Hello! We hope you’re having a great week! Today we wanted to create an article to talk about the air in your home, and some strategies to improve air quality to keep it fresh and clean. This is a subject that’s important for many people and we don’t see it being discussed frequently enough.
Over the last couple of years, especially after COVID-19, we know how important it is the air we breathe. If it carries germs, bacteria, or any other allergens, it can present a series of complications to our health and wellbeing.
In fact, many immunocompromised people are much more sensitive to air quality, as well as people that are asthmatic or allergic to pollen, dust, or other components.
But not only does it affect us in the health field, but also the psychological and well-being aspect. Who wants to work or start their day when the air quality is not great? We all know how it feels like to work or just stay at home when the air feels heavy and unpleasant. It makes you feel drowsy, uncomfortable, and sleepy.
Now, we know how important it is to clean frequently in order to maintain air quality in your household, either by yourself or by hiring a cleaning service. But there are also many other strategies that you can implement in order to improve your indoor air quality.
You’ll notice results right away: not only in your body but also in your mind and your mood during the day. Let’s check them out!
Open Your Windows
It’s so important to let airflow into your rooms by opening windows, even if you don’t use them that frequently. This is even more important in areas that are constantly under the presence of humidity, such as your laundry room. This will prevent mold from growing.
Opening up windows for at least 30 minutes every day in each room will make a huge improvement, especially when there is sunlight. Basically, sunlight and airflow are the worst enemies for mold and bacteria.
By opening windows, new air is coming in constantly and doesn’t allow bacteria and mold to build up.
Related: Glass Cleaning: Let’s Make It Cleaner
Clean and Replace Air Vents
Dirty air filters are the silent killers, in a way. It can even cause respiratory issues in the long run if you don’t know or don’t act fast enough.
To clean an air filter, make sure to follow instructions depending on the make and model. Most of your air vent covers are flat and easily removable, which makes them perfect to clean and maintain easily.
For regular maintenance (ideally 2 to 4 times a month) you can vacuum them without needing to remove them.
Then, occasionally (once every 2 months) you will need to remove them for deeper cleaning. Soak them in a large bowl or in your bathtub, in hot, soapy water. Ideally, you would use a grout and tile brush, but if you don’t have one any cleaning brush will work. You should add an old toothbrush for detail cleaning as well.
Soak your vents for 30 minutes and then start brushing everything away. If you have a steam cleaner or a detachable showerhead, this will make your job much faster and easier you can point the nozzle to the exact spot where dirt is building up.
You will immediately notice that your breathing will improve, especially if you haven’t cleaned it in a while.
Related: 7 Steps to a Clean Smelling House
Get an Oil Diffuser
Essential oils are oil solutions that are extracted from different types of flowers, trees, and fruits. Other cleaning blogs have mentioned the cleaning properties of essential oils, such as our fellas from Emily’s Maids.
Among the different ways you can use essential oils, you also have the oil diffuser route. An oil diffuser is a machine that slowly diffuses the essential oil you place in the reservoir with some water. This way you will be breathing a very small portion of that oil.
They are extremely affordable (around $15 to $20) and many of them come with an automatic setting, and they double up as a lamp too.
However, keep in mind you will need to place a few drops of essential oil regularly, and they can be a bit expensive. However, they only need one or two drops to work so a large bottle will come a long way.
Research has shown that essential oils come with different therapeutic properties.
We do have to add a little disclaimer here, and it’s that most pets are allergic to many types of essential oils. If you have any, make sure to check with your vet, and stop using them if you notice a skin or respiratory issue in your pet (or in yourself, of course).
Related: 7 Steps to a Clean Smelling House
Use an Air Purifier
An air purifier is the most direct, obvious choice if you want to improve the quality of the air. The way it works is that it combines an air filter and a fan. These filters are usually made out of paper and fiberglass.
The fan absorbs the current air and the filter separates the particles, letting fresh air circulate back.
But what about price availability? Well, they became popular among more and more households, which made them more affordable with time. Right now, you can find really affordable air purifiers in the $100 range.
Keep in mind that air purifiers come with air filters that are very similar to HVAC vents, and therefore need to be cleaned frequently to ensure all the dirt and bacteria are removed and it continues to work perfectly.
However, keep in mind that, while we recommend opening up windows earlier, you will have to close them while using an air purifier to ensure it will work efficiently.
It is common knowledge that plants increase the quality of the air. You can add a devil’s ivy, a spider plant, or a rubber tree, which are great at absorbing harmful chemicals in the air.
Other great options are chrysanthemums or “mums”, snake plants, and aloe vera (which you can use for treating your skin as well, for example.)
There are so many design ideas to create your own little plant area in your home. Many species require low maintenance and water and they will help improve the air quality just as nicely.
Plants can reduce levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, among many other chemical compounds.
They are not miraculous by any means but they will be helpful, especially when combined with other tips.
Besides improving air quality, research has shown that indoor plants also reduce stress and blood pressure. And they are also a nice décor to add life and colorful vibes to your home!
Vacuum Regularly to Increase Air Quality
Bacteria and allergens do not only float around in the air, they eventually settle on your floors and furniture.
This is particularly important if you have pets. Pet dander slowly builds up on the floors and furniture.
When vacuuming, it is important to do the job with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. This filter will be able to absorb even the tiniest particles and leave your air fresh and clean. If you’re sneezing constantly, it might be because of this!
You should vacuum your home at least once a week, although this can be increased to twice a week or every other day if you have small kids and/or pets.
If possible, get yourself an upholstery cleaner, especially if you have carpet floors or several pieces of furniture. With an upholstery wet-dry cleaner, you will press a cleaning solution into the fabric and then vacuum dirty water out of your furniture.
Related: What Is The Best Way To Vacuum Your House?
Improve Your Air Quality With a Humidifier Or Dehumidifier
Humidity is also an important factor. According to research, the comfortable level of humidity is somewhere between 40 – 60%. Other scientists recommend a 30 – 50% range.
Dallas is known for changing humidity levels suddenly, even on the same day (up to 40% sometimes!). This creates a massive discomfort, and you might start to feel “sticky”, for example. Discomfort increases when combined with unpleasant temperature levels as well.
However, if your area has sudden changes in humidity, this means that sometimes you will need a humidifier, and other times a dehumidifier. What you can do in this case is to select a device with custom humidity control, to select your exact desired level.
Besides, the most comfortable humidity level varies during the winter (30 – 40%) and summer (50 – 60%).
Similar to oil diffusers, they are usually almost silent and can run all day long. They are very affordable as well nowadays, and you have hundreds of models to choose from, depending on the size of your home.
There you have it! 7 tips to improve the quality of your indoor air. Some of them are easier or less expensive than others, but they are all effective nonetheless. You can try to incorporate them into your routine slowly.
As we mentioned earlier, with better air quality you will breathe better and feel more relaxed at home.
And don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed. Remember you can always hire a cleaning service!