How to Purify the Air in Your Home
Every homeowner wants clean air. Over the past few decades, our society has become more and more aware of the health problems caused by polluted air. We all know that allergens are a problem for some people, while chemicals and mould are problems for everyone. Yet achieving air purity is not a simple task. Cleaning the air in older homes seems like a never-ending chore - and even new homes can have air quality problems. Here are seven tips for purifying the air in your home. 1. Get your ducts cleaned. If your home uses forced air cooling and/or heating, the ducts should be professionally cleaned at least once every year. Mould, pollen, dust, and debris build up over time, and unfortunately there’s no DIY way to get it out. So bite the bullet and call the professionals. 2. Invest in an air purifier. These machines are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (and therefore doctors are cautious about recommending them), so it’s unclear to what degree their claims about reducing the levels of dirt and allergens in the air can be believed. However, they have definitely improved over the past 20 years and will have a positive impact on the air quality in your home (if used as instructed). 3. Choose home cleaning products with care. Along with the pollutants that enter the home through the windows and doors, there are the pollutants that people carry into their homes and then release! Try to use cleaning products with natural ingredients and without harsh chemicals.
4. Choose new flooring materials with care. Another way that homeowners inadvertently introduce pollutants into their home is through the installation of new flooring (and other synthetic materials). Carpet, laminate and tiles can all emit pollutants for a period of time after installation.
Reduce such off-gassing by doing research before you buy flooring, by choosing a product that releases the smallest amount of harmful chemicals, and by ventilating well during and immediately after the installation.
5. Try wet dusting. Keeping in mind that traditional dusting and sweeping propel dust and pollen into the air, consider “dusting” with a wet cloth and “sweeping” with a damp mop. 6. Clean old carpets well. Old carpets can absorb and store dust, pollen, mould, and harmful chemicals. Ensure that they are cleaned regularly with a vacuum cleaner using a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorption) filter. If you choose to wet-clean old carpets, professional steam cleaning is the safest and most effective option. 7. Monitor humidity levels. In the bathroom and kitchen, ensure that the ventilation is adequate to eliminate excess humidity in a timely manner. On the other hand, if you use a humidifier to deal with dry indoor air, monitor the humidity with a hygrometer. Relative humidity levels of 30 percent to 50 percent are optimal. A level above 6o percent results in mould.