Five steps to improve the air quality in your home
Did you know that people spend on average over 90% of their time indoors? If you’re concerned about the quality of the air you breathe outside, you should be just as concerned about the air inside your home. It too can have a significant effect on your health. The good news is that there are easily accessible ways to detect problems with air quality, like humidity in your house, contaminants and ventilation issues, in order to better prevent them. From controlling the humidity to air filtering, discover a few simple things you can do to make sure the air in your home is as healthy as possible for you.
1- Check the air quality
The first step is to find the possible sources of any pollutants. The Government of Canada recommends measuring the concentration of radon and to have carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. If you think your house may have other problems, look for the possible causes (like mould, defective heating devices, chemical products and so on). You can choose to do it yourself or engage a professional. Some laboratories offer specialized indoor air analysis services. Although the reasons for poor air quality in your home are many (cigarettes, frequent use of aerosols, animal litter and so on), the most important action is to take the proper measures to protect your health and that of your loved ones.
2- Control humidity in house
A hygrometer measures the level of humidity in your home. The recommended level is around 30% in winter and 50% in the summer. The most common risk is too great a level of humidity inside. It contributes particularly to the development of mould growth.
You can reduce the humidity in your home with these simple tips:
- Seal any leaks and cracks and double check the pipes.
- Use the ventilators in the bathroom and the kitchen stove.
- Leave the curtains and blinds open in the day to prevent condensation from forming, and close them at night to enjoy an extra layer of insulation as you sleep.
- Dry your laundry outdoors as much as possible and make sure the air from the dryer evacuates to the exterior.
- In the case of a water leak, dry the damage immediately in the area as well as anything that is damp.
- If necessary, do not hesitate to use a dehumidifier.
3- Reduce the contaminants in your home
Be sure to make your home smoke free, as smoke is the main source of indoor pollution. If you smoke, make it a habit to smoke outside. Also make sure that any combustion devices (using gas, wood or heating oil) are properly maintained by professionals. If your garage is attached to your house, avoid running your car, lawn mower or blower there. Last but not least, regularly clean your home: floors, mattresses and even the dryer filter, and get into all the corners! You could consider installing a central vacuum cleaner which evacuates the air outside the house.
4- Improve the ventilation
Daily airing out of your home is essential for good indoor air circulation. Open the windows, of course, but also leave the inside doors open or even leave a space between the furniture and walls which lead outside in order to allow the air and heat to circulate. Finally, when you do renovation or repair work, make sure that the aeration is always adequate and be vigilant about the type of products you use!
5 – Filter the air
Combined with good ventilation and reducing contaminants, cleaning the air contributes to limiting the presence of some pollutants. Air purifiers like HEPA filters or electric filters are quite effective. And why not put plants all around your house? They naturally purify the air of many pollutants and they’re great for your health.
From pollutants to humidity levels, you can control the quality of your air indoors. With a few simple actions, you can breathe easier and make your home healthier.