Breathing is a basic requirement for survival, and the quality of the air we breathe has a significant impact on our health and well-being. Given that most people spend the majority of their time indoors, it is critical that the air we breathe indoors is of high quality. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can cause a variety of health issues, such as respiratory problems, allergies, and even cancer.
There are numerous sources of indoor air pollution, ranging from outdoor air pollution that enters buildings to building materials and household products. Poor IAQ can also be caused by poor ventilation, high humidity levels, and a lack of maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
There are several ways to improve indoor air quality and make it easier to breathe:
- Keep the air clean: Clean your home/workspace on a regular basis to reduce the amount of dust particles, pet dander, and other allergens that can accumulate. Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner and dust on a regular basis. Avoid using chemical air fresheners and cleaning products, which can cause harmful pollutants to be released into the air. Use natural cleaning products such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon instead.
- Increase ventilation: To reduce the concentration of pollutants in the air, make sure your home/workspace is well-ventilated. When cooking or using cleaning products, open windows and doors whenever possible. Install a bathroom exhaust fan to reduce humidity and prevent mold growth. Consider using an air purifier if you live in an area with high levels of outdoor air pollution.
- Control humidity levels: Excessive humidity can promote mold growth, which can release harmful spores into the air. Control humidity levels with a dehumidifier, especially in basements and other damp areas. Keep indoor plants, which can help to naturally reduce humidity levels.
- Test for radon: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep into homes and accumulate to dangerous levels. Test for radon in your home and take steps to mitigate high levels.
- Maintain HVAC systems: Poorly maintained HVAC systems can contribute to poor IAQ. Replace filters on a regular basis, and have a professional inspect and service your system at least once a year.
Improving indoor air quality is essential for our health and well-being. By taking steps to keep the air clean, increase ventilation, control humidity levels, test for radon, and maintain HVAC systems, we can breathe easier and live healthier lives.