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Poor air quality can have a profound effect on your physical and mental health. Researchers have linked it to asthma, fatigue, low mood, and even lung disease. The trickiest thing about it is, you can’t see poor air quality in the home. On the plus side, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to improve your air quality. The following five steps are the best way to get started:
If you’re cooking with gas, you’re likely releasing double the amount of ultrafine particles into the air than households that use electric stoves or induction cooktops with matching induction cookware. Though your rangehood certainly will help, your gas cooker will still be releasing carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and even formaldehyde (CH2O or HCHO).
Even if you’ve made the switch to a sleek induction cooktop, you can still release harmful particles into the air from cooking. Avoid heating oils to their smoke point, and consider opening some windows and boosting ventilation when cooking recipes that demand high cooking temperatures.
Air conditioners are easy to forget about when it comes to home maintenance. However, the simple act of having the filters regularly cleaned can do wonders for the air quality in your home. Not only will you be removing any gunk or buildup from the unit, but you’ll also be improving the quality of its function, allowing it to do a better job of drying out and refreshing the air. If you’re not confident cleaning them yourself, set up a recurring appointment with a professional who can take care of it (and any other maintenance issues) for you.
Plants and humans make perfect housemates. They thrive on carbon dioxide, and in turn, they produce the oxygen we need to survive. Select a collection of plants that grow well indoors, and you can look forward to a more beautiful space with far better air quality. In addition to producing oxygen, your plant pals will filter all sorts of pollutants (like ammonia and formaldehyde) from the air.
Though it may seem benign, furniture can release toxins into the air long after it leaves the production line. Particleboard is known to release formaldehyde, and some of the glues used in furniture making can also be problematic. Before investing in a new piece of furniture, be sure to find out what it’s made of and what manufacturing methods were used. If you’re on a budget, it’s sometimes better to purchase a good quality second-hand piece than a new item made from cheap materials.
Since you likely won’t be able to ditch every potentially toxic item in your home, air purifiers are a great way to give yourself peace of mind that any little nasties getting into the air are being sucked up quickly, before they can do any damage. Look for one with a HEPA filter and be sure to check its noise levels. If you have pets or a smoker in the house, there are models designed to target these forms of air pollution.
Poor air quality may not be responsible for all your health and wellness woes. However, by taking the steps above and improving the air quality in your home, you’re bound to notice some positive results.