After a few months of being cooped up inside away from the cold, it’s important to not only get yourself outside in the fresh air, but also air out the indoors. Although we often think of pollution only occurring outside, that is not the case. According to State Farm experts, moisture, odors, gases, dust and a host of other irritants affect air quality indoors, too. This can lead to more extreme sickness and allergies.
Below, State Farm has come up with a list of things to do that will help freshen your home’s air so you and your family can breathe easy.
- Open windows. Most heating and cooling systems recirculate inside air. When weather permits, give your system a break and let fresh air in. Open windows and place fans strategically to help direct fresh air through.
- Use exhaust fans. Turn on the kitchen fan to vent cooking pollutants, and the bathroom fan to curb mold-promoting wetness and cleaning-product fumes. Leave it running for about 45 minutes.
- Use doormats. They help prevent dirt and other outdoor pollutants from making it inside. Invest in two natural-fiber mats, one for inside and the other for outside your main entrance. Keep a shoe-free home, too.
- Test for radon. The naturally occurring gas is colorless and odorless. It’s also the second-leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. DIY test kits, available online and at your local home improvement store, are inexpensive and easy to use.
- Don’t mask odors. Scented candles and sprays can irritate lungs, too. Find the source of the smell, get rid of it, then ventilate well until it’s gone.
- Use a dehumidifier. Stay under 50 percent humidity to keep mold growth at bay. Clean your dehumidifier regularly, too, so it doesn’t switch from humidity-reducing friend to mold-harboring foe.
- Vacuum regularly. You’ll reduce the amount dust and other pollutants released when you walk around. Invest in a quality vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, especially good at trapping even tiny bits of dust and dirt.
- Take it outside. Painting, sanding, gluing — anything that generates particles, gases or other pollutants. If outside isn’t an option, open a nearby window and add a fan blowing air out. Clean up after your project quickly and well.
- Monitor your air quality. Devices like the Canary can monitor air quality, temperature, and humidity to help you understand how your home might affect your health.
This article was brought to you by State Farm. Check back here soon for more helpful tips and hints.