5 Natural Ways to Improve IAQ (Going Green for St. Patrick’s Day)Keeping a healthy IAQ (indoor air quality) in your home isn’t always an easy task. In fact, depending on several factors (including the season, local pollution, pets, and rodent/bug infestation) the solution might encompass a more holistic approach. But there are some natural DIY tactics that you can start today that can help cut down on the common airborne toxins that infiltrate most U.S. homes. Spurred on by St. Patrick’s Day, the experts at Iceberg Heating & Cooling were compelled to share a few “green” tips to help improve your home’s IAQ.
Use Natural Cleaners
- Many over-the-counter cleaning products contain VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) that can greatly compromise your IAQ.
- When cleaning your home, opt for natural cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice to avoid chemicals affecting your IAQ.
- Simple solutions of baking soda, water, and vinegar are thorough bacteria-killers, and can even eliminate mold.
- Cleaning with lemon juice also helps to eliminate odors – and allows you to bypass toxic artificial scents that only mask unpleasant smells (and also compromise IAQ).
- Your HVAC system circulates existing air in your home, but if this air is polluted, that air is simply being recycled.
- Help circulate stale indoor air by opening your windows occasionally, which also allows unhealthy air to escape.
- Make sure that your HVAC system is turned off when you are circulating the outdoor air.
- If you or someone in the home suffers from allergies, be mindful of the pollen count during allergy season. Fresh air is not helpful to most allergy sufferers.
- If you are someone who appreciates lighted candles, consider buying flameless designs. Common wax candles contain VOCs, which can contaminate indoor air – especially the scented variety.
- Flameless candles last a lot longer than wax versions and are much safer.
- Flameless candles come in a variety of designs – some of which even produce a flickering light to mimic the glow of a burning wick.
- A dirty floor can pollute indoor air with a variety of contaminants brought in by shoes and pets.
- Always wipe your shoes on floor mats before entering your home.
- Consider replacing your ornamental doormat with one made of jute or one specifically designed to remove dirt.
- Have everyone remove their shoes before entering the home.
- Make sure that pet paws are clean before allowing them inside the house.
- One natural way to improve IAQ is to invest in indoor plants. Certain types of houseplants can filter the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and other contaminants.
- Use plants such as Bamboo Palm, Ficus, Spider Plant, Peace Lily, and Chinese Evergreen, as these absorb the most carbon dioxide in your home.
- Be sure to place them in rooms with heavy traffic, as they are the areas where carbon dioxide is most often produced.
- Research your plants before purchasing to learn how to care for them, ensuring a long, healthy life.
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