The average person spends a good chunk of their time indoors, where clean, pure air can be taken for granted. While many of us check the weather forecast for pollen count to find out the status of outdoor air, we still don’t give much thought to the air quality inside our homes. But in actual fact, the concentration of certain pollutants can be up to 2-5% worse indoors than outdoors, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Common pollutants include dust mites, mold spores, pet dander and chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Allergy triggers like dust, pollen and smoke can leak indoors from outside. However, there’s one major culprit impacting indoor air quality many may not suspect: humans.
People are sometimes responsible for bringing allergens and pollutants unknowingly into their own homes. For example, pollen may be brought inside on shoes or clothes, and products may be unknowingly purchased that contribute to poor indoor air quality by slowly releasing toxic chemicals into the air.
While all homes will have some degree of infiltration, you can take steps to reduce indoor allergens, such as these three strategies, which when used together can help you breathe easier in your own home.
Ventilating your home regularly makes it less likely allergens can accumulate and cause harm. Let fresh air into your home regularly by opening the windows.
You can also use mechanical ventilation, like electric or ceiling fans, to increase air circulation in your home, especially when you don’t want to open windows or in addition to opening windows.
Additionally, if you need to paint an item, do it outside whenever possible. Also keep windows open when using harsh cleaning products.
Source control is the most effective way to reduce indoor allergens in your home, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. To reduce indoor allergens at the source, choose flooring that contributes to better indoor air quality for your whole family and contains as few chemicals of concern as possible. Experts at BeautifullyResponsible.com advise water-resistant varieties that are easy to keep clean without harsh chemicals, many of which are nowadays independently certified to comply with high standards for indoor air quality.
Clean the air
Air purifiers are a simple way to filter indoor air without too much extra effort. These devices combine an internal filter and fan to capture airborne particles from pet dander, pollen and dust, circulating purified air back into the room.
Air purifiers with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter are recommended by experts. Look for certified asthma- and allergy-friendly air purifiers to help minimize triggers of asthma and allergy. Remember to change filters regularly for best performance.