In the summer months, outdoor air quality is an increased concern, and smog and haze tend to linger and be more noticeable. The thing is, the air inside our homes is likely to be more polluted than the air outside. Dust, fragrances, chemicals (in cleaners) and pets can all decrease your home’s air quality.
Your apartment is constructed to be well insulated and airtight, (to improve energy efficiency) keeping these irritants inside your home. There are some simple steps you can take to improve indoor air quality within your apartment.
Switch to natural cleaners
While you may associate lemon, lavender and pine scents with a clean house, the synthetic fragrances in many household cleaners emit chemicals into the air. Here are some things to look for when selecting a more natural approach to cleaning without giving up the powerful cleaning agents.
- Look for naturally-scented or fragrance-free products.
- Make the switch to a mild/low-emitting cleaner.
- Open your windows to let our toxic chemicals.
- Used baking soda and sliced lemons to clean hard surfaces.
- Stop using aerosol sprays such as air fresheners or carpet deodorizers.
Dust and mold love moisture and humidity. Keeping a low level of humidity, somewhere around 30 to 40 percent, will keep allergens and other pollutants at bay. If you are living in a humid part of the country, a dehumidifier can reduce moisture indoors and improve air quality in your apartment. To reduce overall humidity, you may also try not to over water houseplants and use an exhaust fan when cooking.
Keep a tidy home
Everything you own accumulates dust as it sits in your apartment. Keeping your home tidy and clutter-free will make your time cleaning easier and less time consuming. Regular cleaning is an obvious solution to improved air quality, but important to note because of its effectiveness.
Clean floors and furniture
Floors get dirty fast with all the traffic coming in and out of your house. Vacuum floors and carpet and mop hard surfaces often. It’s also important to vacuum mattresses, couches and other furniture every two weeks. Be sure to always wash all bedding in hot water every week to avoid buildup and kill any bacteria that might exist. All of this will improve your indoor air quality over time.
Keep the outside out
Use a doormat to prevent dirt from entering your home. Another option is to ask visitors to take off their shoes before entering your apartment. Never allow cigarette smokers to smoke inside as this drastically decreases the air quality and will be a major headache to remove the smell.
Green plants not only absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, but they also decrease air pollutants commonly found indoors from carpeting, paint and cleaning products. To top of all those perks, they also add to the decor to your space. Here are a few houseplants that are good air purifiers and are easy to maintain:
- Peace lily
- Rubber plant
- Spider plant
- English Ivy
- Aloe Vera
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