If you're like the average person, you spend more than two-thirds of your time indoors in any given week. With that much time inside, it's time to start doing something about the quality of air in your home.
Here are a few tips for keeping your indoor air fresh, clean, and healthy.
Indoor allergens, from pet dander to dust mites, can wreak havoc on your health, even if you don't suffer from chronic allergies. Luckily, frequent cleaning with low-VOC household cleaners can help. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are harmful irritants that can be found throughout a house, even in cleaning products. So, first things first, check your cleaning products to see if they're labeled as low- or no-VOC cleaners. If they're not, replace 'em, then get to work!
To reduce the amount of pollen that ends up trapped indoors, be sure to dust and vacuum your furniture, upholstery, and floors often. This is especially important during the spring and summer months when flowers, trees, and grasses are in full bloom. You can also consider using an allergen filter in your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system to catch particles you may miss.
Pets can also be a source of indoor air pollutants. Animals carry their own dander, and sometimes pollen and other outdoor allergens can make their way inside on your pets' fur. So, be sure you're giving your pets regular baths and grooming their coats outdoors.
Dust mites are another type of allergen that can be kept to a minimum by making regular cleaning a habit. Wash bed linens and blankets in hot water, and don't be afraid to break out the carpet steamer a few times a year.
Now Give Your Home a Breath of Fresh Air
The Home Ventilating Institute says the best way to ensure continuous indoor air quality is to exhaust stale indoor air and replace it with fresh outside air. That's because old air can cause moisture to accumulate inside, leading to mold, mildew, and odors if left unattended.
And the best way to air out your home is by using a combination of vertical windows and skylights. When opened together, the skylights and windows create a chimney effect: warm, stale air rises and is released through the skylights, while fresh air is drawn in through the windows, infusing your home with fresh air.
With skylights throughout your home, particularly in hallways and corridors that rarely see natural light, you can create a happy, healthy living environment.