This was written by Felicia Baratz of Eat Breathe Blog.
When it comes to the topic of clean air, many people think about the air outside. But indoor air quality also has a significant impact on your health and the environment.
Pollutants in the home, such as tobacco smoke, fumes and chemicals from cleaning products, and automobile affect the environment around you. They are also factors contributing to increased incidences of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other upper respiratory problems. Being proactive can result in cleaner, greener air in your home, which can keep you and the environment healthy and safe.
Tips for getting cleaner, greener air
Keep a clean home. Cleaning your home prevents air filters from becoming clogged with dust, which, in turn, helps your heating and air conditioning system run more efficiently. Use environmentally friendly cleaners or make your own homemade natural cleaners, rather than introduce toxic household cleaners into your environment. Diluted solutions made with vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean most every surface.
Change air filters, clean ventilation systems. Regularly changing the air filters in your heating and air conditioning unit is a vital practice to maintain clean air. Choose an air filter that removes allergens, such as pollen and mold spores and dust mite debris. Have heating and cooling systems serviced annually, to reveal any potential problems that could be compromising your air quality.
Quit smoking. Tobacco products of any kind are quite dangerous in your home. In this day and age, most everyone knows that smoking or chewing tobacco is bad for their health. But secondhand smoke is equally dangerous for others in your home. Sending a smoker outdoors to smoke isn’t any better. Recently, experts have begun discussing the impact of ‘thirdhand smoke,’ residual toxins that are left behind on a smoker’s clothes or hands and that clings to other surfaces.
Be cautious when using heaters. Indoor kerosene or gas space heaters can emit pollutants, so if you’re using one, crack a window and don’t keep the heater in a closed room, where fumes can build-up. If your home has a fireplace, have your chimney inspected for any defects that could cause fumes to back-up into your living space. Wood-burning stoves require additional precautionary measures.
Be careful with your car. You may be tempted to run your car for a little bit when it’s cold outdoors, but move the car out of the garage first. Carbon monoxide fumes can be lethal, and they’re also very bad for the environment.
Improve air quality naturally. Plants add visual beauty to your home and they also help improve air quality. Houseplants release oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air to naturally improve air quality. Add half a dozen or more average-sized houseplants throughout a three-bedroom home to sufficiently improve air quality.
Image courtesy of yewenyi
Breathe easily and safely
Except for smoke and dust, bad air quality is often invisible. Pollutants from chemical-based cleaners can impact the air you breathe inside while damaging the environment. Changing the air filters in your home is important, but other steps must be taken to keep the air you breathe clean. Incorporate green practices in your home and use environmentally friendly products to reduce or eliminate chemical exposure. Even though you may not see the difference, your body will benefit by breathing cleaner, greener air and so will the environment.
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