We’ve all done it. If it’s cold, if your neighbour’s doing some noisy DIY, or there’s a funny smell in the air, you shut your windows. Keep that nice, clean air in your house, and the nasties of the outside world away from your home. The problem with that is that with the super efficient double glazing and doors we have these days, you’re trapping all manner of things inside your house, turning it into a sealed box of potentially harmful elements. What can you do to keep your home’s air quality as good as it can be, even with the windows shut?
Whether you’re vacuuming, mopping or simply using rugs to stop dirt and dust from being blown around or moved around, there are plenty of ways that keeping your floor in check will improve your air quality. HEPA filters, commonly available on vacuum cleaners, can deal with allergens like dust mites, pet dander and pollen. Mopping afterwards picks up any remaining dust.
Hot humid air is just what dust mites and mould spores love. When you’re cooking, using a tumble drier, or enjoying a hot bath the humidity in your home tends to increase which is why it is important to control the humidity levels.
You know it’s not good for your health, but it’s also not good for your home. There are 4000 chemicals released when a cigarette is burned, and those could be floating around your home.
A naturally occurring gas, radon occurs when the small amounts of uranium which is found naturally in soil. Small quantities are harmless, but in larger quantities, it can increase the chance of you contracting lung cancer. With no scent and no colour, the only way to check for it is to purchase a report or carry out a radon test which tells you whether your home is at risk. If it is, you can reduce the radon concentration by installing a positive input ventilation system which is one of the least disruptive radon remedial measures to install.
The positive input ventilation systems work best where radon levels are less than 500 Bq m-³ in bungalows and houses. The indoor radon levels can be reduced and at the same time the indoor environment can be improved by reducing condensation, mould, volatile organic compounds and stale odours.
Modern cleaning equipment relies on harsh chemicals and manufactured ingredients. In many cases, natural or more environmentally friendly alternatives are available such as essential oils or cutting up some citrus fruit.
In 1989, NASA did a study of house plants, and found that some houseplants are really efficient at cleaning toxins from the air such as formaldehyde which can be found in upholstered furniture and bedding. Chrysanthemums, peace lilies and the snake plant are really good at this.
Make sure your appliances, especially gas appliances like boilers and gas ovens, are serviced regularly to avoid them leaking gas into the air and working with optimal efficiency.
You’ve heard the line “Coughs and sneezes spread diseases”, and if you don’t look after your health, you’ll find yourself coughing and sneezing germs all over the house. Use disposable paper tissues, and try to avoid a dry atmosphere which might aggravate a cough.
When the time comes to replace carpets, curtains and furniture, try to think about how your choices will impact your air quality. Carpets harbour dust, so choose hard floors. Curtain fabric also allows dust to build up, so look into blinds, which aren’t quite as much of a dust magnet.
It's important to ensure that you are breathing in clean, fresh air indoors. Why not install a positive input ventilation system, like the Mr Venty range on offer from Envirovent? These energy efficient whole house heat recovery systems draw in fresh, filtered air and circulate it around your home. Even if you have a larger than usual house, a heat recovery system can be fitted to propel the clean air to its destination. Improve the air quality in your home, and speak to the experts at Envirovent for more information.