Let’s be honest. It’s our fault. Each and every day, we humans engage in activities that serve to worsen our indoor air quality. Our often-not-even-thought-about bad habits can have serious health implications considering how much time we spend in our homes. We spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. And when we keep up with our naturally bad habits, it only serves to cause health problems – especially for those with asthma and allergies.
So what bad habits worsen indoor air quality? Here are seven:
1. Not opening the windows. We know – it’s the winter time in Canada. But guess what? Opening the windows for a few minutes a day won’t freeze you to death. By contrast, it can be good for your health. Exchanging the fresher outside air with stale indoor air out is “one of the simplest (and most affordable) things you can do to improve your home air quality,” according to NaturallySavvy.com.
2. Not cleaning heating and air conditioning filters. We often take the appliances that cool and heat our homes for granted. We can’t forget that they need to be regularly maintained. “Heating and air-conditioning filters and vents that are not regularly cleaned can trap pollen, dust and other allergens,” explains Mary West on Wakeup-World.com, “They are easily accessible in many systems, but if yours are in a difficult-to-reach area, have a professional cleaning service take care of them periodically.”
3. Opting for carpet over hardwood floors. Most of us probably grew up in homes that were predominantly carpeted. And such homes provided a warmth and comfort that we grew up to love. It’s hard to argue that carpets offer a cozy softness to walk on, making the home seem friendlier. However, carpets trap dust and other indoor pollutants creating a nightmare for allergy and asthma sufferers. Simply put, remove carpeting from your home for better breathing.
4. Using traditional household cleaning products. Most of us are still caught up with the idea that if our homes smell clean, then they must be clean. So we use scented aerosol sprays and other fragrance-riddled disinfectants that only serve to add harmful chemicals to our living environments. “Traditional household cleaning products are one of the leading contributors to poor home air quality,” says NaturallySavvy.com, “In fact, the average home contains 62 harmful chemicals.”
5. Not owning houseplants. It’s important for us to bring certain elements of the outdoors inside with us. Plants are especially useful as many of them serve as perfectly natural air filters. Plants such as the peace lily, the bamboo palm, aloe vera and the English Ivy (or Hedera helix) are known for removing such harmful chemicals as formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide from the air we breathe.
6. Not making use of essential oils. “Essential oils will impart a wonderful scent into your home, and many have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that can enhance indoor air quality,” writes West, “Use diffusers but place them on a high shelf out of the reach of children. Good ones to try include citrus, eucalyptus, thyme or peppermint. A nice one for the bedroom is lavender, which has an intoxicatingly fresh scent that promotes relaxation.”
7. Smoking indoors. Does this bad habit really need an explanation? There is literally nothing worse that you can do for your home’s indoor air quality than to light up a cigarette within its walls. Secondhand smoke as well as thirdhand smoke (as discussed in last week’s blog) can create disastrous health hazards that have been well documented. If you can’t quit smoking, at least endeavour to quit smoking in your home.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strive to improve your indoor air quality by seeking out all contaminants and pollutants through our Air Quality Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.