You have a HEPA filter. You dust and vacuum regularly. But despite your best efforts, several common household items are undermining your efforts to reduce allergens and airborne pollutants.
Some of the largest sources of indoor air pollution are things you might never suspect. Here are five things in your house that are fouling up your air.
Air fresheners are one of the main types of culprits, and they can cause asthma attacks, migraines, and illness in infants. Your best bet is to skip any fragrance in an aerosol can. Instead, opt for essential oils or cinnamon sticks when you want your home to smell sweet. To get rid of stubborn odors, use baking soda on carpets and upholstery.
Cleaning sprays that contain ammonia and chlorine can cause asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. They can also make your eyes water and give your family headaches. Instead, make your own cleaning products with lemon, castile soap, baking powder, and white vinegar. If you have stubborn stains, use magic eraser bars.
Some laundry detergents have a chemical called dioxane, which can be harmful to your health and can affect your indoor air quality. Try to avoid laundry detergents with this ingredient by using eco-friendly alternatives.
Mattresses and Bedding
You rest your head and body on your bed every night, so you should definitely care about what is in your bed. Dust mites are microscopic pests that create allergens that can make people sick. They feed on dead skin cells, so they love it when you don't change your bedding. In fact, they can be found in most homes across the country. To keep dust mites at bay, you should change your bedding at least once a week. Since we tend to keep our mattresses for at least a couple of years, you can use a mattress topper that you can throw away every six months.
While our beds are one of the most common places that dust mites likely to make their homes, they can live anywhere there is upholstery. For instance, if you have a favorite armchair, they might be living there, too. For upholstered items, you should vacuum them regularly, and you can also use a carpet cleaner attachment to shampoo the upholstery. Just be careful about what you use as the cleaner. Look for carpet detergents that say that they're eco-friendly.
Dirty Air Filters
You probably already know that you should be changing the filter in your furnace every 30 to 90 days, depending on the manufacturer's guidelines. Not only does this save your furnace from working too hard, but it's also designed to make your air purer. Filters do this by trapping dust and other allergens as air passes through your HVAC system. Installing an air purifier, humidifier, or dehumidifier in your home can also improve the quality of air in your home.
Inefficient or broken gas stoves can cause air pollution, such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. And if you cook on a gas range, it's even more likely that you're breathing some of these gases, which can exacerbate asthma symptoms and cause other respiratory problems. One simple solution: use the hood while the pilot is lit.
You can change your filter every month, but if the ductwork in your home is already dirty, you're fighting a losing battle. Dust, pollen, and other allergens can worsen allergy and asthma symptoms, but there are a few easy ways that you can drastically reduce the amount of these allergens in your home: get your ducts cleaned. You might need to have your ducts cleaned even more often if you have pets or recently renovated your home.
Keeping the air in your home clean should be at the top of your priority list, and you'll be happy to know that there are a lot of simple steps that you can implement to improve the quality of the air in your home.
For all of your indoor air quality needs, depend on RR Electric, Heating & Air. Call (805) 900-0123 to schedule your appointment.