4 Tips and Useful Technologies for Improving Air Quality in Your Home

4 Tips and Useful Technologies for Improving Air Quality in Your Home

Over the past year, you’ve probably spent a greater portion of your time at home than ever. You’ve been eating out less, going to events less often and skipping most trips out of the home that aren’t completely necessary. Things seem to be improving this year, but in the meantime, you’ve got another problem to handle. Spending more time at home means that you’re generating trash more quickly than ever. It also means that the surfaces in your home are collecting dust more quickly. In short, your house is starting to smell pretty ripe.

Regardless of what’s going on the world, you’ll always spend more time at home than you do anywhere else. You want your environment to smell good because that’s what makes being at home as enjoyable as it can be. Clean air is also what’s best for your body. Clean air, after all, is healthy air. With that in mind, any time spent improving the air quality in your home is time well spent – and making your home smell better is actually much easier than you might think.

Quit Smoking

If you smoke cigarettes, there is nothing you can do that’ll improve the air quality in your home more dramatically than quitting. Stale cigarette smoke smells absolutely awful, and it sticks to everything in your home. The fact that you smoke also lowers your home’s resale value by about 20 percent. It isn’t our purpose here to tell you what you already know; you’re well aware that quitting smoking can change your life in a million positive ways.

What you may not know, though, is that tens of millions of people around the world have switched to vaping devices from companies like Simply E Liquid as an alternative to smoking, and that has allowed them to quit successfully. If you haven’t tried vaping yet, you really should; it might change your life – and if you’re not able to quit, you should at least strongly consider smoking outside to improve your home’s air quality and preserve its value.

Clean Your Fans and Replace Air Filters

One of the best pieces of technology that you can have in your home is a really good fan – or even more than one fan. A box fan or air circulator may not be the most glamorous appliance in the world, but it can save you a ton of money. Placing fans in the windows at opposite ends of your home, for instance, forces the air to circulate. That improves air quality by replacing the stale air in your home with fresh air from outside, and it can also reduce your power bills by helping you avoid using the air conditioner some days.

If you use your air circulators and ceiling fans regularly, the volume of air traveling through those appliances is going to be quite high – and that means they’ll be magnets for dust. The dust that collects on your fans’ blades and grilles reduces the fans’ efficiency and increases the amount of dust in your home’s air. A few times per year, you should disassemble your home’s fans for a good cleaning. While you’re doing that, it’s also a good idea to replace the air filters in your home’s air conditioning system. When you buy new air filters, remember that you don’t necessarily have to use the filters made by the air conditioner’s manufacturer. Third-party air filters may cost a little more, but they can sometimes remove airborne allergens more effectively than first-party filters.

Give Your Floor and Furniture a Thorough Vacuuming

Your floor is the place where all of the dust, grime, pet hair and allergens go to settle – and to be perfectly honest, you probably don’t vacuum it nearly as often as you should. The latest technology in the world of vacuums is the battery-powered stick vacuum with a built-in HEPA filter, and if you suffer from allergies, you should definitely consider getting one. Although it’s true that a battery-powered vacuum doesn’t provide quite as much suction as a traditional upright vacuum, today’s stick vacuums are far more powerful than the stick vacuums from even just a few years ago. They’re also much more convenient than upright vacuums. Use the included cradle, and your vacuum will always be hanging from your wall, fully charged and ready to go. Remember, the best vacuum is the one you’ll actually use!

To maximize the air quality in your home, you should periodically do a “deep cleaning” by vacuuming the out-of-the-way spots that you usually skip. It’s likely, for instance, that the areas under and behind your furniture are pretty dusty. It’s also wise to remove and vacuum couch and chair cushions periodically – especially if you have a pet that likes to sit or sleep on the furniture.

Would you like an extra dash of odor-killing power when you’re giving your home a deep cleaning? Sprinkle the carpets and furniture liberally with baking soda. Leave it overnight before vacuuming the following day. Baking soda does an excellent job of absorbing foul smells, and it’ll leave your home smelling better than ever.

Place Activated Charcoal and Moisture Absorbers Around Your Home

Speaking of things that are absorbent, some of the coolest technological marvels for improving indoor air quality are the moisture-absorbing packets and buckets that you can find in your local home improvement store. Moisture absorbers use calcium chloride, which absorbs excess moisture from the air and helps to stifle mold growth. When the packet or bucket has no more moisture-absorbing granules, you can either throw the entire product away or drain the water and add more granules. Moisture absorbers are great for any areas of the home that tend to harbor moisture, such as inside the closets and under the sinks.

Another product that’s great for absorbing unwanted smells in the home is activated charcoal, which is conveniently also available in most home improvement stores. Activated charcoal has enormous surface area, and that allows it to trap airborne particles that would otherwise contribute to foul odors in your home. They’re available in cloth bags, and you can buy the bags and place them around your home to improve indoor air quality. Once a month, place the bags in direct sunlight to refresh them. You can continue using the same bag of activated charcoal for up to two years.

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.