On December 17, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Clean Air Act into law. Its purpose was to control the spread of air pollution on a national level, and it was one of the first and most influential environmental laws passed in American history. Throughout decades and administrations, it has acted as a shield against polluters, and it is one of the reasons why, when we perform environmental monitoring, that the outdoor air quality isn’t worse.
As great as that is, keep in mind that, according to the EPA, indoor air quality can be between 2-5 times worse than the quality of the air outdoors. Some of the contaminants we’re forced to reckon with are pet dander, mold, and fumes from cleaning products, varnishes, and paint. But there are steps you can take. Yesterday, we shared a few easy tips to improve the quality of your home’s air, and today, we’d like to share a few more.
- One of the most common places we use and need ventilation at home is in the bathroom. It’s necessary not just because of the…well…biological aspects, but also because of fumes that can develop from bathroom cleaning products. Take the time to make sure every bathroom is well-ventilated, and consider wiring the light to the exhaust so that it’s always on when the bathroom is in use.
- Along similar lines, may of us pull out a can of air freshener when we encounter a bad smell. But the fact is, air fresheners are full of VOC’s, or volatile organic compounds. They are made from a wide variety of chemicals, many of which that are bad for our lungs. Instead of battling a smell, try to deal with the source of the stink and forego spraying air freshener.
- Everything needs to be cleaned eventually. That’s particularly true when it comes to the vents of your HVAC system. Over time, dust, debris, and other gunk can accumulate and cause the air indoors to become thoroughly contaminated. By cleaning ducts and ventilation shafts regularly, you can prevent a buildup of dust, keep the air clean, and make sure your air conditioning system runs efficiently.
- Let’s talk a little more about your HVAC system. If you think about it, essentially all of the air you breathe at home is circulated throughout your HVAC. That’s why it’s critically important to make sure that the air conditioning is tuned up and inspected on a regular basis. It’s a wise investment to have a professional adjust and clean fans, check for refrigerant leaks, and clean dust from indoor and outdoor coils. When you have this done, you can reduce the odds of dust, allergens, and other pollutants ruining your air quality.
- Speaking of cleaning, many household cleaning products are made from numerous chemicals that can pollute the air inside and exacerbate breathing problems. Most of the time, all you really need to clean is some hot water and generic dish soap. A little research will also direct you to eco-friendly cleaning products that are good for the environment and efficiently get rid of a mess.