Indoor air quality plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy environment, particularly in New Zealand, where factors like inadequate ventilation and high humidity often contribute to poor air quality. Prolonged exposure to poor air quality can result in health issues such as allergies, asthma, and respiratory infections. Investing in an indoor air quality monitor can help measure pollutant levels in your home. Fortunately, several methods can enhance your indoor air quality, promoting a healthier living space for you and your loved ones.
Maintain a clean living space
Dust and airborne particles can quickly accumulate in your home, particularly on surfaces like carpets and furniture. Regular cleaning and vacuuming help reduce the number of dust and particles in the air. Ensure you use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, capable of capturing smaller particles that traditional vacuum cleaners might miss. Additionally, routinely clean air ducts and change air filters to maintain optimal air quality. Washing bedding, curtains, and soft furnishings regularly can also help reduce allergens and dust mites in your home.
Enhancing ventilation in your home can significantly improve indoor air quality. This is particularly important during activities that release pollutants into the air, such as cooking or using cleaning products. There are several ways to improve ventilation, including:
Opening Windows and doors
One of the simplest ways to improve air quality is by opening windows and doors, which can quickly clear out pollutants. However, this may not always be practical due to insects, noise, or privacy concerns. Additionally, outdoor air quality in New Zealand may vary, especially during winter and in urban areas. Monitor outdoor air pollution levels on websites like Aqicn. Our Qingping Pro Air Quality Monitor also displays outdoor air quality in your area.
Many New Zealand homes have HRV, DVS, or similar home ventilation systems. It's essential to consider factors like filter quality, installation cost, and the rooms the system will be used in. Some individuals may hesitate to use systems without heating or cooling capabilities, as they can heat the house in summer and cool it in winter if they draw in air from the roof. Regular maintenance of these systems, including filter replacement, is crucial for optimal performance.
Install exhaust fans and range hoods
Incorporate exhaust fans and range hoods, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms, to help remove pollutants, odours, and excess moisture. These appliances can significantly contribute to maintaining good indoor air quality. Ensuring the proper installation and regular cleaning of exhaust fans and range hoods can help maximise their effectiveness
Use an air purifier
Air purifiers effectively remove pollutants like dust, pet dander, and allergens from the air. When selecting an air purifier, opt for one with a HEPA filter and consider the size of the room it will be used in. Also, take into account the filter replacement cost and maintenance requirements. Position the air purifier in areas where pollutants are most likely to accumulate, such as living rooms or bedrooms, for maximum effectiveness. Explore our guide here on choosing the right air purifier for your space. We also have a range of affordable and effective air purifiers for any situation.
Maintain healthy humidity levels
Keeping humidity levels between 30% and 50% can help reduce pollutants in the air. High humidity levels can encourage mould growth, while low levels may cause dry skin and respiratory issues. New Zealand homes generally don't have issues with low humidity; however, during damp weather, using a dehumidifier can help maintain a healthy indoor environment by lowering humidity levels.
Avoid using harsh chemicals
Many cleaning products, air fresheners, and other household items contain harsh chemicals that release pollutants into the air. Opt for natural cleaning products or create your own cleaning solutions using ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. Look for eco-friendly and non-toxic alternatives when purchasing paint, furniture, and building materials, as these can also emit harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your living space. Additionally, avoid smoking indoors, as tobacco smoke contains numerous harmful pollutants that can impact indoor air quality.
When using cleaning products, ensure proper ventilation by opening windows or using exhaust fans to minimize the concentration of chemicals in the air. If possible, store harsh chemicals outside or in a well-ventilated area away from your living spaces.
By adopting these practices, you can significantly improve the indoor air quality of your home or commercial space, ensuring a healthier environment for everyone. Regular monitoring of air quality and taking appropriate measures to address any issues can make a considerable difference in the long run. So, invest in the right tools and adopt these strategies to breathe easier and live better.