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Breathe easy: Tips for cleaner air at home

by Harry Roberts

June 2, 2014 | 9:49 am

Photo via Shutterstock.com

Here is an interesting statistic for anyone who worries about the air pollution in their city. Many people spend as much as 90% of their time in their home, where the air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outside.                 

This means that when we start to think about helping the planet it pays to start at home and protect our family. The good news is that this is a lot easier to do than you might think. The following are a few examples of how you could start to improve the quality of the air you and your family members breathe every day.

Don’t Smoke Indoors

Second hand smoke inhaled by non-smokers is still a big concern across the world. While many bars, restaurants and offices have now implemented no-smoking policies, the home is somewhere a lot of smokers still choose to light up. The problem is that this dangerous smoke then hangs around the place and can potentially cause serious damage to everyone else who lives there. Cigarette smoke is a known cancer inducing agent and everyone else who spends time in the house is at risk if someone smokes in there. The best idea is to start to use a strict policy of no smoking indoors in your house. Even better would be to give the habit up if you can find a way to do this. 

Dust and Clean Regularly

Keeping the property clean and tidy is another sensible way of making sure that the air quality is high. It is especially important to do this if there are hairy pets in the home or if there are thick carpets or rugs around the place. You should ensure that you give your house a really thorough clean on a regular basis and carry out slightly less comprehensive cleaning even more frequently. There are no hard and fast rules here but if you can see the dirt or the dust in your home then you need to clean more often than you are doing currently. If you find that it is difficult to keep the place as clean as you would like then you could think about the changes you could make in this respects, such as replacing heavy floor covering with wood flooring or tiles.

Ventilate Well

It is also vitally important to ventilate the property well. The simplest way to do this is to just open all the windows wide and let the fresh air in. Opening windows or doors in opposite sides of the home will allow a breeze to blow through and bring fresh air through the home. The bathroom, kitchen and laundry room are all areas where you need to be careful to no let moisture build up in addition to worrying about the dirt and dust that could be there. This will also help to kelp the rooms a nice temperature if it gets really hot during the summer months. If you keep a window open on a latch during the night then this is a very good idea as well.   

Use a Good Heater Filter and Change It Regularly

You may heard of HEPA filters but did you realize just how good they are at stopping dust and debris and other nasty stuff from getting through your heating and cooling systems and other domestic appliances? A HEPA filter is designed to make sure that it traps 99% of the material that passes through it, which is a lot higher than the typical 40% you will find you get from disposable filters. This will ensure that the device works as it should do and that your air is as clean as healthy as possible. It is also important to change even the best heater filters on a regular basis. You might be surprised to find that it is recommended that you do so once every three months, increasing to once a month in periods when you use the equipment more heavily. 

Add Some Plants

You probably already know how important plants and trees are to the wellbeing of the planet as a whole. Well, the same principle applies in your own home too. There are certain plants that are better than others at cleaning the pollutants out of the air and letting you breathe more easily.  Aloe Vera, the Snake Plant and the Spider Plant are among the best species you could add to your home in this respect.

Stop Dust and Dirt Getting In

It is also worth considering how much of the dirt and dust from outside you can stop from getting into your house in the first place. In this case, probably the simplest solution is to put a big door mat at every door. If the occupants get into the habit of wiping their shoes their time they enter then it will definitely help to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants floating about inside the house.

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