Fire season is here, and while, thankfully, it’s not been as bad as last year (so far), the air quality index is certainly being affected in the Western states. (And those with allergies are well aware of the AQI outside!) But, are you aware that indoor air quality can be just as bad if not worse than outdoor air quality?
Mold, mildew, dust, smoke, pet dander as well as other allergens and toxins tend to collect indoors without our noticing. They come in from outside, tracked in on shoes and clothes. Mold and mildew flourish in humid and often hidden spaces. Dust accumulates underneath furniture as well as in high, hard to reach areas and can create a haven for small insects and rodents to nest, lay eggs and leave waste. Smoke seeps in through doors, windows and other potentially drafty spots. Add to that different virus particles and bacteria floating around and accumulating in indoor spaces without anywhere to go, and we’ve got a problem on our hands.
Obviously, the quality and cleanliness of the air in which we are working, learning and living should be a serious consideration. And, not only a consideration, but something we should be taking steps to improve.
Here are 7 ways you can start to improve your indoor air quality today!
Keep floors clean.
Dust and other contaminants tend to collect in carpets and rugs. Regularly vacuuming prevents the build up of these contaminants. So pull out the vacuum and get that thing zooming at least twice a week, and more if you have heavier foot traffic.
And don’t forget about the hard surface floors! Vacuum those on a regular basis, too, and mop to further remove any lingering dust or germs.
Run bathroom exhaust fans.
Constantly running the bathroom exhaust fan helps improve your indoor air quality by continuously drawing air out of the space and pulling fresh air in to replace it. Voila! Cleaner air with the flip of a switch.
Keep your filters fresh.
This includes everything from replacing you’re AC filters regularly, washing and/or changing out vacuum filters, cleaning vents in the kitchen and bathroom, etc. These vents and filters are made to filter out common pollutants, but eventually they fill up and either need replacing or cleaning in order to become effective again.
Clean air ducts.
The air ducts in your business or home are distributing hot and cold air to keep things comfy regardless of the season. But if the ducts aren’t maintained well, they can also distribute contaminants into each room. Dust, dander and sometimes mold can build up in air ducts, causing indoor air quality to decrease. Have a professional come out and check your ducts to ensure that they are only circulating fresh, clean air.
Place floor mats at every entrance.
Your shoes travel many different places and pick up all kinds of dirt, germs, allergens and occasionally other icky substances that we won’t mention here. (We’ll just say it usually has something to do with when your neighbor forgets to clean up after their dog.) Whether you realize it or not, these contaminants are being tracked into every building and home you step foot in and affect the overall air quality of that building. You can minimize the negative effects, however, by placing floor mats at every entrance. Floor mats will grab and absorb the junk off the bottom of your shoes whenever you walk over them. (Don’t forget to clean these regularly when you clean your other rugs, though!)
Invest in a good air purifier.
An air purifier constantly works to keep the air clean and fresh by removing bacteria and contaminants from the air that we can’t see. We’ve found that Fellowes has an amazing line of air purifiers that are 99.99% effective in reducing airborne particles in only one hour! Check out this product demo to see this baby at work. If you’re interested in getting one for your home or business, contact us here and we can help you find a purifier that is suitable for your space.
Open the windows.
Of course, right now, opening our windows is not the best idea with all the smoke floating around outside. We certainly don’t want to let that in! However, when smoke isn’t an issue, opening up the windows can help to further circulate bad air out and let fresh air in.
Though we can’t do much to get rid of the smoke affecting our area, at least we can have some control over the air we are breathing inside. Hopefully these tips will help you to breathe a little easier with cleaner air!