Good air quality is very important for our well-being and health. Sufficient attention should also be paid to the purity of indoor air. Measurements have shown that it is sometimes worse than the outside air. Especially in new homes that are built or rebuilt airtight to save energy and that are insufficiently ventilated.

Polluted indoor air not only gives an unsavory smell in the house. It can also be the cause of mold or complaints such as nausea, headache, allergies or irritations to the nose, throat, and eyes. And do not be fooled: even with a nice smell in the house, the air can be contaminated if cleaning products or sprays were used.

Fortunately, we are largely in control of the quality of the air in our home. There is a lot we can do to keep it clean and healthy. Here are seven tips for healthy air in your home.

1.   Ensure adequate ventilation and ventilation

In a house there is dirt and dust. Candle or fireplace smoke that sticks around is also a polluting factor, not to mention cigarette smoke! In addition, there are all kinds of allergens (pollen) and chemicals floating around our house that need to be evacuated in time.

Most heating systems and air conditioners heat or cool the air present in a room and circulate it continuously. But with that, the polluting components that are in that air are also scattered around again and again. For certain people, this in itself can cause breathing problems. That is why it is important to air the house sufficiently in both summer and winter by opening a few windows for an hour, especially after a cleaning.

But ventilating the rooms (especially bedrooms and bathrooms) daily is not always enough for good air quality. Especially with new construction and renovation where insulation systems are used to promote better energy performance.

2.   Maintain your home and your belongings

Our furniture and furniture upholstery also play a role in the quality of the air indoor rooms. Bed linen and bath linen retain dust, dirt, and dander, and are the preferred habitat of dust mites. Therefore, it is recommended to wash bed linen and bathroom carpets weekly.

Carpets and curtain or seat coverings in textiles also attract dust and allergens. Regular vacuuming, shaking, or washing is therefore the message.

During the weekly cleaning, also remember to clean forgotten corners and sides regularly so that no dirt, fat, or food leftovers can accumulate there.

Another good advice in that area is to maintain all the appliances you have in-house. Regularly clean the filters of the hood and bathroom ventilation. Have your boiler checked annually or biennial by a professional.

3.   Do not use aggressive cleaning products

Many cleaning products contain chemicals that can cause breathing problems, trigger an allergy or even provoke an asthma attack. Be especially careful with sprays. They distribute small drops or particles in the air you breathe.

It is recommended to use such products as little as possible. Most things indoors can be cleaned with products based on natural and harmless ingredients such as sodium bicarbonate, lemon, black soap, and vinegar.

4.   Beware of volatile organic compounds

Some air fresheners and sprays, even aerosols, contain volatile organic compounds that can cause a lot of discomfort to the throat and nose and are an important source of air pollution.

These chemicals are also present in paint, cleaning products and fire retardants on textiles. Adhesive components (present in renovation material) are also harmful to air quality.

Do you want to repaint your room? Then choose a paint that contains few solvents. Planning to renovate? Then use OSB plates with as little formaldehyde (methanal) as possible.

5.   Keep your bathroom and kitchen dry and mold-free

Mold and also bacteria love moisture and enjoy themselves in a room where there is a lot of water vapor, such as the bathroom after a shower.

Mold is not only a source of fungal infections. The spores that are released can also induce allergic symptoms (coughing and sneezing) or cause other respiratory problems.

Do not give mold a chance, keep your bathroom dry. You can do this by opening the bathroom window wide or switching on the ventilation (if it does not automatically turn on) after each shower or bath. Hang the used towels and washcloths nicely so that they can dry quickly.

It is also best to solve water leaks immediately or as quickly as possible. Water puddles that arise as a result of a leaking toilet, shower, sink, dishwasher, or refrigerator can also cause mold.

6.   Wash fresh fruit and vegetables just before use

Fruit and vegetables mold after a while, especially if they are stacked and not kept cool. Wash them just before you eat them or process them in a dish (not in advance) and check that they do not show mold stains.

Food leftovers attract all kinds of bugs. Put them in lockable plastic boxes and put them in the fridge. If you need to throw away food, use a trash can equipped with a lockable valve.

7.   Some pets are carriers of viruses, bacteria, and parasites

Your most rated four-legged friend can also bring bacteria and allergens into your home. Cat or dog does not belong in the bedroom, let alone in your bed. Give your pet a bath regularly and vacuum the areas where they lay. Change the food and drink bowl daily and clean it with warm soapy water.

Elena Mars

Elena writes part-time for the Scientific Origin, focusing mostly on health-related issues.