Fully insulated homes, with windows double-glazed and lofts lagged, save on energy costs. But this can also seal in the pollutants that are found in the home. These pollutants are created while cooking, from using cleaning products and toiletries, or from an open fire. Buying a good-quality air purifier is one way of tackling the problem of indoor air pollution. But there are other steps you can take that will help to improve the indoor air quality – including keeping your home well-ventilated.
- Open the windows: Open the windows to ventilate your home. This is the easiest way of removing polluting particles from the air in your living space. Avoid blocking existing permanent ventilation features, such as air bricks and trickle vents on windows.
- Vacuum regularly: Make sure you vacuum floors regularly to remove polluting particles that can build up, such as dust and pet hair, which can impact on the quality of the air you breathe. The best vacuum cleaners will pick up twice as much dust as the worst, and they are much better at stopping the dust from leaking back into your room.
- Hard floors versus carpets: Carpets can give a warm and homely feel to a home but these also cause indoor air pollution. Besides, it's easier to keep hard floors clean and remove allergens.
- Use bathroom fans to clear the air: Use exhaust/fresh air fan in your bathroom to remove the after-effects of using toiletries and cleaning products. Opening a window will help, too, and it will help you to reduce condensation and deal with damp. If you suffer from damp, find out which kind of damp is affecting your home.
- Electric chimney/cooker hoods and kitchen exhaust fans: Electric chimney/cooker hoods and exhaust fans in the kitchen should be switched on during and after cooking to clear the air. And consider an extracting, rather than re-circulating, cooker hood that actually vents the air away.
How can you keep your surroundings clean and maintain good indoor air quality
- When painting and decorating, make sure that paint and solvent smells have gone before using the room again. Pollution is outside as well as indoors if you live near a busy road; keep the windows closed during hours of peak traffic. If you suffer from hay fever, try closing the windows when the pollen count is highest in the morning.
- Vacuum often and thoroughly with a vacuum with HEPA filtration.
- Ban smoking indoors, especially dhoops/agarbattis.
- Maintain your heating and cooling equipment and change air filters regularly.
- Minimise use of candles and wood fires.
- Use exhaust fans in kitchen, bath and laundry areas.
- Don’t store chemicals, solvents, glues, or pesticides near your living quarters.
- If pollen or related allergies keep you from opening windows, run your air conditioner or forced-air cooling system with a clean air filter.