Since the worldwide lockdown occurred as a result of the rapid spread of COVID-19, many people have been spending more time at home than usual and may be noticing symptoms such as fatigue, respiratory issues, headaches or even digestive issues they never seemed to struggle with before when not at home so regularly. Did you know these symptoms could point to poor indoor air quality?
But how do I improve my home’s indoor air quality you ask? Well, here are some quick and easy ways to improve your air quality instantly.
Let mother nature in and open your windows regularly!
While it can be tempting, especially in Winter, to keep all your windows closed for better temperature control, opening your windows once a day can be one of the biggest improvements you can make to your property’s air quality. Stale indoor air and heating systems can increase the amount of allergy-inducing dust mites, pet dander, and mould spores circulating through your house. When there is no flow of fresh air from the outside, allergens stay trapped inside.
Vent your tumble dryer externally or move it outside completely
If your tumble drier is not ventilated to an external source, move your tumble drier outside of the property or use only when external doors and windows are open to help minimise the amount of moisture pumped into the air – causing high humidity levels. The humidity and subsequent condensation created by tumble driers can not only affect the air quality for the occupants of the home, but it can also affect the building itself with water damage (often noted to ceilings).
Allow wet clothes to dry outside
“Okay, I won’t dry my clothes in a tumble dryer if it’s going to cause humidity issues” you may be thinking. But even letting your wet clothes air dry inside a closed-up house may add unnecessary moisture to your property’s air and, you guessed it, adding to humidity problems causing air quality issues.
Drying your clothes on an outdoor clothesline or clotheshorse is always the best course of action but if this is not possible, try keeping a nearby window open to help alleviate some of the moisture trapped inside.
Keep your floors clean
Allergens can build up quickly, especially in carpeted areas, so regular vacuuming, specifically with a vacuum which has a HEPA filter installed, will help minimise pollutants and allergens impacting your home’s air quality.
Mopping after vacuuming picks up the dust left behind and can help eliminate some of the bacteria present. Follow this with regular carpet cleaning every 6-12 months to deep clean your carpets with the steam and extraction a professional steam clean can provide and you’ll be breathing clean in no time!
Keep on top of regular dusting and cleaning
While nobody expects your home to look like a show-home 24/7, keeping up with regular cleaning and dusting on a consistent basis can be one of the best ways to keep allergens, pet dander and other nasties at bay.
For a deep clean, start top to bottom, dusting the top of the house (corners of the ceiling) to the bottom (the floors) followed by a vacuum of surfaces and floors, and then finish with a wipe down to ensure you get every last bit of allergen causing dust and bacteria. Between deep cleans, pick a room per day to maintain, or four achievable cleaning tasks – remember, little and often is better than a rare deep clean!
Clean air conditioning/heater filters
One of the most important but most forgotten parts of cleaning and maintenance within the home is looking after the air conditioning filter.
If you have a forced-air heating system, it’s important to change the filters on a regular basis. High quality filters can help capture and trap small particles and allergens–like pet dander, smoke, dust and viruses. Many filters are removable for cleaning so make sure to check your manuals for maintenance information.
Not only do plants add a bit of colour and style to a home, NASA research shows that plants such as ferns, spider plants and aloe vera act as natural air purifiers as the foliage and roots work in tandem to absorb chemical pollutants released by synthetic materials. Make sure you keep an eye on your plants though as some may be susceptible to mildew growth – adding to your indoor quality issues.
ensure no leaks within your home’s property
Leaky appliances can cause a variety of problems in a home which can lead to mould growth, in turn affecting the air quality of your home. Water leaks and subsequent mould growth can also cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks so make sure to repair appliances as soon as you notice a problem with either the appliance itself or with an unusually high utility bill to protect your family, the air and your property.
use a dehumidifier
Controlling the humidity within your property to be between 30-50% will help combat indoor allergens and lower chances of mould growth that could develop in rooms with high humidity. Humidity can be caused from showers, wet clothes or even just from the human body! A perfect example of this is the condensation visible on bedroom windows on a cold winter’s morning. By investing in a dehumidifier, you can control the humidity levels within your home and ensure there is not too much moisture in the air the same way you would select a temperature on an air conditioning thermostat. All the hard work is done for you!
Dust and pollen can be microscopic, making it almost impossible to clean as you can’t see it. An air purifier traps approximately 95% of airborne pollutants (depending on the quality of purifier used) through drawing in polluted air, filtering the air and then releasing the “cleaned” air. While a purifier can be a slight financial investment compared to some of the other suggestions in this post, it will be one of the best decisions you will make if you have indoor air quality issues as it will continually purify your indoor air while you continue on with day to day activities.
Finally, if you would like a professional inspection of your indoor air quality or would like to undertake air quality testing in your property, call Hazard Restoration on 1300 111 911 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org