How Cooking & Cleaning Affects Your Home's Air Quality
The colder weather coupled with the possibility of new stay-at-home restrictions means most of us are going to be spending more time in our homes for the foreseeable future.
We’re staying in to stay healthy.
But some health experts worry that all the additional time spent at home will lead to even more illness.
Because many homes have poor air quality… even worse than the air pollution outside.
According to the EPA, the levels of indoor air pollutants can be two to five times higher than outdoors.
What’s causing the pollution?
Everyday things you might not even associate with pollution.
Like cooking, especially if you’re using a stove fueled by kerosene.
You see cooking on these stoves, particularly when you’re frying or roasting, creates fine particles that release into the air.
And these tiny particles can be harmful to your health.
One study even found that some cooked meals, like a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, can generate as many particles as you would find in the world’s most polluted cities.
The more we cook, the more particles we generate. And, by all accounts, Americans are cooking a lot more these days.
But even if you haven’t expanded your culinary skills during the pandemic, you’re not out of the woods.
Because it’s not just cooking that can be the problem.
We’ve also been cleaning our homes more frequently and deeply over the last several months.
And those cleaners, especially the spray ones, are known to release similar harmful particles into the air.
Look, obviously we’re not going to stop cooking and cleaning.
So, we have to take steps to reduce the indoor pollution we’re creating, to keep our home’s air clean.
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.
Bottomline… if you can smell it, it’s likely polluting your air.
Before the pandemic, Americans spent 90% of their time indoors.
Today, that number is likely higher.
So, keeping your home’s air clean has never been more important.
Take steps now to make sure your home base doesn’t become a sick place.