There are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its best. A faulty furnace or an aged carpet are just two potential culprits. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality can be between 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outdoors. Considering the amount of time we are now spending in our homes, here are some quick ways to improve your indoor air quality today!
Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes.
Clean the drains. Drains are a surprisingly common source of odour in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least once a season.
Don't forget to dust! Dust surfaces, beat out cushions, rugs, and throws, and vacuum furniture. Give your throw pillows and throws a good wash every 2-4 weeks depending on use.
Make sure your home is not too humid. Too much humidity can cause mould to grow. A few ways to reduce the humidity in your home include fixing leaks, make sure that water hoses and connections are leak free, and use a bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan at least 30 minutes after showing or cooking. If your windows or window sills collect condensation, open your blinds or curtains every day and wipe down the windowsill.
Get rid of synthetic air fresheners! Although they may feel like the freshen the air, these synthetic fragrance-filled spracys can do more harm than good. Trade the chemical-filled sprays for something like this DIY room spray!
Reduce contaminants at the source. Make your home completely smoke-free! If you have breathing problems, consider making your home as scent free as possible.
Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove odour, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air pollutants originate from some type of moisture. Mould is the worst of these pollutants. Professionals recommend you keep your bathroom fan on for at least 30 minutes after a shower.
Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer outside ground pollutants from their shoes to your mat.
Get on a bedding change routine. Make it a weekly task to wash your bedding in hot water and vacuum your mattress.
Vacuum your carpets and rugs. Ideally, these items should be vacuumed twice a week, or daily if you have pets as the shedded hair, dander, and dirt tracked through the home by pets is a common contributor to poor indoor air quality.
Groom your pets regularly. Animal fur and dander is a common contributor to low indoor air quality. Brush your pets coat and bathe them regularly (most animals need a good bath once a month, depending on breed and individual needs). Ideally, brush your pet's coat outside (you can leave the fur outside for birds and small animals to collect for their nests!). Make sure to also clean little boxes (twice a week is the general rule) and animal bedding regularly (ideally once a week).
Of course, you can always open a window. That’s the most popular and easiest way to freshen the air, and it works. All it takes is 15 minutes to air majority of houses properly. Doing this as well as leaving interior doors open will allow for better air ventilation and refresh your home’s air quality quickly.
If you would like more information on indoor home air quality, check out the canada.ca page all about indoor air quality and health! You can also go straight to the accompanying page for the infograph below by clicking here.
To download a PDF this infograph from canada.ca, click the image!
These are also all excellent tips for getting your home fully ready to put up for sale! If you are thinking of buying or selling your home, give me a call!