Air Pollution in the Home and What You Can Do about It

Pollution is in the air all around you and you can’t even see it. These invisible contaminants can cause you to feel sick and can make you cough, sneeze and sniffle. You may even have trouble sleeping well because of air pollution. Tiny particles in the environment can get into your sinuses and cause a variety of negative reactions.

Air pollution can even be found in your home. You may not realize it, but there are a number of ways that your home’s air can become unsanitary and unsafe. What could be causing that pollution?

The Causes of Home Air Pollution

The ways air pollution can be created in the home or come into the home are practically endless, so let’s look at a few of the more common or notable ones:

• Smoke and ash from a fireplace or from an outdoor fire (ex. neighbors burning brush)
• Uncleaned ventilation system
• Old air filters
• Pollen spores
• Dust mites
• Mold spores
• Cigarette smoke
• Pet dandruff
• Insect fecal matter (from roaches, beetles, bed bugs, and others)
• Bacteria
• Paint fumes
• Carpet fumes
• Nonstick pan toxins
• Asbestos

These are just some of the different sources of air pollution, but this gives you some idea of how varied the sources are. There may be some sources that are unique to your home that you need to personally identify and deal with.

The Symptoms of Air Pollution

When you have pollutants floating around in the air in an enclosed space that can use a lot of health issues. We touched on some of these briefly already, but a number of them manifest as allergy symptoms. If you have allergies or suffer from asthma, then the effects of pollution in the air can be considerably worse. You may experience hacking coughs that don’t seem to let up.

Your sinuses may always feel clogged or runny. You may experience insomnia because of the difficulty you have in breathing. You could be wheezy or short of breath, and a simple trip up a staircase can wear you out.

All of this could come down to simple air pollution. Those particles in your air can do all of this and more. They affect elderly people, sick people and small children more than anyone, so watching for indications from these groups can help you catch early signs of air pollution when you may not notice them in yourself.

There are long-term problems associated with air pollution. If you don’t deal with pollutants as soon as possible, the continued symptoms that they cause can lead to lifelong issues, such as breathing problems, poor lung capacity, and sinus issues. In some cases, air pollution an even cause lung cancer or other serious diseases.

Treat Home Air Pollution

The method you need to employ to get rid of air pollution will directly depend on what kind of pollution you have in your home. Your first step is to identify the pollution sources. If your home is anything like most people’s, then there will be multiple sources of air pollution that you need to deal with.

Clean Your Home

Let’s start with one of the most important ways that someone could clean up the air in their home- keeping their home as clean as possible. This means cleaning the ventilations system out on a regular basis, replacing the air filter as often as needed (usually twice a year), doing an occasional deep cleaning, and performing daily and weekly cleaning tasks. You have to stay on top of the household chores if you want to seriously cut down the air pollution. You will never get your home’s air to be 100% clean and free of contaminants, but you can reduce them by 90% or more if you simply adopt a good cleaning routine says Marquine who is an employee at Cleaners West Hollywood.

Using HEPA filters helps to control pollutants, as these filters kill a lot of bacteria and trap contaminants that would normally make their way into your home’s air supply.

Regular cleaning is essential if you are going to get air pollution under control. You’ll want to get rid of mold, cleaning by the windows to kill spores there. You should also dust your home in a way that doesn’t spread the dust mites and particles throughout the air. Use a wet cloth to dust rather than a feather duster or dry rag.

Using anti-bacterial, natural cleaners will help in the cleaning process as well. These kill germs that can cause irritation and sickness, and they will help reduce irritation caused by cleaning chemicals when you use safe and natural cleaning solutions. That doesn’t mean they will be completely free of irritants, but natural cleaners tend to be less irritating than regular, toxin-heavy cleaners.

There are a ton of cleaning jobs you can be doing each day and each week to keep your home spotless and as free from pollutants as possible. However, it may become tough to keep up with all of that every week. To avoid being overwhelmed, it can help to hire a cleaning service. You may want to hire professional cleaners every now and then to ensure that your home is thoroughly cleaned and that nothing has been missed. This can also help to ease your workload and give yourself a break every so often.

Boost Ventilation in the Home

Some pollution will be caused by stale air or a lack of fresh air. Mold grows very well when there is no air being circulated throughout the room the mold spores are in. Pests also flourish when there is a lack of fresh air. You can do something about it by increasing ventilation throughout the house. Opening windows and doors occasionally throughout the day can help to bring some fresh air inside, but you do have to be careful about what you let in. During allergy season, you may not want to open doors and windows very often, as you could let in pollen and other irritants.

You can also set up fans in your home or use an air conditioning unit. This helps to dry up wet areas, reducing mold growth and expansion. It also circulates the air to make the air smell fresher and to make the home less suitable for pests.

Depending on where you live, opening doors and windows throughout the day can be a bad idea. If you live near a highway, a construction site or a landfill, then you will want to keep passageways and airways closed as much as possible.

Keep Your Pets Groomed

Another way to help with air pollution is to make sure that any indoor pets are groomed on a regular basis. You will want to groom outdoor pets as well, but this is not as important with them. You may need to keep longhair pets trimmed and then brush your cats and dogs as often as necessary. During shedding periods, make certain that your pets are groomed at least once a day to cut down on how much fur and dandruff they leave behind on the furniture and carpets.

Dogs tend to have two shedding periods. They lose their winter coat around March, and this lasts until June. Then their spring coat will shed from September to November. Of course, you will want to pay attention to your pets at these times to stay on top of their shedding and keep the pollutants in your home to a minimum.

Treat and Prevent Mold

Mold is one of the most serious causes of air pollution in the home, but it is also overlooked many times. Mold can hide and begin to grow anywhere it can find water, which means mold is most often found in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.

Check for mold behind appliances, inside the shower and under the sink. You’ll want to kill it with a fungicide or an antibacterial cleaner. You should be wiping down the affected area completely to remove all traces of the mold and allow the area to be well ventilated to get rid of invisible mold spores floating in the air. If the mold comes back a few days later, then you didn’t get rid of all of it, and you may need to resort to more extreme measures, such as hiring a mold remediation specialist to take care of it for you.

Air Pollution Can Get Better

We have only listed some of the ways that you can make a difference in your home to reduce air pollution. For every kind of air contaminant, there is a cleaning method or a lifestyle change that can be used to fix it. We have only scratched the surface here as to what you can do to improve air quality in your own home. There are obvious solutions for dealing with cigarette smoke, asbestos, and some of the other pollutants sources we mentioned. For others, there are a number of solutions you can try to see what works best for you and is most convenient to implement.