Are you breathing clean air when you’re inside your apartment? Unfortunately, there’s a decent chance you’re not. In fact, a lot of people reside in spaces contaminated with air pollutants. No, there may not be smog from congested traffic in your apartment, but there are often toxic chemicals floating around in the indoor air. If you’d like to improve the air quality of your apartment, here’s what you need to do.
Clean Your Floors
There are a number of indoor pollutants that gather and collect on your floor. Pet dander, dust mites and mold are just a few of the many things that could be hiding in the nooks and crannies of your home. To best combat these nasty substances, vacuum regularly. Choose a strong vacuum equipped with an HEPA (high-efficiency particular air) filter. Clean that filter on a regular basis while also mopping (without using chemical cleaners) and wiping down corners/edges as needed.
Don’t Smoke Indoors
Secondhand smoke is no joke, it has been irrefutably linked to lung cancer. In children, secondhand smoke can cause respiratory problems, cancer, asthma and more. What comes from a smoker’s exhale is more than just cloudy air. That smoke can contain more than 4,000 chemicals, all of which should be banned from your home.
Tobacco smoke is a combination of gases and particles that linger, just waiting to be inhaled. Because the presence of tobacco particles can cause discomfort and health issues to your fellow residents and guests (and yourself), you should try to quit. If you absolutely can’t kick the habit, at least take it outside.
Mind Your Home’s Humidity
Humidity within your home is not constant. You can purchase a gauge at most hardware stores that will read the level for you, helping you to determine whether it’s too dry or too moist in your house. During the really cold and really hot months, in particular, your humidity can reach dangerously high or low levels.
Aim for humidity within the 30-50% range. This will allow you to stay away from uncomfortable dryness yet also reduce chances of mold growth. How do you achieve a certain degree of humidity? Use a dehumidifier, fan or air conditioning if it’s too humid, and use a vaporizer or humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Opt for Natural Fragrances
Most air fresheners are created using chemicals that are harmful to you, some even carcinogenic. They can also cause headaches, dizziness and a handful of other negative symptoms. Rather than putting yourself at risk, achieve a pleasant odor in your home through a natural source.
Trade in your plug-in air freshener (some of which emit more than five different toxins) for candles made of soy or beeswax. Don’t like candles? Try setting out some potpourri. Another natural route to freshness is to open the windows as much as possible. Circulating air through your house will kick foul odors and be good for your lungs, too.
Because it’s the place we should feel most comfortable, making our homes safe and healthy is certainly a worthwhile objective. Once you put the above practices into effect, you can expect just that: a safer and healthier home.