Did you know that the air inside your home or business is often more polluted than the air outside? Even in busy urban or industrial areas, it is important to realize that the air inside isn’t fresher than the air outside. But indoor air quality isn’t just about fresh air – it can also impact our health, mood, energy, and general quality of life.

There are many things that can contribute to poor air quality, including poor ventilation, mold, mildew, dust, bacteria, smoke, chemicals, and other household irritants. While just one of these contributors doesn’t always pose a serious risk on its own, when combined with others it can become a real problem for both healthy individuals and those suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma. Poor indoor air quality in your Vancouver Island home or business can lead to allergies, congestion, difficulty breathing, headaches, and other unpleasant or serious side effects for you, your family, your staff, or your customers.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a large amount of money or time to significantly improve indoor air quality. Below are 7 simple ways that you can keep the air inside your home or business fresh and free from contaminants:

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

Over time, the surfaces in your home collect dust, dirt, chemical particles and allergens that build up quickly. When these surfaces are disturbed by someone walking nearby or by air flow from a fan or vent, these particles can stir up and reduce the air quality of the space. From the floors to frames and carpets to the walls, furniture, and appliances, all surfaces should be kept clean to reduce buildup and keep the air cleaner.

Flooring and carpets should be swept or vacuumed one to two times a week, ideally with a hepa filter equipped vacuum cleaner. Make sure to lightly mop the floor afterward to pick up any leftover dust. For walls, furniture, appliances, and other surfaces, aim to dust at least once or twice a month depending on where you live. Finally, don’t forget to clean or change your A/C and furnace filters at least once or twice a year.

2. No Smoking Indoors

Smoke is a huge contaminant in any indoor space, and constantly breathing it in can be detrimental to a person’s health. This includes ear and respiratory infections along with development of full-on asthma. To maintain good air quality, smoking should not be allowed indoors, especially if children or pets are present.

3. Maintain Proper Moisture Levels

Keeping humidity and sources of moisture in your home under control is a great way to reduce the chance of mold and mildew growth, which severely impacts indoor air quality. When mold and mildew particles float through the air in your home or business, they can lead to a wide variety of respiratory issues and other health concerns. Any humidity levels greater than 50% along with damp areas around your space can encourage mold growth, so it is important to install dehumidifiers if necessary and fix any sources of water leaks such as under the sink or on your roof.

If you do come across mold, it is essential to address the issue as soon as possible. If it is a small spot, you can clean the affected area with soap and warm water, then let dry completely. When you are dealing with a larger area or recurring growth, you may need to call in professional mold removal services.

4. Use Doormats

You may not realize it, but you and your guests are actually responsible for bringing lots of dust and dirt into your home or business. It is easy to track dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants in our shoes and clothes, so it is a good idea to make use of large door mats at the entrance to your space. This is especially key if you have a space such as a business where people do not usually remove their shoes before entering. Floor mats help to trap dirt and particles from our shoes and reduce the amount of pollutants that enter the space – just remember to keep your door mats clean so they can continue doing their job properly!

5. Use Natural Air Fresheners

If you love using air fresheners or candles around your kitchen, bathroom, living room, or closet to make the air smell fresh and clean, you may want to make sure you are using natural products. Many fragrances and aerosol sprays contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which may make the air smell nice but are actually reducing air quality. Some of these fragrances can also cause allergic reactions or worsen asthma symptoms in some individuals.

Some good alternatives to chemical air fresheners include:
-Homemade air fresheners using lemons and herbs
-Baking soda or white vinegar to absorb bad smells
-Beeswax or soy candles to help remove odors and purify the air

6. Ensure Proper Ventilation

The ventilation systems in our homes and businesses are designed to circulate fresh air to replace stagnant air, and filter out some impurities from the air we breathe. You can give your ventilation system some help by opening windows for a few minutes every week, or when cooking, painting, cleaning, or using any chemicals. You should also make sure the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms are working properly and that they end in the proper spot. If these exhaust pipes terminate in your attic or basement, have a specialist come in to correct the issue.

7. Use Indoor Plants

Not only do indoor plants add a fun decor element to a space, but they can also help produce fresh air indoors. Some varieties of plants can even absorb chemical pollutants and help purify air particles more than others. These varieties include: aloe vera, spider plants, snake plants, pothos, english ivy, peace lilies, heart leaf philodendrons, chrysanthemums, and others!

If you are concerned that poor indoor air quality may be affecting people in your space, our team can help. We offer efficient and reliable air quality testing services that will provide you with a full report detailing all contaminants found in the air. Once we know what particles are present, we can help develop a plan to improve air quality in your home or business.

Jackson Martin

Jackson Martin, holding a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas, has been a prominent figure in the home improvement sector for over 18 years. He joined our team in 2020, sharing his expertise in renovation techniques, sustainable building practices, and DIY projects. Jackson's previous experience includes working in residential construction management and as a home renovation consultant. He is an advocate for energy-efficient homes and enjoys participating in local marathon events.

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