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Home Air Quality: Why It Matters for You and Your Kids and How to Improve It

When you normally think about pollution and allergens, you probably think about the air quality outside. We hear about pollution on the news all the time, and if you suffer from allergies, you know that heading outside can be a nightmare. While all of this is legitimate, it can be easy to overlook the most common cause of pollutant and allergen exposure you and your family experience -- poor indoor air quality. However, with the following guidance from Blooming Bud Daycare Center, there are ways to make the air you breathe much cleaner.

What Are the Dangers?

The main types of dangers potentially lurking in your home and reducing your air quality are pollutants and allergens. There is some overlap here, but it’s easy to break them up into these two groups. Some indoor pollutants, like carbon monoxide and radon, can be extremely harmful and even fatal. It’s easy to figure out if you have a problem with one of these through testing (either by yourself or through a professional) and installing detectors.

According to Smarter House, the main types of indoor air pollutants include tobacco smoke, excess gases from combustion products (a gas furnace or stove, for example), excess moisture, and the generalized category of volatile organic compounds (chemicals from building materials, pesticides, etc.).

Allergens, while usually not as harmful as these major pollutants, can still cause health problems. Major allergens that can be circulated in the home include pollen, dust mite droppings, animal dander, cockroach droppings, and different types of molds.

How to Spot Symptoms of Poor Air Quality

Just like an allergy attack presents when you’re outside on a picnic during the summer, Smedley Service notes that there are telltale signs that your home air quality is harming your family. Be on the lookout for sneezing, runny noses, red eyes, and even rashes. Poor air quality can also result in decreased lung function -- shortness of breath, difficulty performing aerobic tasks, and wheezing. Possibly the best way to prevent allergies in the home is to invest in an air purifier, as these devices are particularly good at removing allergens.

What Can Be Done to Improve Air Quality?

Besides the obvious testing for known harmful compounds in your home’s air, there are things you can do right now to protect yourself and your family from annoying allergens and more malignant pollutants. We know that young children and babies are much more susceptible to lung and physical development diseases -- to which air quality plays a huge role. It’s important to start thinking about taking any of these steps to reduce allergens and pollutants.

  • Bathe and regularly brush pets to remove dander (a leading allergen).

  • Mind your air filters. This is a big one. Filters for your air conditioning/furnace should be changed every two to three months.

  • Have your air ducts thoroughly cleaned, particularly if you have pets.

  • Don’t forget to change the filters/bags in household appliances like your vacuum and kitchen stove hood.

  • Reduce air humidity in the warmer months with a dehumidifier (some models are available for less than $100). The more humid your air, the better the breeding ground for pollen, mold, and other allergens.

  • If you’ve had any water leaks and have mold developing, you want to address this right away. Look for top-rated plumbing services that have garnered glowing reviews when bringing in a professional.

  • Wash your carpets, bedding, rugs, and upholstery at least once a month.

  • Maintain house plants. They will help to filter the air. Just make sure that you buy types that aren’t poisonous to pets and curious tots!

  • Clean and vacuum your home regularly to remove dust and allergens.

Click here for some more great tips for making your home a clean-air zone.

There are many short-term and long-term health issues associated with extended pollutant and allergen exposure - so start cleaning up your indoor air today. The good news is that it’s easy and relatively inexpensive.

Photo by Unsplash


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