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The Importance of Indoor Air Quality and How to Improve It

Air quality monitor tracking air pollution indoors.

The air we breathe indoors has a significant impact on our well-being. Whether it’s in our homes or at work, if we don’t take the necessary steps to ensure we’re breathing in clean air, our health and fitness could be compromised in many ways. At this point, you might be wondering if you do enough to take care of your health, allergens, and indoor air quality, and rightly so. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of indoor air quality and provide you with practical tips on how to improve it. Keep reading to find out about the steps you can take and techniques you can implement to create a healthier and more comfortable living environment for you and your loved ones.

Understanding Indoor Air Quality 

Indoor air quality refers to the quality and cleanliness of the air within buildings, including homes, offices, and other indoor spaces. Many factors contribute to it, including air pollutants, temperature, humidity, and ventilation.

There are a range of health issues that come as a result of poor indoor air quality. These include respiratory problems, allergies, asthma, headaches, fatigue, and even more serious long-term effects. It can also affect cognitive function and overall productivity.

Common Indoor Air Pollutants

Air pollutants come in many different forms, but unfortunately, we can’t see many of them with the naked eye. That’s why it’s important to understand exactly what could be lurking around you, so that even if you can’t see it, you know how to manage it. Let’s look at 3 of the most common indoor air pollutants, and how you can successfully manage them.

  1. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  2. Mould and Mildew
  3. Dust and Allergens

1. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are chemicals released by various products and materials we use in our homes, such as paints, cleaning agents, furniture, carpets, and air fresheners. If you are exposed to high levels of VOCs, you could be at risk of eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and even more severe health effects. Use the 3 tips below to reduce VOCs in your home:

2. Mould and Mildew

Mould and mildew can cause allergies and respiratory problems to act up, and even cause infections in people with weakened immune systems. The signs of mould to look out for are musty odours, discolouration, and water damage. Use the 4 tips listed below to ensure your home or workplace remains mould and mildew-free:

3. Dust and Allergens

Dust is not only an overall irritation, but it can also contain allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mould spores. These allergens are potentially harmful and can trigger respiratory allergies and asthma symptoms. They also have the potential to irritate and worsen existing respiratory conditions. Use the 4 tips below to minimise dust and allergens in your home:

Improving Indoor Air Quality

There are certain steps you can take to improve the quality of air inside your home or office. Some are easier than others, but if you can implement as many of them as possible, you won’t need to worry about the abovementioned pollutants becoming a nuisance. These are the four improvement techniques we’ll look at below:

  1. Proper Ventilation
  2. Regular Cleaning and Dusting
  3. Using Indoor Plants
  4. Minimising Chemical Exposure

1. Proper Ventilation

Good ventilation is crucial for maintaining high indoor air quality as it has the ability to remove pollutants, moisture, and odours from indoor spaces, while also creating a continuous supply of fresh air. Use the following 3 tips to improve the ventilation in your indoor spaces:

2. Regular Cleaning and Dusting

The importance of regular home cleaning cannot be overstated. It is essential for removing dust, allergens, and other particles that can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Use these 4 recommended cleaning practices to reduce dust and allergens:

3. Using Indoor Plants

Indoor plants are a beautiful addition to homes that will also help purify the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, while removing certain toxins. If you take care of your indoor plants by providing adequate sunlight, watering them as needed, regularly dusting their leaves, and being mindful of any specific care requirements they might have, then they will take care of you. These are the best air-purifying plants to have in your home: 

4. Minimising Chemical Exposure

When using cleaning products, pesticides, and air fresheners, opt for those that don’t have harmful chemicals that can release VOCs into the air. Instead, use DIY natural cleaning solutions and practise green cleaning in your home or workplace.

When purchasing furniture, carpets, paints, and other materials, another way to minimise chemical exposure is to look for low-VOC or VOC-free options to minimise the presence of harmful chemicals. 

Monitoring and Testing Indoor Air Quality

In order to maintain a healthy living environment, it’s important that you regularly monitor the quality of air in your home or office. This will allow you to identify potential air quality issues, take appropriate actions to improve the air, and ensure the well-being of your family or colleagues. Below we’ll look at DIY methods, as well as professional testing services and devices that can help you detect elevated levels of pollutants, excessive humidity, or other factors that may impact air quality.

1. DIY Methods for Assessing Air Quality

If you don’t have the finances or means to get professional testing done, use the following DIY methods to help you get a basic understanding of your indoor air quality:

2. Professional Testing Services and Devices

If you’d like a more comprehensive assessment of indoor air quality, consider the following professional testing services and devices:

Lifestyle Habits for Better Indoor Air Quality

Our daily actions and habits can also affect the quality of our indoor air. If we aren’t careful, we could be contributing to the problem instead of fixing it. Take note of these 3 lifestyle habits to ensure you aren’t adding to the problem of poor indoor air quality:

1. Smoking

Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including numerous toxic and carcinogenic compounds. If you or any of your family members smoke, do so outdoors to prevent the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

2. Managing humidity levels

Controlling humidity levels is essential for avoiding the problems associated with it. High humidity can lead to mould growth, while low humidity can cause dryness and discomfort. Use the following tips to maintain healthy humidity levels:

3. Regular Maintenance of HVAC Systems and Air Filters

HVAC systems are crucial for optimal indoor air quality. Follow these maintenance practices to keep your systems working at their best:


Maintaining good indoor air quality is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, but unfortunately, it isn’t considered enough. Use the comprehensive guide in this article to ensure you’re breathing in the air you need to feel your best. 
If you’re ready to take your air quality to the next level, book a SweepSouth cleaning service. The vetted and trusted SweepStars that arrive on your doorstep will always do their best to give you and your family a spotless and sparkling home.

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