Freshening up your house after a long winter? Make sure that improving your indoor air quality is high on your to-do list. Here are five ways to do just that.
When it comes to our home’s “enemies,” mold is one of the meanest. This nasty fungus can release allergy-inducing spores into the air that may risk our health. If you have a family member who is consistently dealing with itchy eyes and a runny nose, household mold could be the culprit.
Another reason mold is mean? It’s sneaky. Mold can lurk in places you might not think of—including the rims of your faucets, inside your refrigerator’s tubing and gaskets, and in damp places like your washing machine. Bleach is a surefire way to tackle mold (use a three-fourths cup bleach to one gallon water ratio), but if you prefer a different route, try using vinegar. Spray undiluted vinegar onto problem areas and let it sit for an hour before wiping it clean.
Did you score some heavenly scented candles during the holidays? As wonderful as they smell, they aren’t doing your air quality any favors. The American Chemical Society reports that paraffin-based candles pollute indoor air*.
A better bet to achieve nicely scented air? Try a Filtrete™ Whole House Air Freshener in one of five scents (options are linen, floral, cinnamon, berry and vanilla) and hook the insert to your air filter. You’ll enjoy up to 30 days of scented air throughout your home.
It’s nice if you got a hand-me-down—but chances are it’s spewing allergy-ridden dirt and dust into your home’s air. Consider investing in an up-to-date vacuum with a HEPA filter, which will trap small particles. That means that dust mites, pet dander, pollen and mold spores are getting sucked into your vacuum, and not thrown into the air.
Ceiling fans are an excellent way to maximize your indoor air quality since they help generate optimal airflow. (Who likes stale indoor air? Nobody!) Of course, if they’re tossing around dust particles in the process, they’re doing more harm than good. So be sure to give all the fans in your home a thorough dusting with a damp cloth to really clean up any caked-on grime.
When it comes to the frequency with which you need to change your air filter, one plan does not fit all. Have a pet? Does someone in your family have allergies? You’ll probably need to change your filter more often than the recommended three months.