Dwell On This: Spring Clean Your Indoor Air Quality

Dwell On This: Spring Clean Your Indoor Air Quality

By Gregory Han
Fling open those windows and get proactive about busting dust and allergens.

Spring is in the air, but the quality of that air may be questionable. Winter has kept our windows and doors clamped shut for days, weeks, or even months on end. We compound musty air with every breath we take and meal we make. Factor in the need for heating, and you’ve got a home staler than the box of saltines at the back of your pantry.

The allergens, dust, and mold within our homes are all mostly odorless, but can manifest as respiratory issues or nagging allergies. Worse yet, the naturally occurring radioactive gas radon can poison a household slowly and silently when fresh air isn’t introduced.  

Now that we’ve scared you properly, know that improving indoor air quality is thankfully straightforward. Start with an air quality monitor to determine problem areas, and consider a radon detector as an extra precaution, similar to setting a smoke alarm.

Next, you’ll want to use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to suck up particles nested in soft surfaces like bedding, seating, rugs, and drapes. Make cleaning a weekly habit—even more frequently if you’ve got pets or young children.

Finally, an air purifier can cycle out impurities and irritants with great efficiency. Look for a unit rated with a HEPA filter and an activated carbon absorbent filter if volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a concern—that new-rug smell isn’t just an annoyance, but can be horrible for our respiratory system. 

Keeping an air purifier in every room is ideal, but especially in the bedroom where you spend hours every night. Once you breathe easier, you’ll rest easier.

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