We breathe air, common sense tells us it’s best if that air is fresh and uncontaminated. We can’t quite control the outside air and everything that affects it from factory emissions and planes in the sky to trucks and trains traveling by. Indoor air on the other hand– especially that in our homes– we can influence with small and big measures.
Taking a quick look, here’s a little list of some things that can influence our indoor air:
- Furniture upholstery
- Building materials
- Carpeting and flooring material
- VOCs emitted from paints, gasoline, solvents
- Flame retardants and formaldehyde
- Cleaning products
- Heat source, leaks
- Poor ventilation
- Dirty humidifiers and dirty ducts
- Dust and smoke
- Dust mites, bacteria, bugs
- PVC Shower curtain liner
- CFLs and fluorescent bulbs, especially if broken
- Electronics emitting EMFs
So what do you do to keep your air as clean as possible? Here’s a few ideas for you:
- Avoid Flame Retardants: Replace any furniture or upholstery containing fire retardants
- Painting, choose low or zero VOC paints
- Humidifier: clean it regularly and consider using filtered water that doesn’t contain DBPs (disinfection byproducts)
- CO Detector: Get a Carbon Monoxide detector installed near your furnace & Stove.
- Radon: If you live on the 3rd floor or lower, get a radon test
- Ventilation: Make sure your home is ventilated properly, keep vents clean and don’t be afraid to open the windows and air it out now and then
- PVC: If you have a PVC shower liner, replace it with a nontoxic variety
- Pesticides: Avoid using pesticides indoors, there are many natural options to get rid of bugs and pests. Call me for free suggestions, or visit my Adore Your Home webpage. In addition to writing about environmental health issues, I specialize in helping people Greenify their living and work spaces. Give me a call (312) 714-5244 or see below
- Remove shoes upon entering. This helps keep dirt and germs out of your home.
- Wash off your dogs paws after a walk. This helps to reduce the dirt, germs, and lawn chemicals getting into your home. I designed a real handy concoction, Perty Paws just for this, in fact it cleans paws, shoes, feet and floors. Even better for washing off hands than the commercial brand hand sanitizers. See and Order here
- CFL Lightbulbs: Be careful with CFL bulbs, if they break even the EPA says to open all windows, turn off your HVAC or fan and evacuate the premises for at least 15 minutes. Do not vacuum or sweep up the broken bulb as you will scatter mercury dust throughout your home. Clean it up carefully while sealing the contents along with the clean up materials and discard safely. See this short video for a quick how-to
- If you’re doing any renovation work, drywall, or removing old paint etc, make sure you seal off that part of your home and ventilate well outdoors. Also make sure that you protect your lungs and nasal passages by wearing appropriate safety gear–dust mask, nasal shields, safety goggles, and a respirator if you have one.
- Cleaning: Use nontoxic, zero VOC cleaning products
- Dust and vacuum regularly to keep dirt and dust from overloading the air
- If you have bad allergies or asthma, misting your home with lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint can help. You can make your own spray with purified water essential oils and a little vegetable glycerine.
- If you have lots of dust or pets, consider steaming your wood and tile floors and baseboards weekly as well as getting a vacuum with a closed system HEPA filter. Also steam clean carpets monthly.
- Consider investing in a quality HEPA air purifier that removes dust and dander down to .03 microns.
For more tips contact me below at Adore Your Home, thank you!
Contact me for questions or help in Greenifying your home or business: