How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

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Believe it or not, the air inside modern houses can be up to five times more polluted than outside air. When you also take into account that we can spend up to ninety percent of our lives inside, the term sick building syndrome should need little explanation.

Inside pollutants like dust, pet dander, tobacco smoke, mold spores and pollen tend to be continually recycled which ultimately means that folks who suffer from allergy induced asthma are making their complaint worse by being inside.

Some Other symptoms of sick building syndrome include dizziness, head aches, tickly throats, stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, nausea, lethargy and an lack of concentration.  Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to ascertain if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution.

If you discover that the symptoms lessen or even vanish when you are outside, it is a strong possibility that poor air quality inside your home is the cause. If that is the case, there are some things that you can do to all but get rid of the possible causes and breathe a little easier.

Here are a number of simple steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home.

Do Not Smoke Indoors

Ideally, you should ban smoking anywhere within the house but if this is not possible, endeavour to confine it to one place. In our case, any friends or family that visit are limited to the kitchen area or the back garden if they want to smoke. In the kitchen, an extractor fan drives the smoky air outside as it does with cooking odors.

Air Out Regularly

Weather permitting, you should open windows and doors in order to reduce the concentrations of inside pollutants while allowing outdoor air to come in. Make good use of kitchen and bathroom extractor fans. Clean and check the fan and any vents on a regular basis and clean or replace any filters that may be fitted.

Throw Out Those Chemical Cleaners

If you have ever taken the time to understand the labels on household cleaning products, the majority of them will include a warning about how bad the chemical substances are for your health or skin. As soon as you use that product, a lot of those chemicals go into the air, the fumes of which are inhaled. I have quite often started coughing after spraying counter tops with so called anti-bacterial cleaner. Personally, I have taken the enviromentally friendly approach to household cleaning. Baking soda, washing soda crystals, white vinegar and pure lemon juice will work wonders for the majority of cleaning jobs. They are not only cheaper but they also do not release any toxic fumes into your house.

Keep you Home Clean and free of dust

Although it may appear obvious to some folks, regularly hoovering your carpets and flooring can go a long way in controlling airborne allergens and dust. It may suprise you to know that approximately seventy percent of dust within the home consists of dead skin which we humans continually molt. Dust mites like to feed on this dead skin which in turn makes them grow. They then shed their own skin and that, mixed with their faecal matter is what causes allergic reactions in people.

Pet Dander Triggers Allergies

If you have a family pet, they will molt dander that can trigger allergic reactions and asthma. Something needs to be done if you suspect that either you or another family member are allergic to pet dander. Ideally, it is best to keep pets out of the house completely although that is seldom possible. As a possible alternative, try and restrict the rooms that the pet is allowed into. One definite area to keep them out of is the bedroom.

Reduce Indoor Air Humidity

Living in a rainy climate or an area of high humidity can both result in moisture levels in the home increasing dramatically. A result of excessive moisture is the growth of mold and mildew. For anyone with extreme allergic reactions, mold spores are as bad, if not worse, than dust. Dehumidifiers can be a godsend in a humid environment since they are able to remove excess dampness from the surrounding air, thereby keeping mold and the resulting spores at bay.

Get an Indoor Air Purifier

Home air purifiers or room air cleaners do as their name suggests and clean the air of pollutants and allergens like mold spores, pollen, cigarette smoke and pet dander.  They are especially useful if you or a family member suffers from allergic reactions or asthma because they can reduce airborne contaminants by a substantial amount.  Air purifiers and room air cleaners are quickly increasing in popularity because they make indoor air healthier and cleaner. All the same, there are various types of air purifier, some of which can actually make allergies worse instead of better.

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