Integrative Nutrition Blog
How to Improve Air Quality in Your Home
Breath is life. Think about it: You can survive for weeks without food, but only seconds without air! Our breath provides the oxygen essential for cellular respiration, energy metabolism, and brain function! Just as we want to take in the most nourishing food, we also want to take in oxygen of the highest quality. The cleaner and fresher the air that we draw into our lungs, the more vibrant, alive, and energized we can feel.
What is clean air?
Clean air is fresh air that is void of any toxins or pollutants. Air pollution can take many forms – from dust mites and mold to lead and radon. Many people think air pollution is only an outdoor problem. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, “indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times – and occasionally more than 100 times – higher than outdoor levels.” Since most of us spend a large portion of our time in our homes, it is important to ensure that its air quality is “so fresh and so clean”!
How do I know what my air quality is at home?
The cheapest option is to use an indoor air-quality test kit. There are many on the market that provide a thorough analysis of pollutants in your home, including radon, mold, carbon monoxide, lead paint, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). While a self-test kit may be cheap and a good place to start, hiring a professional to inspect your home and test your air quality may offer more extensive results with specific readings of each pollutant. A professional can also offer personalized solutions to improve the quality of the air in your home.
Whether you decide to use a home kit or hire a professional, there are several things you can do right now to improve the air quality of your home so that you are breathing the cleanest and freshest air possible!
- Increase airflow and filtration. One of the easiest ways to improve air quality is to simply create more airflow within your home. You can do this by opening windows and doors, even for just five minutes a day. Using fans in the bathroom and kitchen that exhaust outside is another great way to create airflow. You can also fill your home with plants, which can help improve feng shui. Plus, plants are one of the best filtration systems on the market!
- Maintain humidity levels. It’s best to keep indoor humidity levels around 30% to 50% to avoid dust mites and mold. In the summer, a dehumidifier is a great investment to reduce moisture!
- Install carbon monoxide and radon detectors. This is a simple, cheap, and incredibly important preventive measure to ensure that your home’s air quality is safe and clean.
- Regularly clean your home. You don’t have to go overboard, but regularly dusting, vacuuming, and mopping are great ways to stop allergens from accumulating in your home. A helpful trick is to keep large floor mats at each door to avoid tracking in any contaminants. Plus, it’ll make cleaning a whole lot easier!
- Use natural products. Items such as candles, air fresheners, cleaning products, perfumes, and laundry detergents often contain chemicals that can negatively impact the quality of air. Choose products that are natural and nonsynthetic. For instance, you might want to try soy or beeswax candles, fragrance-free laundry detergents, and all-natural cleaning products.
While these suggestions are specifically about improving the air quality of your home environment, it’s also a good idea to check the air quality index (AQI) of your neighborhood and town. The AQI rates, from “good” to “hazardous,” how clean the air is by comparing the values of pollutants in the area. You can also explore air quality maps online to see the real-time AQI for any given area.
Nourish yourself with the cleanest air possible by taking simple steps to improve your air quality. Your cells, lungs, and overall vitality will thank you!