4 Tips for Healthier Air at Home
Optimal Wellbeing is rightfully associated with an active lifestyle. This idea of health being driven by movement and energy, however, can sometimes mean that we overlook the static parts of our lives, the things that don’t really change or, if they do, change slowly. Your home, for example, is probably one of the most permanent parts of your life. Most people will only move every few years—if they move at all—so we might not think of our homes as playing a role in our healthy, active, get out there and enjoy the world lifestyle.
Your environment matters, and keeping it healthy is an essential Habit of Health.
There’s a lot we could talk about for this topic, but for now I want to address a factor that is perhaps the least visible: air quality. Of course having clean air is important, but problems with your air are not always as obvious as other issues, and you might not fully experience the consequences of poor air quality until you’ve spent months living and sleeping in that environment.
You should be able to breathe easy at home. Here are some tips:
- Address radon and carbon monoxide problems. Radon is a radioactive gas that seeps up from the ground and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Carbon monoxide may not impact as many people as radon, but it is no less dangerous. Test your home for radon if you haven’t already, and install carbon monoxide detectors (and make sure you change the batteries) to protect against these silent killers.
- Change your air filters. Many homeowners change their air filters at the end of summer and at the beginning of spring. This schedule is fine as long as your filters follow the same schedule. Some filters might need to be changed more often, and leaving them dirty can mean you and your family breathing more dust and particulate matter than you should.
- Look out for mold. Unfortunately, mold is quite common in houses or apartments. Any place that traps moisture for a prolonged period of time is likely to lead to mold growth. Currently, the CDC says that the idea of “toxic” mold might be overblown, but the organization still warns against the potential for mold causing upper respiratory problems and potentially increasing asthma risks for children. Ventilate spaces that might gather moisture, consider investing in a dehumidifier, and fix any leaks to help prevent mold growth before it starts.
- Get some plants. The research on houseplants is far reaching, with some studies suggesting benefits ranging from stress reduction to boosts in creativity. What is pretty widely accepted, though, is that plants can help to keep your air clean, especially big leafy plants like ferns.
By paying a little bit more attention to our environment, we can better support our long term health goals. Your home should be a health oasis, and I hope that these tips will help. To learn more about healthy air at home, read this thorough guide from the American Lung Association.