Even if you clean your home regularly, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting it truly clean. Why not? Because the quality of the air inside your home is a major determining factor in just how clean your house really is. And when that air isn’t clean, your health can suffer.
According to the EPA, indoor air is up to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. If you’re cleaning but you’re not paying attention to the way you clean, there’s a good chance you’re making your indoor air quality worse.
Read on to learn which of your cleaning habits might be contributing to poor indoor air quality.
1. Dusting With Ineffective Cleaning Tools
When you’re trying to improve indoor air quality by controlling dust accumulation inside your home, regular dusting is essential. And though you might dust regularly, the way you do it determines just how much dust you actually remove from your home.
You’re not doing your indoor air quality any favors if you’re using any of the following ineffective tools to get the job done:
● Feather dusters
● Cloth rags
● Paper towels
Instead of those tools, use microfiber wands or disposable polyester dusters (Swiffer wands are polyester) that are designed to trap dust rather than push it around. Be sure you always dust from top to bottom, too, starting with the fan blades in every room and moving down from there.
Check out our tips on controlling dust accumulation in your home for more ways you can reduce airborne particulates.
2. Not Cleaning Your Household Ventilation System
Your home needs plenty of ventilation to allow airborne particulate matter to flow outside. But in Minnesota, we have long stretches of time when opening windows and doors simply doesn’t make sense.
During those times of the year, your household ventilation system (your ductwork and your heater or a/c unit) serves to force air through a filter system (your HVAC filters) to remove airborne particulate matter. But if you don’t keep up with duct cleaning, that system can’t do its job very well.
Without routine duct cleaning, your ductwork accumulates a substantial amount of dust, dust mites, pollen, dander, chemical residues, and several other substances that pollute your indoor air. And since your HVAC system continually recirculates the same air (it doesn’t bring in air from outdoors), it pushes those particles back into your living areas and into the air you breathe.
3. Cleaning With Harsh Chemical Products
Although they’re designed to clean and sanitize your home, many cleaning products are terrible for your indoor air quality. What kinds of chemicals are we talking about?
● Chlorine bleach
● Toilet bowl cleaners
● Furniture polish
● Laundry and dishwasher detergents
● Oven cleaners
● Many, many more
These products contain several volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are hazardous to your health. If you clean with them often, you’re leaving harmful chemical residues throughout your home. Rather than cleaning with chemical-based products, opt for more natural alternatives to keep your indoor air quality high.
Check out these other household products that diminish indoor air quality. Do your best to avoid using these things around the house too.
4. Neglecting Furniture and Bedding
Upholstered furniture and bedding accumulate a staggering amount of particulate matter and bacteria quite quickly. Dead skin cells, pet dander, hair, pollen, dust, and dust mites are just a few of the nasties that might be lurking on your couch or in your bed.
To prevent these particles from floating around in your indoor air, make sure you wash all of your bedding at least once per week. Likewise, remove upholstered furniture covers and wash them with the same frequency.
Regularly washing the fabrics in your house can go a long way toward controlling indoor air pollution.
5. Using Air Fresheners to Deodorize
Commercially available air fresheners (both the plug-in and aerosol kind) are, unfortunately, terrible for your indoor air quality. While these products might make your home smell fresh and clean, they don’t actually do anything to remove odors from your indoor air.
Rather, they simply emit artificial fragrances and volatile organic compounds that mask odors, not eliminate them.
Even if you use products that claim to absorb odors or bind with and neutralize airborne odor molecules, chances are they don’t really work as their advertising says they do. Worse, all of these products — aside from pure, diffused essential oils — contain chemicals that no one should be breathing in.
If you want to eliminate indoor odors in your home, opt for an air purification system instead (check out how to choose between portable and whole-house units). These devices filter 99.7% of even the tiniest particles from your indoor air, and some advanced units have unique technologies that really do neutralize odor particles.
Having your ductwork professionally cleaned can also help get rid of unpleasant odors that may be stemming from buildup inside your air ducts.
6. Using a Dirty Vacuum Filter
Do you have a bagless vacuum? If so, you should be cleaning the filter periodically if you want your vacuum to suck up as much dust as possible.
How do you clean it? You can vacuum it off (with another vacuum, of course) or, if yours is washable, simply run warm water through it until the water runs clear.
You’ll also want to swap out your old vacuum filter for a new one every six months or so, depending on how often you vacuum.
7. Emptying Your Vacuum Canister Indoors
If you’ve made a habit of dumping your full vacuum canister into the trash, start emptying it outdoors if you want to improve your indoor air quality. When you empty that canister indoors, you inevitably introduce tons of particulate matter into the air you breathe.
Even if you’re careful about how you empty it, microscopic particles can easily fly up into the air from your trash can.
Check out these other habits that can contribute to poor indoor air quality for more ideas on how you can clean up the air inside your home.
Poor Indoor Air Quality? Duct Cleaning Can Help
If you’re ready to improve the indoor air quality in your Twin Cities home, let our team at Dust Doctors make it happen! For over a decade, we’ve specialized in a variety of indoor air quality improvement services, including duct cleaning, furnace cleaning, and A/C cleaning, and you won’t find our highly specialized methods anywhere else.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, go ahead and request a free quote or call our Little Canada office at 651-319-9777.
You can also send us a message with any questions, and we’ll be in touch!
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