Working from home? You should always keep an eye on your home’s indoor air quality, but especially so when working from home.
And even more so, because in the last several years, a growing amount of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within buildings and homes is more seriously polluted than the outside air in even the largest and most industrial cities.
Let’s take a look at some solutions.
Natural Air Purifiers
Also known as houseplants, natural air purifiers are a healthy and effective way to keep your air in good shape. They absorb carbon dioxide for use in photosynthesis and release oxygen. They also lend a pleasant aesthetic when placed right.
A good choice is the aloe vera plant. These plants are pleasant to look at and easy to care for, and can be used to help heal cuts and burns. In addition, aloe vera leaves show brown spots when there are an abundance of harmful chemicals, making them a sort of air quality meter.
English ivy is also easy to care for, and has been recognized as the best air filtering houseplant by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (also known as NASA).
There are many more types of houseplants than a single article can list, so be sure to do some of your own research too!
Let in some Outside Air
Remember, the indoor air in many buildings is worse than the outside air! So letting in some of that outside air should be helpful to your indoor air.
Change your HVAC Filters
It’s easy to forget about that filter on your HVAC system. When did you last replace it? If you haven’t done so in a few months, and especially in the heating or cooling seasons, it’s time to get a new filter. A fresh filter traps airborne particles and debris that you don’t want to be breathing in, but an old filter instead acts as a reservoir of dirt and debris to be released into your air system.
An old and clogged filter also makes it harder for your HVAC system to circulate air, raising bills and making the chance of a breakdown more likely.
So go and replace that air filter! It’ll both help your lungs and your wallet in the long run.
Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
If you have anything in your home that burns fuel and you don’t have a carbon monoxide monitor, get one now. Carbon monoxide arises from the burning of fossil fuels, and can escape from gas-fueled heaters, such as furnaces, hot water heaters, and ovens, and contaminate your indoor air system. Without a carbon monoxide monitor, you’ll have no idea until you start to suffocate, since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless.
When installing a carbon monoxide alarm, place it near potential sources of carbon monoxide leaks, such as any gas-fueled heaters or similar appliances. When purchasing a carbon monoxide alarm, you can go for the more-setup-required wall-mounted one, similar to a smoke detector, or you can get a plug-in one that simply runs off of an electric outlet.
When determining how to improve your air quality, it’s a good idea to take more than one step. Bring in houseplants and change your filters, or install a carbon monoxide alarm and crack open the windows. Whatever you choose to do, it should help the air you’re breathing.