I posted the other day about how to keep the air in your home smelling better naturally. Controlling the smell is only a part of the battle. You want to keep the air in your home clean and healthy. These are some steps you can take to help the air inside your home stay cleaner.
1. Take off your shoes when you come inside.
Shoes track in a lot of dirt when you come into the house. That’s anything you walked on that was outside. Even if you don’t use them yourself, others in your neighborhood probably use pesticides and fertilizers, which make their way into the dust and dirt around everyone’s homes. Your shoes track these and other dirt into your home.
Keep a mat outside every door for people to wipe their feet before coming inside.
Fortunately, going barefoot is pretty good for feet. It gives them a break from being confined inside your shoes. If you really don’t like going barefoot, buy some slippers or other comfortable house shoes to wear only indoors.
2. Have hardwood, tile or other hard floor materials.
Hard floor surfaces are much easier to keep clean than carpets. You can keep your carpets looking clean, but they trap a lot of dust and dirt that make it into the air of your home.
You’ll probably still put in some area rugs, so pick ones that have low piles or can easily be taken outside to be cleaned.
For the carpets you can’t take out, use a vacuum with HEPA filters or use microfiltration vacuum bags to keep better control of the dust stirred up by vacuuming.
3. Use natural cleaners around the house.
The more chemicals you use to clean your home, the more chemicals will build up in the air inside your home. Natural cleaners may still contaminate the air in their way, but their ingredients should be safer for your lungs..
4. Open the windows.
Outdoor air in most places is cleaner than indoor air. Let the air flow through when weather permits.
5. Use low VOC paints when repainting.
If you’re painting inside your home, choose low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. They don’t smell as bad and release fewer compounds into the air of your home. Varnish and carpets also contain VOCs, so pay attention when buying any of these.
6. Check your air filters.
If you have a heater or air conditioner, check the filters regularly. Some filters can be cleaned and put back in, while others will need to be replaced when they get dirty.
7. Don’t allow smoking indoors.
If you, anyone in your family or anyone who visits you smokes, ask that it be kept outside. The rest of the people in your home don’t need to breathe those chemicals.
8. Don’t let the car idle in the garage.
Air from the garage gets into the rest of your home. You know how bad car exhaust smells and that it’s unhealthy for you. Why would you want that inside your home? Be ready to pull the car out of the garage shortly after starting it to minimize the pollution it add to your home.
9. Keep the humidity down.
Daily life inside a home can increase the humidity of a home. Just think how humid the bathroom is after a shower. Humid air makes for good conditions for mold to grow. Run bathroom fans or open the window after showering or bathing to let the humid air out.
10. Don’t use pesticides indoors.
It’s tough finding out you have bugs in the house, especially hard to control ones. If you can at all help it, don’t use pesticides inside your home, as they will contaminate the air as well as the areas you sprayed them.
Prevention is best to keep the bugs away. If you’re starting to see them, figure out what they’re after. If you can clean it up, they aren’t going to be as interested, although you may need to take more steps to get rid of them.
Some pests can be gotten rid of more easily than others. You can get rid of some kinds of ants with a mixture of borax and corn syrup, for example. Others you will need to set bait traps.
11. Rethink your personal care supplies.
Some of the supplies you use in your daily personal care routine aren’t too good for your indoor air quality. This is especially true of anything you spray, such as perfumes and hair sprays. Look for options that you still like but don’t have as many VOCs.
12. Grow houseplants.
Houseplants look nice, can smell nice and they clean the air of your home naturally. I know I mentioned them in the previous post, but they bear repeating.