Although fall has only just begun, very soon we Canadians will shut our windows for the winter, rarely opening them for fresh air until the spring. With this closed-in lifestyle we subject ourselves and our families to during the cold months, medical conditions such as asthma, allergies, and bronchitis can arise. It’s important to create good clean air inside our homes not just in winter but year round.
There are several types of indoor pollutants that can cause harm:
Gases can come from everyday household products such as paints, perfumes, tobacco smoke, cleaning products, air fresheners, pesticides and aerosol sprays. Also included in this list are chemical vapours from fireplaces, gas appliances, carpets, and garages.
Pollen, dirt, pet dander, dust, and insulation are particles and are a common trigger of medical conditions.
Biological elements thrive in warm, humid environments. Dust mites, mold, fungi, bacteria, yeast, viruses, and algae are a major cause of allergies and asthma.
All is not lost. There are ways to improve your home’s air quality. A beautiful and natural way to decrease pollutants is by adding houseplants. Certain houseplants can purify the air by filtering out pollutants, toxins and the carbon dioxide we exhale. They replace stale air with oxygen. Some of the usual favourites are:
Note that many of these plants are dangerous for children and pets. Research the plant before bringing it into your home.
Other ways to improve your home’s air quality:
- Check for excess moisture in the kitchen, bathrooms, and basement which can cause mold. Seek professional assistance to check if there are any issues and to correct the problem if found.
- Clean your ducting system regularly. See our Duct Cleaning category for a professional in your area.
- Maintain your home appliances especially heating and air conditioning systems, water heater, and furnace.
- Choose to go green with your household cleaners. Vinegar, tea tree oil, lemon juice, and baking soda are effective natural cleaners. Many cleaning companies are switching over to green based cleaning products as well. Consult with them to see if they offer green options for your home.
- There’s a benefit to hardwood floors – no carpet. If you do have carpet, keep them clean and dry as often as possible. Vacuum regularly and clean your vacuum filters frequently.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Never run your car in the garage especially if it’s attached to your home.
- Dispose of pesticides, old paint, and other chemicals properly. Do not store in your garage or basement.
Breathe easy and worry a little less with these handy tips.