Healthy indoor air starts with a clean dry home. Dust free, low-moisture, and clean fresh air provide the starting point and basics for clean indoor air. Apartment living in the city does provide challenges to achieve control over this if one has to rely on HVAC for indoor air. Even so, there are things we can all do to have the best indoor air as possible. Healthy indoor air starts here:
Open windows and doors for a few minutes a day even in the winter to bring in fresh air.
Do not use chemical air freshers (as shown above). The are toxic chemicals that fill your indoor air with harmful fragrances, and contaminate your air. They can smell nice, but they are industrial products and should be avoided.
Vacuum often. The frequency of this depends on how many people and pets you have in the home. If you have pets, vacuum more often than you probably would like to remove pet hair and dander. Vacuum pet beds and furniture they use.
Remove dust. Dust isn't just unsightly, it gets blown up into the air when stirred up and this can cause allergic reaction and breathing problems.
Do not burn petroleum based candles. It is lovely to have a nice scent and the flicker of a candle, but most commercial candles are not healthy for your indoor air. If your burning candle creates soot on the jar, it's bad news.
Skip the toxic cleaning products. Toxic chemical cleaners can linger in the air for hours. There are many safe alternatives to industrial cleaners.
Use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms. This will remove smokes from cooking and remove moist air and off gassing from beauty products and unfiltered water from bathrooms.
If you have any signs of mold or mildew deal with it immediately. Mold is extremely harmful. If you have a damp basement and it smells musty, you most certainly have mold somewhere. Dehumidifiers can be expensive to run, but you should do it. It is ideal to have a dehumidifier that will self drain so that it can run continuously.
Change furnace filters more often. It is suggest to change them once a year, but it is a good idea to do change more than that. Consider a filter in the return vent. This will keep pet hair from being sucked into the system and ducts.
I have highlighted a few steps to improve your indoor air. I didn't mention the most obvious toxic indoor air polluter is cigarette smoke. This smoke will cover every surface in your home if you smoke indoors. This is a topic that is more than just about indoor air, it is a behavior / habit issue so I won't address it any further. If you smoke, do it outside if you want to pretend you are healthy. Here are resources for further reading. Click these links below:
The steps I took to improve air in my home have been to do away with the air freshers, use natural cleaning products, vacuum often, and open windows for fresh air.
I missed candles so I started to make my own candles from beef tallow. Yes, you heard that right, beef fat candles. I buy grass-fed beef from a local farm (No-View Farm) and I render the fat to create tallow. The tallow is mixed with essential oil, I like to use lavender, and poured into a jar. The is the cleanest candle burn I have ever seen. There is absolutely NO soot on the jar.