For people with allergies, asthma, or sensitivity to airborne contaminants, there is nothing more miserable than unclean air. Our atmosphere is filled with pollutants that infiltrate your home, not to mention dust and debris that just seem to manifest out of thin air. In addition to harming our lungs, breathing unclean air can cause headaches, fatigue, and eye irritation. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help. Here are five ways to keep your indoor air clean.

Have Indoor Plants

Plants are especially good at purifying the air by absorbing gases and producing oxygen. But did you know that indoor plants do the same for your home? NASA performed a study and found that indoor plants are surprisingly effective at purifying the air around them. Indoor plants absorb carbon dioxide along with common toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are commonly found inside homes. Easy, common, and effective houseplants to care for include English ivy, weeping fig, lady palm, and snake plant.

flowerpots, green, grow

Regularly Change Your Air Filters

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is responsible for the airflow that comes through your vents. Over time, dust and debris build up on your HVAC filter. This causes reduced airflow, which decreases the system’s ability to filter the air, and it also puts unnecessary strain on the system. It is recommended that you change your HVAC air filter once every 90 days for homes without pets, 60 days for homes with pets, and six weeks for homes with people with allergies or asthma. It is also a good idea to schedule professional maintenance on your HVAC system to ensure optimal results.

Invest in an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are devices designed to trap dust, mold, and allergens. There are many air purifiers on the market, but purifiers with HEPA filters are most efficient. Air purifiers are best used in conjunction with regular cleaning, dusting, and changing your HVAC filter. However, people with allergies or airborne sensitivities may find air purifiers greatly beneficial. When you consider purchasing an air purifier, be sure to do some research to find a model that suits your needs.

spathiphyllum, plant, air

Maintain Humidity Levels

Humidity plays a huge role in the purity of your air. To prevent mold and mildew, optimal indoor humidity is between 30% and 50%. To identify areas that need humidifying or dehumidifying, it is helpful to request a professional evaluation of the air quality in your home.

Use Non-Toxic Household Cleaners

The products we use to clean our homes can also play a big role in polluting the air. Ironic, right? To prevent the spread of airborne irritants like ammonia and bleach, research non-toxic options for cleaning solutions. For example, a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water makes for a great window and surface cleaner. Cost-effective and healthy? Sign us up.

When it comes to our quality of life, the air we breathe plays a huge role. But, small and inexpensive lifestyle changes can vastly improve the cleanliness of our homes and our lungs. Doing so improves our happiness, our health, and our daily lives.