Written by: Rita Magallona
How clean is the air inside your home? People are often worried about the outdoor air quality in the city, and for a good reason. Urban dwellers are warned about the ill effects of car exhaust fumes, factory emissions, and the ubiquitous dust.
Sometimes, nature throws in nasty surprises like smoke from forest fires, ash fall from volcanic eruptions, and diseases from a newly discovered virus. Imagine breathing all of that in.
It’s no wonder that when the air quality is poor, people prefer to stay home. Unfortunately, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points out that indoor air may be even more polluted than the smog outside. You’d be shocked at the result of indoor air quality testing.
What makes indoor air unhealthy?
The usual suspects include cleaning materials, cigarette smoke, cooking fumes, household items, candles, paint, adhesives, dust mites, moulds, pet fur, pesticides, and – ironically enough – air fresheners. These chemicals, gases, or allergens are often odourless, so you won’t know they’re there until you start having respiratory issues.
Take note that poor ventilation, rising temperatures, and high humidity can make your home’s air quality worse. And if you live beside a major road, vehicle exhaust can still seep into your house through window cracks and exhaust vents.
Why is it important to get rid of air pollutants?
Simply put, they can make you sick. Some people complain of dry or irritated skin, eyes, throat, and nose, while others experience coughing, sneezing, nausea, headaches, fatigue, or dizziness.
Long-term health issues include respiratory ailments like asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia. Experts warn that these indoor air pollutants may also contribute to heart disease and certain cancers.
The bad news?
Since we spend about 90% of our day in our homes and offices, we are more exposed to these impurities.
The good news?
You can breathe easier with these surefire ways to purify the air inside your apartment.
5 Simple Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
1. Implement a Cleaning Routine
Our mothers had it right: a clean house does keep you healthy. Taking off our shoes at the front door is a habit that ensures you don’t bring in germs inside.
Mopping and vacuuming your floors weekly removes dust and other sources of indoor air pollution. Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter and excellent suction. You’ll need to replace or clean the filter once it’s dirty, depending on the vacuum type.
Before you run your vacuum cleaner, dust and wipe surfaces from top to bottom. End with a thorough mopping to pick up any leftover dirt. It also helps to do a more thorough spring cleaning once a year or use portable air purifiers and HVAC filters.
2. Go DIY or All Natural
Avoid using synthetic products with a ton of chemicals or fragrances. You don’t need them to get rid of grime, grease, and germs. A lot of people swear by DIY cleaning solutions made from white vinegar, bleach, or baking soda, while others prefer to use hot water and soap.
Instead of commercial air fresheners, make your apartment smell inviting by diffusing essential oils like lavender or peppermint. Some oils can trigger allergies, so better ask your doctor before you try this out.
Sweet-smelling alternatives include potpourri, lemon or orange rinds, and used coffee grounds. If all else fails, boil a few sticks of cinnamon or bake a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies.
Did you know that you can replace toxic pesticides with natural pest and insect repellents? Mosquitoes hate citronella and eucalyptus, while roaches avoid peppermint oil. Discourage ants from your kitchen by spraying water mixed with mint, vinegar, lemon juice, or cayenne pepper.
3. Get Rid of Mould
As long as there’s humidity, expect furry patches of mould to appear. Moulds love moisture and the dark, so they are often found in bathrooms and under the sink. You can also see them growing on shoes or clothing that have been stored for a long time.
Not only do they look disgusting, having mould inside your house can cause itchy skin, sore throat, wheezing, headaches, and irritated eyes. Moulds can also trigger asthma attacks and more serious health problems.
The key to getting rid of moulds is prevention. Control the humidity in your home by using an air conditioning unit or dehumidifier. While some people look for the best plants for indoor air quality, it’s better to keep them outdoors. Potted plants can be a haven for moulds.
4. Groom Your Pet
Frequent grooming is important, as animal fur and dander are common indoor air pollutants. Animal dander can make some people sneeze or wheeze, even if they don’t have allergies.
Sweep or vacuum as often as possible, daily if you can manage it. You also need to sanitize kennels, pet beddings, or litter boxes regularly.
If you’re a proud pet parent, you’re already familiar with the effort required to keep your beloved fur baby healthy and happy. But all that extra work is definitely worth it.
5. Ventilate Your Home
It may seem counterintuitive, but you still need to open your windows, even in the middle of the city. When you let in fresh air, it helps prevent indoor pollutants and allergens from building up to dangerous levels.
You should keep your windows shut during rush hour, though, especially if you’re near a busy road. It’s also best to keep them closed during heavy smog or the rare event of a volcanic ash fall.
After a shower, open the bathroom window or turn on an exhaust fan to prevent damp and keep moulds at bay. Make sure you have good ventilation during and after activities like cooking or painting. Your windows, vents, and exhaust fans should all be in working order.
Looking for a professional to make repairs or install a new appliance? Enquire about our handyman services and ensure that your home’s air quality stays safe.
Ohmyhome was launched in the Philippines in September 2020, following the company’s establishment of a tech team in the country in 2017. Ohmyhome was originally founded in 2016, and subsequently rose in Singapore as a leading PropTech solution and licensed real estate agency.
Ohmyhome expanded into the Philippines so that Filipino home seekers can have a real estate partner that they can trust to have their best interests at heart and can be relied upon to provide exceptional services throughout the entire property journey.
Featuring thousands of properties across many of the Philippines’ major real estate brands, Ohmyhome differs from other local platforms by going the extra mile and extensively helping buyers narrow down the choices and find the property that best suits their budgets, home needs, and lifestyle preferences.
The company’s Real Estate Agents not only help in the shortlisting of options, but also provide professional services through the entire purchasing process. These include assistance in property inspections, negotiations, the finalization of the Conditions of Sale, deposit collection, the submission of property documents, as well as providing buyers regular updates.
Ohmyhome helps Filipinos find their dream homes, all while making sure each real estate transaction is complete and is an efficient and enjoyable experience.