When was the last time you checked the cleanliness of the air in your office, building, or facility? Has it been longer than you can remember? It may be time to use the top tips for cleaning the air around you!
Indoor air quality isn’t something most people think about either, but breathing clean air can and does impact our health. Here’s why paying attention to the air you breathe indoors is so important and how to then go about improving it.
Vacuum More Often
Vacuuming more often will help keep dust at bay, but many vacuums also come with a filter system which can remove mold, pollen, and other air pollutants. Aim to vacuum at least once a week.
Open The Windows
Opening the windows seems like an obvious choice, but we all forget the easy stuff sometimes. Just opening the window at night, when it’s cool out, will help to circulate the air and cool down the facility. Then, in the morning, shut everything up. If it’s wintertime, you may not want to open the windows, but doing so once in a while can really get the air moving, and you don’t have to do it for very long. Just make sure you turn the heat off while you’re refreshing the facility.
Detox Your Cleaning Products
You don’t need a lot of chemical cleaners in the office. If you must have mold killers and something for bacteria and viruses, a simple bleach solution will do it. Everything else in your building can be cleaned with natural soap (opt for non-detergent cleaners) and water. If you have a lot of wood, use special wood soap. An alternative cleaner that works well is vinegar.
If you need scrubbing power, try baking soda and a nice scrub brush. For tough stains, use an abrasive like baking soda and steel wool. That combination will remove almost anything. If you need something delicate, try essential oils, lemon or orange zest, and purified water. These cleaners can sometimes bleach fabrics, but a small concentration in water will give you excellent cleaning power without harsh chemicals.
All of these cleaning options are simple, safe, and effective. And, they won’t add to the air pollution in your facility.
Tune Up Your HVAC
If you haven’t had your HVAC checked in at least a year, now is the time to do it! You should have your AC checked, as well as your heating system, prior to the start of the season to not only boost IAQ, but ensure they will be functioning properly before the harsh months of Winter/Summer.
A quick tune up can uncover simple problems, like a dirty filter, AC compressor fins, or a dirty coil, which can be resolved in an uncomplicated manner, saving you time and money later on down the road.
Get More Plants
Plants, like Peace Lilies, are natural air cleaners. Unless you suffer from significant allergies to plants, you should fill your office with them. They will clean the air by filling it with more oxygen, removing the stale air, and absorb toxins like VOCs, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and ammonia.
The dwarf date palm is an excellent choice if you want to clean the air in your facility. These plants also give your building a more tropical feel. It’s a simple plant to keep up, requiring very little maintenance and watering. You’ll need to protect it from frost, however, because they don’t do well in cold weather. Also, make sure that the pH of the soil is over 7 so that the tree doesn’t develop a potassium or magnesium deficiency. You’ll know because of the chlorotic or spotted fronds. They are mostly resistant to pests and disease.
The English Ivy plant is a hearty plant that also does well indoors. Its dense foliage absorbs formaldehyde – one of the more common indoor pollutants.
The Peace Lily is an unassuming plant. It’s one of the few air purifying plants that produce flowers, making it beautiful as well as functional. This is a year-round bloomer and rids the air of VOCs like benzene, which is a carcinogen found in paints, furniture waxes, and polishes. It also takes up acetone, which is emitted by electronics and adhesives and some types of cleaners and cleansers.
The Lady Palm is another plant that can clean the air. Easy to grow, it eats up ammonia, which is commonly used in cleaners, dyes, and some types of clothing. Finally, a Boston Fern is a rather audacious plant that was common during the Victorian era. It has feather-like leaves and is excellent at removing formaldehyde from the air, which is found in some glues, pressed wood products, plywood paneling, and some furniture.