Improving Your Indoor Air Quality: 7 Tips
Posted: May 5, 2020
The quality of our indoor air has long been a topic of interest for families with asthma and other respiratory problems – but these COVID-19 days, it’s become a top of mind for all of us.
As well it should be: a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency characterized indoor air quality as “one of the most important public health issues of our time” in light of the fact that Indoor levels of pollutants might be as much as 100 times the levels found outdoors. Considering the fact that the average American consumes more than 15,000 gallons of air each day, that’s not a good combination.
The good news is that you can greatly improve the quality of the air inside your Massachusetts home by simply making better choices about what you buy and how you live. Here are seven tips that will help your family breathe a little easier in the coming months.
7 Home Air Quality Tips
- Eliminate products with toxic fragrances. Many of the cleaners available in today’s big box stores are loaded with harmful chemicals; choose more eco- (and human-) friendly options. Better yet, make your own: homemade vinegar and baking soda cleaners will clean or disinfect just about any material or surface. When choosing room fresheners and candles, skip products that use chemical fragrances and opt for essential oils instead.
- Spend a little more on construction materials. Planning home improvements? Invest a little extra money up front to get mold resistant fiberglass-covered drywall or gypsum board and low-VOC paint for your projects. VOCs (volatile organic compounds) can cause respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment. Although these materials cost a little more, they’ll pay off in the long run with better health and no need to redo your handiwork due to a mold problem.
- Add plants. Research by NASA and other groups have shown that certain common houseplants can be quite effective in removing formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethane from the air and replacing it with breathable oxygen. Top choices include Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, English Ivy, Ficus, Gerbera, Golden Pothos, Peace Lily, Philodendron, Pot Mum, and Spider Plants.
- Ventilate hobby rooms. Hobbies are great, but they often require you to use some pretty toxic materials. If you plan to do any paint stripping, soldering, gluing, or painting, make sure your hobby room is well-ventilated – or better yet, do the work outdoors.
- Change furnace and A/C filters regularly. It’s pretty simple: a clogged air filter won’t clean your home air. Check your furnace filters about once a month, cleaning or changing them (depending on the model) when necessary. Be sure to choose the right kind of HVAC filter, too.
- Maintain your furnace. Professional heating system maintenance keeps your equipment working at the top of its air-quality game, enabling better airflow and proper humidification in your home. If you haven’t scheduled yours yet this year, contact us to make an appointment today.
- Consider adding whole house Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) equipment. If budget allows, install indoor air quality equipment, including whole-house air purifiers and humidifiers/dehumidifiers that can clean your air, optimize moisture levels, and prevent conditions that can lead to mold and microorganism growth.
Breathe easier with furnace maintenance, indoor air quality installations, and more from the pros at Pioneer Oil an Propane. Contact us to learn more about professional heating service in Worcester County, MA.