The air quality of the homes we live in doesn’t concern most of us all that much… but it definitely should! The quality of the air you and your family breathe can have a dramatic effect on your health and well-being… and can even contribute to long-term conditions that make life a lot less enjoyable!
Here are 4 contaminants that most Americans – and probably even you and your loved ones – are breathing into your lungs every day:
- Dust mites – the carcasses of these tiny critters abound in bedding, upholstery, and pillows – any soft surface that you commonly touch. But dust mites are plentiful in the air you breathe, too. At any given time, tens of thousands of them are circulating through the typical American home. If yours is one of them, then you and your family could be at risk for symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, and congestion. That’s because the body parts and fecal matter of dust mites are potent allergens.
They’re also one of the top triggers for asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Dust – every time you walk across the floor or even touch any object in your home, you’re stirring up dust. And that means that it’s ending up in the lungs of everyone who lives in your home – including your spouse and kids. Dust particles contribute to allergies, sneezing, congestion, and a host of other symptoms and illnesses.
- Mold – mold spores are extremely common in indoor air. Fortunately, must kinds of mold aren’t deadly, but the mold spores in your home’s air can still aggravate asthma and allergies. According to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, there may even be a connection between mold exposure and decreased immune system function.
- Other allergens – in addition to the contaminants listed above, there could be dozens of other allergens – like smoke, pet dander, or pollen - in the air you breathe every day. These particles can trigger a long list of allergic symptoms… making living in your home miserable.
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can improve the air quality inside your home… and help keep yourself and your family healthy:
- Keep the humidity in your home down. Because dust mites absorb moisture through their skin (instead of drinking it), they thrive in high-humidity environments. Excess indoor moisture also provides an ideal environment for mold to grow. Investing in an air dehumidifier can go a long way toward eliminating these contaminants from your home’s air, particularly if you live in an especially rainy or humid area.
- Vacuum and change bedding at least weekly. Allergens tend to thrive in soft areas (like bedding and carpet), and are released into the air when you walk, sit down, lie down, or touch any upholstered or carpeted surface. Keeping these items clean will help keep your air clean, too… and that means you and your family can breathe easy.
- Don’t forget about the curtains and blinds. Curtains and blinds attract all kinds of allergens, which get circulated back into the air when your home’s heating and cooling system is running. Have them professionally cleaned (or, if you have the time, do it yourself) every 3-6 months for noticeably cleaner indoor air.
- Change your furnace/AC filters regularly. Your furnace and AC system filters are your first line of defense against allergens, and should be changed every 1-3 months for optimal indoor air quality. Be sure to check for multiple filters, too – some of the more advanced heating and cooling systems have up to 5 separate filters.
If you tend to forget to replace your filters regularly, try a service like Filter King. They’ll deliver as many filters as you need every 1, 2, or 3 months – for about the same price as you’d pay in the store. When you receive your shipment, it’s time to change your filters.
With these simple steps, you can dramatically improve the quality of your home’s air… and help keep your family healthy, too. It doesn’t take a ton of money (or even a lot of work) to purify your home’s air… and family will be glad you did!