Easy Ways to Keep the Air in Your Home Clean
With the new year still fresh in everyone’s minds, many Michiganders are focusing on doing everything they can to be healthy. This might include cooking nutritious meals, exercising more regularly, drinking water throughout the day and practicing meditation. But there’s one area many people don’t really pay attention to: the quality of the air you’re breathing. Exposure to air that contains chemicals and other toxins can impact your health—something especially important since the average American spends about 90 percent of their time inside. Here’s how to improve the air inside your home so you can breathe more easily:
- Get an air purifier. Dust, mold and chemicals can accumulate in your home over time—especially in the winter when you don’t open your windows. That’s why indoor air can often be twice as polluted as outdoor air. An air purifier can remove toxic airborne particles and allergens by filtering the air. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using one:
- Make sure the air purifier uses a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which is the most effective in removing airborne particles.
- Once the air purifier is plugged in, it’s okay to let it stay on throughout the day.
- Make sure to replace the filter as often as the manufacturer suggests, which is typically every six months to a year. (And while you’re at it, replace the filters in your heating system, too.)
- Add some plants. Did you know that certain houseplants can naturally improve the air quality in your home or office? Scientists have found that plants can absorb gases – including carbon dioxide, but also volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other pollutants. A few houseplants that are especially good at cleaning the air are Dracaena, Jade plant, spider plant, bromeliad, and Caribbean tree cactus.
- Clean out your humidifier. Having a humidifier in your home fights winter dryness. But standing water and high humidity levels (for instance, if you see wet, foggy windows) can create the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, mold, and mildew – which could ultimately worsen asthma symptoms. Make sure you clean your humidifier regularly (see tips for doing that here).
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