When people consider the typical culprits of poor air quality, they usually think about things like pet dander, smoke from cigarettes, poor air circulation, or issues to do with mould in the home. Rarely do they consider the effects that a cluttered house can have on the air that they are breathing.
At PureFilters we are committed to educating Canadians about the importance of maintaining their indoor air quality at home. Especially during the winter months, most of our time is spent indoors, huddled up from the cold. If we’re spending so much time inside, isn’t it important that we are breathing air without worrying about what it could be potentially doing to our bodies?
The benefits of breathing clean air are indisputable:
- Better digestion
- Reduced allergens
- Better for asthma sufferers
- Improved lung health
- Higher oxygen intake (good for overall mental and physical health)
If your indoor air quality is poor, it can have serious negative impacts to your health. For example, take a look at what can happen if you have too much of these particles in your air:
- Volatile Organic Compounds: Found in cleaning supplies and other household chemicals, these air pollutants can contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches.
- Cigarette Smoke: As we’ve known for a while now, this pollutant is responsible for various forms of cancer – primarily lung cancer.
- Pet Dander: Dander is made up of tiny skin particles and can cause allergic reactions in people who are particularly sensitive.
- Mould: Mould spores found in the air can cause inflamed airways which lead to nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, and throat irritation. They can also cause people to get asthma or make it worse for people who are already suffering.
This is why it’s so important to regularly clean or change your air filter. We have hundreds of products to choose from to meet your specific needs. It’s incredibly easy to search through our product catalogue. For example, you can sort your search by furnace filter sizes and see all the products labelled furnace filter 16x25x5 in one place.
You can also search by filter brand and MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating. The higher the MERV number, the better the filter is at capturing unwanted particles. Most homes are fine with just using MERV 8 furnace filters but homes with pets or other contributing factors should look into getting a higher rating.
Besides regularly changing or cleaning your air filter, you should also take other steps to improve the air quality of your home. And one of those steps is to deal with your clutter.
The Problem with Clutter
Now that we’ve really stressed how important it is to have clean air in the home, let’s talk about one of the main culprits of poor air quality: clutter. If you’re someone who lives with a lot of clutter, do you find that you need to change or wash your air filter more frequently than recommended? That’s not surprising! Clutter can have more effects on your indoor air than most people realize.
The main problem with clutter is that it provides more surface area for dust, pollen, and other kinds of pollutants to gather. As the pollutants settle on all your clutter, they begin to accumulate, and often go unnoticed. It’s also an issue if you have a lot of items with fabric like pillows, blankets, carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture, because it’s easier for particles to get caught in the fibres of these items.
The second problem is that a cluttered house is difficult to clean and maintain. If you have a number of things lying around your home, how well are you able to vacuum, wash, and dust? These items will invariably get in the way and you’ll be less likely to clean everything properly, leaving behind pollutants that just never get picked up.
Lastly, another downside to a cluttered home is the lack of air circulation. Items that block vents are preventing fresh air from flowing in (particularly clean, filtered air), and what’s more is that the airflow gets blocked. With too many items in the way, the air won’t be able to circulate properly through the home, and what you’re left with is stale air that’s full of pollutants.
Is it Time to Get Organized?
Organizing can be a therapeutic experience that will not only make your home a healthier place to live, but help you in your day-to-day as well. This article from Psychology Today talks about the benefits to your health, including:
- Helps you feel more confident and self-efficient
- Gives you energy
- Reduces anxiety
- Provides physical activity
- Reduce tensions between people living together
- Find things you forgot about
With so many obvious benefits, it’s time to really get serious about organizing your home and getting rid of the things you don’t need (or put some things into storage). Here are some decluttering tips to help you get started:
- Designate a single spot to place all incoming mail and other kinds of paperwork like receipts; you can even get yourself a tray for this purpose
- Choose a new declutter zone each day that’s not allowed to have anything in it that doesn’t belong
- Clear off countertops of things you don’t use and put them away (i.e. a blender that you haven’t used in months)
- Schedule a time to declutter, like an upcoming weekend
- Try to visualize the room the way you want it to look
- Get yourself a maybe box for the things you’re not sure about
- Create a donate pile and make sure you actually donate it!
- Make sure everyone in the household is on the same page
Decluttering is a process that may take a while, but it’s definitely worth it. It’s not just about cleaning and organizing, but also about maintaining what you’ve done and developing good habits that you keep up with every day.
With your house rid of all the clutter, you’re sure to notice improvements to your air quality in no time.