GNcareers, from Gulf News

9 steps to healthy indoor air quality

Air CleaningImage Credit: Supplied

Indoor air quality is something that most homeowners tend to overlook. Alarming statistics reveal that the quality of indoor air is sometimes five times as worse as the air we breathe outdoors.

In a desert country like the UAE, we tend to spend 90 per cent of our time indoors. Poor indoor air quality can lead to health threats such as allergies, fatigue and even asthma. However, there are steps that households can do to improve air quality.
1. Implement a “No Smoking Indoors” policy. This minimizes tobacco pollutants.
2. Attempt to remove carpets from bathrooms and wet areas as they can be a magnet for dust and molds. If you like to keep mats, ensure they are exposed to the sun every day. In fact, wet towels should not be left in the bathroom either.
3. Air conditioners (AC) should be regularly serviced and their vents cleaned.
4. Use a humidifier or an air purifier at home to maintain adequate moisture levels since an air-conditioned environment saps the air of moisture.
5. Try minimizing the use of bleach or ammonia when doing laundry as they tend to emit chemical pollutants.
6. Areas such as bathrooms and the kitchen should have proper ventilation, and filters should be cleaned and changed regularly.
7. Check your wall paint composition and always opt for lead-free paints.
8. Vacuum all upholstery and surfaces to remove dust irritants.
9. Leave the doors and windows open every day for a while to ensure air exchange.

Other than the points mentioned above, use house plants to substantially improve air quality. Not only do plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, they also act as natural air purifiers filtering out volatile organic compounds. Some house plants that are great for improving indoor air quality are anthurium/flamingo flowers, ferns and peace lilies. Others may secrete toxic sap, so keep them out of reach of children and pets. A good rule of thumb is to have one plant per 100 square foot.

Handy Hints
• Implement a “No Smoking” policy indoors to minimize tobacco pollutants
• Use a humidifier or air purifier to maintain adequate moisture levels at home
• Use house plants per 100 square foot to filter out volatile organic compounds

See related story: Clean your aircon unit regularly

Source: Dipshikha Mitra, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer