Have you ever wondered how to improve your indoor air quality? It’s an area of wellness that’s often overlooked. We can easily forget how important it is that we’re breathing clean, quality air inside of our homes. If you live in a cold weather state, like Minnesota, and spend a lot of time indoors during the winter months, it’s imperative that you’re getting quality air. Or, if you live in an area with poor outdoor air quality due to chemicals (smog) or forest fires.
We know that poor indoor air quality can have a huge impact on our health. There is even a term coined for those experiencing repeated exposure to poor indoor air quality called ‘Sick Building Syndrome’.
RELATED: 5 tips for ensuring safe indoor air.
Many patients come to us with concerns about their indoor air quality, but aren’t sure if there is anything they can do to change it or where to start. Fear not—there are many things that you can do to take back control of your home environment and improve the quality of your indoor air! If you live in a home that does not have known water damage or mold exposure, it can be relatively easy to set yourself up for success. Keep reading below for tips on improving your indoor air quality.
Tips on how to improve indoor air quality
Consider getting your home tested
If you’re not sure whether or not your home has experienced water damage or has known mold exposure, consider getting your home tested. EnviroBiomics ERMI test is a direct-to-consumer test that you can complete at home using samples of dust from multiple places in your house. ERMI tests the dust from your home to see what levels of mold and mycotoxins are present in the sample.
Another option is to find a trusted expert in your area to come inspect your home. MN Mold is a local inspection company that will come assess your home and determine what level, if any, mold is present. They will not remediate if mold is present, but can provide other local recommendations for mediation! If you aren’t in Minnesota and are searching for an inspector, consider finding a company that does inspection only and not inspection and remediation to ensure you’re getting an accurate recommendation.
Invest in a HEPA air filter
Consider investing in a HEPA air purifier for your home. There are tons of options on the market, so it may require a bit of research to determine which brand is the best fit for your home.
Some things to think about when comparing air purifiers:
- How big of a space does the purifier cover? Will I need to purchase more than one to cover the most important areas of my home?
- How often does it need its filters changed?
- If it’s going to be in a space such as your bedroom, does it emit a high level of EMFs that can be disruptive to my sleeping environment?
From the extensive research I conducted before I purchased air purifiers for our home, the general consensus was to prioritize HEPA air purifiers that filter the smallest particles possible so that you’re getting protected from as many pollutants as possible. Some HSA administrators allow for the purchase of air purifiers when certain requirements are met.
MIMC’s Favorite HEPA Air Purifiers
Ditch the indoor toxins
Whether or not you choose to invest in an air purifier, it’s important to make sure you’re not using products that are contributing to the problem. Avoid using candles, air fresheners, wall plugins, or other products that release any type of chemicals or scent into the air in your home. Consider diffusing essential oils, or keeping a vase of fragrant flowers (as long as you’re not allergic!) on the counter to give your home a fresh, natural scent.
Let the fresh air in
Some research has been conducted to study the impact that opening your windows can have on improving your indoor air quality, even in very cold weather. I’m not suggesting that you open your windows for hours on end, especially in the cold Minnesota winter! But, it’s worth noting that you can improve your indoor air quality by opening your windows for even 10 to 15 minutes per day.
If you live in an area that experiences lots of outdoor air pollutants like smog, forest fires, or other natural incidents you will absolutely want to keep your windows closed especially during those times! If this applies to, heavily consider investing in an indoor air purifier so you can confidently have a source of quality air while the outdoors are not safe.
Katie is our champion of member experience. You’ll meet her at our admin desk, or chat with her over the phone answering all your questions and making sure your patient care with us is seamless. When she isn’t running our office, she’s buried in a good book, shopping local vintage stores & baking delicious treats!