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Did you know that, on average, we spend almost 90% of our time indoors? With such a large amount of our time being spent inside, it’s important to prioritize taking care of indoor air quality. But how does it affect you and if it’s less than ideal, what can you do about it? Read on to find out.
How Does Indoor Air Quality Affect Health?
There is a common misconception that because you’re indoors, you don’t need to worry about air quality. Just as you need to be mindful about what food you put in your body, you need to be mindful of the air you breathe. But how can you tell if the air quality is poor and how does it affect your health? Unfortunately, many of the symptoms you may experience as a result of poor air quality can easily be mistaken for other ailments. A few of the most common symptoms of poor air quality include:
- Eye, nose, and throat irritation
- Shortness of breath
- Nasal congestion
As you can see, many of the symptoms associated with poor air quality could easily be mistaken for symptoms of allergies or the common cold. It can sometimes be tough to tell the difference. A key indicator that you’re suffering from poor air quality is whether or not your symptoms disappear after being outside of your home for a little while. If they clear up, you likely have some work to do with your indoor air quality.
What Can I Do About Indoor Air Quality?
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can go about improving your indoor air quality. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above and suspect poor air quality is the cause, here are a few projects you can tackle in just a few hours to clean up your home’s air.
Clean Your Vents – Your HVAC system works hard in the cold and in the heat. If you want to improve your air quality and help ease the burden on your HVAC system, make sure you clean out your ducts and vents. The more debris that builds up, the worse your air quality is going to be and the harder your system will have to work. Sustainable thermostats might pay for themselves in about two years, but not if you don’t make the investment in regular maintenance. In addition, make sure there isn’t any furniture blocking your indoor vents. This ensures clean air can circulate without issue.
Vacuum and Dust – These tasks are relatively simple, but it can be easy to let them fall to the wayside if you’re busy with other things, stressed out from work, or just too tired to clean. The good news is that you really only need to perform these activities once a week to reap all the air quality benefits. Vacuuming and dusting on a regular basis can help eliminate dust, dander, and other allergens lurking in your carpets and on your furniture. When disturbed by feet or bodies, these allergens go right into the air. When you clean, you’re limiting the number of allergens that make their way into the air and reduce its quality.
Run a Dehumidifier – Believe it or not, moisture plays a big role in air quality. If there’s too much moisture in the air, it can be difficult to breathe and even contribute to mold and mildew growth. To improve your indoor air quality and mitigate the risks of mold growth, a dehumidifier can be an excellent tool.
Improving your indoor air quality starts with simple exercises. Each of these tasks can be taken care of in a weekend. And you’ll be thanking yourself when you’re breathing a little easier because of it.