With the fires blazing out west, there's been a lot of talk about air pollution lately.
The focus has been on outdoor air quality, and understandably so.
But as the temperature drops and we begin to spend more time inside, it's important to take the time to ensure your home's indoor air is healthy, too.
How can you tell if your home has poor air quality?
Well, you may start to feel it... sneezing or a runny nose, coughing, itchy eyes or throat, and wheezing... are all telltale signs.
But even if you're not experiencing symptoms, your home's air could be a health risk.
Because indoor pollution is all around you.
Some signs you can see, like mildew and mold growth and dust buildup near vents.
Also, unpleasant or funky odors are a sign that's something's off with your air quality.
But unless you have a microscope, you'll never see all the dangers lurking in your home's air.
As we're about to head indoors for the colder months, it's the perfect time to start addressing the quality of your home's air.
One of the easiest things you can do is replace your air filters.
Most air filters need to be switched out every 1-3 months. When was the last time you changed yours?
If you have a tendency to forget changing your filters, try setting reminders in your phone. This has worked like a charm for me for over the last year.
Do you have a central HVAC system? If so, set the fan to "on," rather than "auto" so that it's constantly circulating and filtering air.
And if you really want to help keep your home's air healthy, consider getting a portable air purifier.
Nothing does a better job of keeping your home's air fresh and clean than a reliable air purifier.
While it won't eliminate all air pollutants, air purifiers with proper HEPA filters can reduce particle concentrations by as much as 85%.
Something else you can do to improve the quality of your home's air? Avoid activities that cause indoor air pollution.
Things like smoking. And using scented candles.
Now, I know this time of year is big for the candles.
The smell of pumpkin spice and cinnamon fill many homes.
But as pleasant as those scents are, the harm to your air quality just isn't worth it.
Before the pandemic, Americans spent 90% of their time indoors.
Today, that number is likely higher.
After all, we're staying in to stay safe.
So, keeping your home's air clean has never been more important.