What's the air quality like inside your home? Even it looks clean, it's probably harboring a myriad of toxins and pollutants. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ranked indoor air pollution as one of the top hazards to public health. And while it may seem harmless enough, air pollution inside your home can take a toll on you and your family's health. So, consider the following tips to clean up the air inside your home and reap the benefits of better health.
Don't Use Scented Candles or Air Freshening Sprays
Although they smell nice, you shouldn't use scented candles or air freshening sprays in your home. These common household products contain harsh chemicals, toxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), all of which can irritate your upper respiratory system and contribute to illness.
Open the Windows to Allow In Fresh Air
Air conditioning systems -- in most homes, at least -- feature a closed system in which air is constantly being cooled and recirculated. Unfortunately, this means fresh air never enters the home, thereby resulting in the accumulation of airborne pollutants. You can flush these pollutants from your home, however, by opening the windows. When the weather is nice, crack a few windows in your home so that the polluted, stale air is replaced with fresh air from outside.
Vacuum Floors and Upholstery
Another import step to improving your home's air quality is to vacuum the floors and upholstery. Over time, dust and debris will accumulate on the floors and furniture. If left unchecked, some of these pollutants will rise into the air where they contribute to air pollution. To minimize air pollution in your home, vacuum all floors and upholstery at least once a week.
Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Of course, neglecting to maintain your air condition will increase levels of airborne pollutants in your home. The single most important thing you can do to maintain your air conditioner is change the filter. The filter is responsible for removing dust and particulate matter from the air inside your home. If you don't change it on a regular basis, however, it won't be able to perform this job. Replace your air conditioner's filter once every 60 to 90 days.
Decorate With Plants
Finally, consider adding plants to your home's decor. Not only are plants beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but they also filter impurities from the air. In the 1980s, NASA even conducted a study to determine which plants were most effective at cleaning the air. Known as the Clean Air Study, it found that cornstalk plants and spider ivy were among the most effective.