This summer is shaping up to be one for the record books when it comes to the heat and with that heat comes humidity and more time spent indoors. Did you know that the air quality inside our homes can be up to a hundred times more polluted than the air outside? It’s a scary thought. But there are ways to improve your indoor air quality this summer!
One of the easiest ways to do so is to let some fresh air in. While you won’t want to open up the windows when it’s in the 90s and humid outside, you can try opening up a few windows during the early morning or evening hours after dark. Opening the windows helps to reduce CO2 levels in your home, plus reduces levels of toxic chemicals hanging around. Just watch the pollen counts to make sure you’re not letting in a ton of pollen!
How often do you clean your floors? When your family is in and out of the house - coming in from the pool or playing in the yard, going to and fro summer activities - they’re tracking in pollen, dirt and other allergens. Keeping your floors clean (and leaving shoes at the door) will help immensely.
Keeping an eye on humidity levels is another simple way to improve the air you’re breathing. Dust and mold love humid climates, but research has found that keeping relative humidity between 40-60% will minimize health risks. You can lower the humidity in your home with a dehumidifier that sucks moisture out of the air.
Check your air filter. Your air filter captures allergens and pollutants, but once it fills up it makes it harder for your air conditioning system to work as it should. Take the time to clean or replace air filters every three months to minimize danger.
Have your dryer vents cleaned. When your dryer vents are properly cleaned, they allow air to escape your home as it should. The alternative is that air being filtered into your breathing environment. Another downside of not having clean vents? Mold and mildew that grow when heat and moisture can’t be properly vented. They can grow in your vents, in your dryer, even end up on clothing! Even more dangerous than all that is the fact that clogged dryer vents could lead to a backfill of carbon monoxide in your home that could be deadly after prolonged exposure. So be sure to schedule your dryer vent cleaning now if you haven’t already done so this year!
Stay healthy (and cool) this summer!
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