If you were wondering how to reduce indoor air pollution in your home, there are a bunch of simple changes that will make a huge difference. As you read our suggestions, you might notice that some of the ways to reduce indoor air pollution are already part of your daily routine. Don’t worry if you can’t make all of these changes right away; any one of them will have a positive impact on the air you breathe.
1. Keep windows and doors open
The easiest ways to reduce indoor air pollution all have to do with proper ventilation. When possible, keep your windows and doors open to allow proper airflow throughout your home. During pollen season, you might want to keep your windows closed, and in the winter, closing off rooms will help maintain heat. We’re not saying you have to suffer through the elements! But on nice evenings, or when no one is home, maintaining open air flow diffuses any pollution over a wider area, improving the overall air quality in your home.
2. Take care of pet hygiene
As much as you might love your fur babies, your lungs don’t love their dander. Make sure you bathe pets regularly to reduce the amount of air pollution they produce. When you’re looking to find a new fuzzy friend, consider a hypoallergenic pet. One of the easiest ways to reduce indoor air pollution is to avoid pollutants in the first place!
3. Reduce indoor smoke
Who doesn’t love when their kitchen aromatizes their home? However, burning oils and grease from cooking linger long after their odor, lowering the air quality in your home. And though we love a good fire in the winter, fireplaces tend to clog up and produce a ton of air pollution. Likewise, smoking tobacco or marijuana indoors produces a lot of pollutants. Using your cooking vents and limiting indoor smoke are two simple ways to reduce indoor air pollution.
4. Use your window air conditioner!
Do air conditioners improve air quality? Absolutely. How do air conditioners improve air quality? First, they dehumidify air. A lot of pollutants like hanging out in moisture, and window ACs extract that moisture in order to produce cool air. Second, your AC unit does a great job of circulating air around your home, which helps diffuse pollution and improve air quality. On cooler days, running your AC on fan mode circulates the air in your home without needlessly running the compressor.
5. Change filters regularly
If you use an air conditioner in your home, make sure you check and change the filters regularly. A clogged filter reduces the efficiency of your AC, which will cost you more money in the long run. And while filters are good ways to reduce indoor air pollution, an expired filter can actually contribute pollutants to your home. For more information on air conditioning filters, check out our article on the subject here.
6. Take your shoes off
Let’s say you’re really lazy, and you’re looking for how to reduce indoor air pollution with the least effort possible. Take your shoes off! Your shoes carry pollutants in with them, and wearing shoes inside tracks those pollutants all around your home. To take things a step further, take off your jacket or outer layer as soon as you get inside. To the delight of parents everywhere, taking your shoes off and hanging up your jacket are two easy ways to reduce indoor air pollution.
7. Clean your carpet
Vacuuming regularly will pick up pet dander and other pollutants that love to lurk in your carpeting. Same with rugs! While carpeting looks lovely, hardwood and tile don’t hold on to as many allergens, so consider going without carpeting if you suffer from severe allergies.
8. Dust with microfiber
Microfiber is a fancy way of saying a fabric with really skinny threads. For some context, a microfiber is thinner than a strand of silk, or about one-fifth as thick as a human hair. Because microfibers are so small, the spaces between them are even smaller, and that’s why microfiber cleaning cloths work better. While any old rag will take care of the dust you can see, microfiber wipes up pollutants like fungal spores and pet dander.
9. Avoid covering odors
This piece of advice might sound counterintuitive. After all, if something is stinking up your home, who wouldn’t want to cover the odor? But remember, these are tips on how to reduce indoor air pollution, not tips on making your home smell like potpourri. While scented candles and emulsified fragrances smell lovely, they actually lower the air quality in your home. Think about the air in your home like a highway, and air pollution like a traffic jam. When you introduce more aromas into your home, you’re adding more cars to the traffic jam. It’s much better to open a window or a vent and let the odors out.
10. Bring in the cavalry
Remember when we answered, “How do air conditioners improve air quality?” You might have wondered why we didn’t just recommend purchasing a dehumidifier or air purifier for your home. For most people, air conditioners do enough to improve the air quality in their home, but in some environments, more help might be needed. And that’s when we recommend bringing in the cavalry.
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air in your home, which takes care of the pollutants that live in moisture. Humidity encourages mold to grow, so dehumidifying regularly makes your home a hostile environment to mold and other fungal growths.
Different types of air purifiers work in different ways, so make sure to do your research before selecting an appliance for your home. An air purifier will not take care of air pollution by itself, so make sure you’re following the rest of these tips as well!
Now you know the basics of how to reduce indoor air pollution. Remember, good hygiene and responsible home ownership will do a lot of the work for you. While we went over ten tips, you might not need to use all of them to improve the air quality in your home. Good luck, and easy breathing!