Over the past few months we’ve learned how devastating COVID-19 can be to the lungs. This has left many home owners in Albuquerque wondering how they can improve the air quality in their homes. This is especially important if you suffer from asthma or allergies. Even though cleaner air is not shown to affect the virus, having poor air quality in your home doesn’t help fight it either. Air pollution has also been shown to boost levels of inflammation in the lungs, which can make us more vulnerable to infections.
So what are some practical steps you can take right now to improve the air quality in your Albuquerque home?
Change your air filters
Air filters should typically be changed every 30 days, according to filter companies. You might think they make that recommendation so they sell more filters. But they do need to be changed regularly. And get the good filters.
Quality air filters improve your indoor air by eliminating more contaminant particles like pollutants and allergens, as well as keeping dust build-up down. more than standard filters can. A good quality air filter can also improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment by reducing contaminants.
Get an air purifier
An air purifier is simply a device that pushes air through a series of filters and circulates the air. Pollutants and particles are captured in the filters and the clean air is pushed out.
Air purifiers can help with more than just respiratory issues. There is increasing evidence that even a simple air purifier can clean air enough to boost cognitive development and academic performance. According to a study conducted in LA after the Aliso Canyon methane gas leak, plug-in air purifiers were installed in businesses and schools within a five-mile radius of the gas facility as part of the mitigation process. Just adding them to school classrooms improved test scores, the study authors say—the equivalent of cutting class size by a third. This alone seems like an excellent argument for putting at least one purifier in the same room as your child’s brain. This is especially encouraging for those who are now working from home.
Plants are also a great way of improving your air quality, as well as reduce stress. NASA conducted a study to find ways to clean the air in space stations. They found that plants can effectively absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen into the air, and remove pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. These chemicals can cause irritation to the skin, ears, eyes, nose, and throat, as well as some cancers, according to the EPA. The study suggests that at least one plant per 100 square feet can effectively clean the air.
The plants that NASA used for these tests included the snake plant, which can release oxygen at night; peace lily, which “produces fragrant flowers all summer long, and effectively removes ammonia, formaldehyde, trichlorobenzene, and benzene from the air;” bamboo palm, a “fast-growing houseplant” that will “add moisture to the air in the dry winter months and… thrives in indirect sunlight;” and parlor palm, which is “perfect for new plant parents” because it “requires minimal maintenance.”
Get a salt lamp
Himalayan salt lamps (you know, those cool pink rock lamps) look great and are thought to have healing properties. When they are lit, they salt produces negative ions which can have positive effects on your indoor air. Placing a Himalayan salt lamp in every room of the home can reap several health and environmental benefits.
Keep the house clean
We’re not trying to instult your intelligence with this one, but cleaning your home really will help your air quality immensely by removing dust and other lung irritants. Plus, cleaning surfaces can help prevent the spread of viruses.
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