Many people who struggle with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory systems don't realize that the source of their misery lurks within their own home. Your household maintains its own enclosed ecosystem, especially when you're breathing recirculated air from an HVAC system. As a result, humidity, mold, dust, and dander can accumulate until your air becomes downright toxic. Fortunately, you can reverse this trend and prevent it from recurring through some smart home strategies. Here are three things you can do to improve your home air quality.
1. Get a Home Humidifier
If your home air humidity hovers below 30 percent, that dryness promotes a number of health issues, from colds and asthma to chapped lips and allergies. Home humidifiers introduce extra moisture into the air to relieve or prevent these problems. A typical room humidifier emits either warm steam or cool mist to control the humidity in a small to medium-sized space. You also have the option of adding a whole-house humidifier to your HVAC system. Just make sure you don't let the humidity climb above 50 percent, because too much moisture can actually add to your respiratory woes.
2. Invest in Air Conditioning
An air conditioner improves home air quality, not by adding moisture like a humidifier, but by removing excess moisture from the air. Excessively moist air can contribute to mold growth, bacterial infection, and dust mite infestation. By chilling the air, an air conditioner condenses the airborne water vapor into liquid water, lowering the humidity level. A central air conditioner will do a more thorough job of drying your air than a window unit can. Take care, however, to replace the air filters regularly so that you don't end up blowing accumulated dust into your rooms.
3. Get Serious About Your Home Cleaning Routine
Dust, mold spores, and dander can gather on curtains, collect on your floors and counters, coat your bedding, and get lodged in your carpeting. As a result, any little motion in your home can kick these irritating particles into the air — and into your lungs. Get into the habit of dusting and vacuuming a couple of times per week, using a vacuum filter with a HEPA filter to trap extra-tiny particles. Wash your bedding in water hot enough to kill dust mites (ideally, 140 degrees Fahrenheit). You may even want to replace your real indoor plants with attractive fake replacements that are less likely to harbor mold.
Take these smart strategies to heart, and with any luck you'll start enjoying a happier, healthier, more comfortable life in next to no time. Good luck!