With so many potential pollutants in our home, what’s the best way to improve indoor air quality? Opening your windows for fresh air isn’t the most feasible option in the winter. However, the American Lung Association and other organizations recommend healthy, easy remedies to freshen the air in your home during the coldest months of the year.
- NASA research has identified many common houseplants and blooming potted plants help fight pollution indoors. Research shows that some houseplants are better at removing formaldehyde from the air, while others do a better job on benzene. University of Minnesota Extension, for example, lists a variety of house plants on its website that help combat indoor pollution, from spider plants and golden pothos to Chinese evergreens and the bamboo palm.
- Make your home a smoke-free zone.
- Test your home for radon, an invisible gas that causes lung cancer. Every home should be tested as radon may be found in any home. If your home has high radon levels, you can fix the problem with a radon mitigation system.
- Keep humidity levels under 50 percent. Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner as needed, and clean equipment regularly to prevent additional pollution.
- Fix all leaks and drips in your home. Standing water and high humidity encourage the growth of mold and other pollutants.
- Avoid burning wood because it adds pollution indoors and out.
- Don't use scented candles or fragrances to cover odors.
- Use cleaning products that disclose their ingredients so you know what you are using around your home.
- Don't store hazardous chemicals in your home.
With these steps, you’ll be able to breathe a little easier this winter.