87 percent of American homeowners are not aware of the fact that pollution inside their home is probably 2 – 5 times, or sometimes up to 100 times, worse than outdoor pollution
- Indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental dangers in the world
- There has been an alarming increase in asthma, lung diseases and severe allergies that are linked to poor indoor air quality. As a result, millions of people die prematurely from these illnesses every year.
- In other words, the danger of indoor air pollution is very real. In fact, it’s more real than most of us can understand and it’s causing a lot of dangers if we leave it unchecked.
Here are 7 ways to significantly reduce indoor air pollution:
1. Improve Indoor Air Quality by Going Green
Most of the materials used in homes today result in outgassing, which is the release of dissolved toxic gas trapped, frozen or absorbed in building materials years after building your house.
Some common materials we use in our homes such as paint, carpets, floors and sheet materials will eventually cause outgassing, gradually polluting the indoor air in your home without you realizing it.
By using green materials to construct your home, however, not only will you be able to prevent outgassing and the illnesses that come with it but you’ll also be able to conserve energy and save more money on the long run because green materials have been reported to be more durable.
2. Improve the Ventilation of Your Home
One of the main culprits when it comes to indoor air pollution is the lack of proper ventilation.
When the air in your home becomes trapped and stale and starts to mix with the toxic chemicals being released due to outgassing, lack of proper ventilation will only make the situation complicated.
However, by improving the ventilation in your home, you will be able to improve the overall quality of the indoor air in your home.
There are several ways to go about this; you can install a home ventilation system, you can install an attic insulator and you can experiment with opening your windows at the right time to allow inflow and outflow of air.
3. Use Houseplants to Absorb Toxic Chemicals in Your Home
You can also improve the quality of your indoor air by letting houseplants come to the rescue.
By having quality houseplants in your home, the overall quality of indoor air will improve since these houseplants will absorb the toxic chemicals that are being released into the air. Some quality houseplants you can start with are:
- Aloe Vera
- English Ivy
- Peace Lily
- Chinese Evergreen
- Spider Plant
- Bamboo Palm
- Rubber Plan
- Weeping fig
There are a lot more houseplants that you can use that can be easily found around you; it isn’t difficult to find them with a bit of research.
4. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Cleaning Products
Sometimes, the very products you’re hoping will help you clean your home and improve the quality of the environment are the ones causing actual indoor air pollution.
Make sure you steer clear of common household cleaning products that have toxic chemicals in them; most air fresheners and cleaning products easily fall into this category and you’ll be able to improve the quality of your indoor air by avoiding them.
A good alternative is to make your own cleaning products or to look for toxic free home cleaning products.
5. Open Your Windows Regularly
Most of us keep our windows closed all year depending on where we live; this is probably due to the cold, noise around us, dust or because we think it is the best thing to do.
Contrary to what we believe, though, opening the windows regularly can be very helpful in improving indoor air quality and the overall living condition of our homes.
This is especially important during the winter period; try to leave your windows open for at least 10 minutes once or twice a day. This makes it easy for fresh air to circulate into the building and as a result improving overall air quality.
Of course, you have to approach this with caution; if the air outside your home is very bad, opening your windows could actually have a negative effect.