A healthy home starts with good air, and there are several common factors that can make it hard to breathe. When looking over a house, watch out for sources of bad air, and get rid of them immediately. A home inspection can help find any hard to spot problems, as well as address any other concerns with safety.
Stop the source to improve air quality
Regardless of location, air pollution can plague a home. Finding the cause of the problem and fixing it quickly is best method of treatment, and sometimes only masking a problem won't provide the desired results.
First and foremost, it's important to prevent the problems from ever occurring, according to Consumer Reports. Dust mites can be a frequent problem, and their appearance will lead to contaminated air. Therefore, encase all pillows, mattresses and box springs in bug-proof plastic covers, and wash laundry as hot as possible to kill any contaminants.
It also helps to ventilate a home properly, and this means in every corner of a house. Many things, including hair spray, cooking and cleaning fumes can lead to poor air quality, so make sure to open a window and double-check that stove-top vent to ensure a proper removal of any hazardous or smelly materials.
Smoking, pet dander can be detrimental
Naturally, smoking doesn't exactly help an indoor space remain fresh and breathable. If possible, don't allow smoking inside, not just for the benefit of current residents but any future ones that don't want to inhale stale fumes from the carpets and walls. Smoking leaves lingering traces, and it can be tough to eradicate a problem after it has been going on for a long time.
Sadly, the family pet is a detriment to overall air quality. The more the friendly dog curls up on the couch the more pet dander is spread around, and it can be a pain to clean out of upholstered furniture. The same goes for beds, and having a dog or cat sleep in the bedroom can make breathing more difficult. It helps to confine animal's living spaces away from areas like this.
In addition to pets, other creatures can find a way into a home and damage air quality. Seal any cracks and crevices, and clean up any left over foods or stains since those attract insects, according to Consumerreports.org. If there are any concerning places in and around a home, a property inspection could help answer questions.
Tips to clean up the air
Once the problems are addressed, the air still may need some freshening. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends homeowners or builders consider adding air cleaners, which range from table-top versions to entire home systems. The effectiveness of these products depends on how well it collects pollutants and how much air it takes in. Keep in mind that home air cleaners focus only on common causes, and they aren't designed to help with dangerous gasses. Additionally, house plants have shown positive results when it comes to improving air quality.
Improving breathing can be a simple fix, too. Think about cleaning all of the carpets, and dry them thoroughly after, according to Colorado State University. If they are particularly bad, remove and replace a carpet instead. Floor tiles, especially in older homes, may contain asbestos. Every now and then, inspect them for damage and replace as needed. Air conditioners, while fantastic at cooling a home, can also spread pollutants. Sometimes a simple solution is a regular cleaning of the vents and ductwork, so nothing else is spread throughout the living space.
Overall, think simple before totally gutting a home to remove a bad smell or air pollutant. Improving air quality starts with regular cleaning, and staying up to date with this will always help. A home inspection might be able to get in-depth answers about a home's problems.