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Indoor Air Quality in the Home: How to Test and Improve

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The average person spends around 90% of their time indoors, yet the air quality in your home can actually be up to 10 times worse than outside. The air in your home contains dust, dirt and harmful chemicals, all of which you breathe in. Poor air quality can lead to a range of health problems.

New homes are designed to be more insulated than ever before which is a positive for our bills and keeping warm but a negative for our health as the polluted air sticks around for a lot longer. 

You may not be able to control the air quality outside but you can certainly test and improve it in your home to keep you and your family safe and healthy. BOXT have created this guide to help you do exactly that. 

How do I know if my indoor air quality is poor? 

If your air quality is poor you will find people who already have problems with their lungs struggling more than usual. You may even find yourself with a dry throat, cough or runny nose. 

You should purchase an indoor air quality monitor. This device is the easiest way to check the air quality in your home. You can leave it on constantly and it will report the levels of pollution inside your home. This device tests for factors such as pollen, dust, chemical pollution, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and humidity.  This isn’t an overly expensive device and it is certainly worth purchasing to keep your family safe. 

You should already have carbon monoxide alarms fitted. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and it is very important that you are able to detect it. If you do not currently have carbon monoxide alarms installed, make sure to get them. 

What steps can I take to improve the air quality in my home? 

Don’t panic - there are many steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home. 

Good ventilation 

Opening the windows in your home is the easiest and cheapest way to improve the air quality. 

Be careful when painting or using toxic products such as bleach. It may seem obvious but make sure to open the windows. 

It may seem cosy in the winter to have the windows shut, but this simply harbours pollutants. Make sure you are opening your windows for short periods of time each day even in those chilly winter months. 

Dust and vacuum often 

A clean house means clean air. 

Invest in a quality vacuum cleaner that will suction all of the dust, pollen and pet hair that can cause allergies. You should aim to vacuum regularly too, particularly if your household has pets or you suffer from allergies. 

Use a damp cloth when dusting surfaces. 

Invest in an air purifier 

An air purifier improves the air quality in your home. This device removes particles that the eye cannot see. 

An air purifier filters out the dirty air and releases clean, fresh air. Most air purifiers have a light that flashes green once the air is clean. If you struggle with hayfever, they are a brilliant solution. 

Purchase a dehumidifier

If you struggle with mould or dampness in your home, invest in a dehumidifier. This device draws out excess moisture to help prevent the growth of mould.  

Buy some houseplants 

Plants are a great way to keep the air a little cleaner. You’d need many plants to make a big difference, but a few are better than none. 

If indoor allergens are an issue for you- you should avoid buying plants. If you suffer from hayfever, plants could cause more harm than good.  

Invest in an air conditioner

Not only is an air conditioner beneficial for keeping your home cool during those hot sticky months, but it also improves air quality. An air conditioner removes humidity (like the dehumidifier) and removes pollutants (like the air purifier). So, you’ve got the best of both worlds. 

Change the filters in your A/C system

If you already have an air conditioning system, you should change the filter every 1-2 months. If your filter is reusable, wash it regularly to remove the build-up of dust and dirt.  

Get a fixed price quote today. 

At BOXT, we’ll help you improve the air quality in your home with our range of quality and highly-rated air conditioners.

You can also find an A/C system tool that helps you find the perfect air conditioner for your home. Or, call us on 0800 193 7777 and speak with one of our specialists who’ll provide you with a highly competitive, fixed price quote. 

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