I’m pretty sure that you all know indoor air is much more polluted than the outdoor. And of course, you also know different recommended methods to improve the indoor air quality. In addition, you may hear about the causes of the bad indoor air quality such as dust, pollen, and other environmental contaminants.
However, it doesn’t end there. In fact, not everyone knows about the fact that we- human beings are the factor which can have a negative impact on the indoor air quality. In details, maybe our daily actions can completely degrade the air quality. Therefore, if you can determine which daily habits may degrade indoor air quality, then you can avoid them and make the air quality better.
The following are:
Some common bad daily habits that degrade Indoor Air Quality
Keep the windows closed all the times
In allergy season, there are so many allergens out there so it is recommended for you to keep the windows closed. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep the windows closed all the times. In fact, sometimes, you have to open them in order to bring in the cleaner air from the outside. This can help you dilute the contaminated air which you and your family are all breathing in.
Specifically, whenever you realize that the outdoor air is clean enough, for instance, in the early morning, just open the windows for a while, about 10 or 15 minutes every day. However, if you are living in the area which is near a factory or interstate, then don’t do this.
Not testing your home’s humidity levels
It is clear that high humidity can create a perfect growing environment for allergens like mold and fungus. This usually happens in your bathroom or kitchen. That’s why not testing the humidity levels frequently can give the allergens more chance to develop and spread. More importantly, once they spread, they spread really fast, and trust me, it will take you quite a long time to remove them.
But how to test the humidity levels? Actually, you just need to pick up a hygrometer from any local hardware store. Keep in mind that the best humidity levels should be between 30 % and 60 %. Higher levels can probably put you and your family at risk of increased dust mites and mold. On the contrary, the humidity levels which are lower than 30 % can aggravate your existing respiratory problems.
You have to remember that although fireplace is very beneficial in the cold winter, burning wood can emit harmful toxins which definitely worsen your breathing problems This can totally result in heart or lung disease, even early death.
Furthermore, according to some researches, wood smoke is also one of the main causes of air pollution, and in some cases, it can be even more harmful than exhaust from car engines. Therefore, I don’t want to say that you have to stop using fireplace, but you need to make sure that you burn wood in a stove which meets EPA standards.
Not making use of essential oils
You may think essential oils are only used for the purpose of odor removal, but in fact, they can do more than that. In details, even though essentials oils can impart a wonderful scent into your dwelling, some specialized products have anti- fungal or antibacterial properties which can help you enhance the indoor air quality. That’s why you shouldn’t miss this useful tool when it comes to improving the air quality.
If you don’t know how to use the oils, just use diffusers but place them on a very high shelf out of the reach of your children. There are several products that I think are good for you such as eucalyptus, citrus, peppermint, or thyme. By the way, my favorite essential oil for the bedroom is lavender because this product has an intoxicatingly fresh scent, thereby, promoting relaxation.
Of course when talking about smoking, it’s very bad, but not only for you, but also for your family because of the bad odors generated from the cigarette. There is nothing worse you can do to degrade indoor air quality than lighting up a cigarette right inside your home.
Furthermore, secondhand smoke as well as third- hand smoke can create disastrous health hazards. I really hope you to quit smoking, but in case, it’s very difficult for you, just get used to smoking outdoors.
Operating gas-powered machinery in your garage
Overall, you should never heat your cars up in garage. Why? Because the emissions from the muffler are completely dead. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that machinery such as gas-powered snowblowers, lawnmowers, generators and barbeques has to be operated in the open air. Or else, many harmful particulate matters like CO, NO2 and VOCs can enter your home, causing serious respiratory problems.
Not changing your clothes and taking shower when coming inside your house
In my opinion, this is a very bad but common habit all over the world. The point is even when you don’t feel dirty, you still need to change your clothes, particularly when you get home from some public areas. This is because pollen or other environmental contaminants cling to your clothes as well as your hair and your body.
Thus, the first thing I do when I get home is putting out all the clothes and then taking a shower immediately. If you don’t have that habit, it will be likely for you to suffer irritated eyes and noses, and more importantly indoor air pollution.
That’s why you have to remind yourself to spend a few minutes for a quick rinse. In case you don’t even have time for this, just make sure that at least, you can wash your hands so as to remove lingering contaminants, especially before you touch your own face or food.
Not growing houseplants or water them improperly
It’s also very important for you to bring some elements from the outdoors to the indoor air and plants are one of the best ways for you as they can act like natural air filters. Some plants such as bamboo palm, peace lily and aloe vera can actually help you remove harmful chemicals like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde or benzene which you breathe in all the times.
However, if you are growing houseplants, but don’t know how to water them properly, this may make things even worse. Specifically, overwatering can be the cause for the growth of mold or the water which leaks on to the floor may make it easier for mold to grow. According to my experiences, you’d better put pebbles on top of the dirt in order to prevent mold spores from getting into the air and polluting it.
Not bathing your pets
Just like taking off your own shoes, you need to make sure that your pets are completely clean when they come in from the outside. It is not difficult for you but you have to do it daily if you don’t want pet dander around your home. Remember to bath your pet at the end of the day or at least wipe off your pet’s paws before they come in your house. In addition, toweling off their fur can also help you prevent the pollen from spreading indoors.