7 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality for Apartment Dwellers

Do you ever think about ways to improve indoor air quality? What do you see when you think about air quality?

The infamous smog clouds in LA or something similar, probably. Most of us think of the outdoors and how much we as a species are impacting the environment we live in. With subjects like Global Warming and Arctic Ice-melt top of mind and heavily reported on, it’s hard not to think of what’s happening out there.

As a society, we’re looking at greener ideas to reduce further impact. Governments around the globe are initiating strict carbon taxes and continuously trying to source cleaner energies. Every day you hear more and more companies announce these huge endeavors, like Microsoft’s announcement to be carbon negative in under a decade.

The same mentality can be applied in your home. Indoor air quality actually has the potential to be deadlier than the air outdoors. Your home is your humble haven and you should be safe to breathe the air in your home.  Whether your apartment is small or large, the advice in here will make an impact on any living space. These ways are directed mainly at those living in apartments or condos because they’re so much more mobile than the standard advice to install this or that contraption. No, these solutions are a bit craftier than an installation

The list I made consists of some conventional ideas and some you might not have thought of before. They all have rental living in mind, so no need to worry about holes in your walls or crazy timelines, you can likely start the whole list today!

7 ways to improve indoor air quality for apartment dwellers:

  1. Clean the Air You Breathe
  2. Bring the Right Greens Inside
  3. Clean Your Soft Surfaces
  4. Adjust Your Cleaners
  5. Tidy Up Clutter
  6. Keep Air Circulation Top of Mind
  7. All Natural Renovations

That was a bit rapid-fire, so I’m going to break these handy tips down a lot further below!

1. Clean the Air in your home

According to BloomingAir.com, “There are so many options out there when it comes to air purifiers. How can you be sure you’re getting what you need from your air purifier? Whether you have concerns about mold and dust, have fur-babies at home, intense allergies, or maybe you’re a smoker, there’s a solution out there for you.”

Someone has almost always bought the product before you. Do your research and read credible reviews like the ones above. With widely varying options, each air purifier is different. According too Homeclimatecenter.com the aesthetics and functionality of a Dyson stand out but just make sure the one you buy has enough coverage to manage your needs at home.

Several models feature a compact size and can be ultra-lightweight. So if moving is always on your radar, you should watch out for something that gives you the flexibility you need. With some models not much bigger than the average houseplant, there’s almost no excuse not to pick one up.

Which brings me to the greener things in apartment living, PLANTS!

2. Choose the right greenery for your home

There’s conflicting information out there surrounding whether plants are good for your home or not. Choosing plants that don’t like to remain wet will ensure that you have a solid watering routine so you can do your best to avoid mold building up. With the biggest risk being mold growth, you have to be wise about your green thumb decisions. Often the plans that work best are the easiest to care for!

  • House Plants remove toxins.

Houseplants can remove toxins and pollutants from the air in your home as they give you and your family a boost in oxygen. Through a process called photosynthesis, houseplants can turn CO2 into the oxygen we need to breathe. You would have to have a ridiculous amount of plants to fully cycle your oxygen, but try to invest in some plants that will grow in the conditions you have at home. We all know how dark a north facing city view can be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have plants.

  • 7 Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Do some thorough digging and find the plant or plants that are going to do their best in your care. To go with the seven ways to improve your air quality, I’ve selected 7 plants that not only help you out, they’re stunning too!

  1. Bamboo Palm (Dypsis Lutescens) is a showy plant great for an apartment with a bit more space.
  2. English Ivy (Hedera Helix) is a timeless, easy to grow vining plant. Put it in a hanging basket or let it drape from the top of your fridge.
  3. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii) is the pop of color your apartment deserves. Hailing from South Africa these daisy-like flowers will add a little pop of joy to your home.
  4. Janet Craig Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis ‘Janet Craig’)  makes the perfect plant for a bright corner or nook. Growing to a decent height, this stunning plant adds a lot of drama to the room.
  5. Red Edged Dracaena (Dracaena Marginata) will add a touch of flair to your home with its leaves edged in red.
  6. Mass Cane/Corn Plant (Dracaena Massangeana) is probably the easiest to grow on this list. It’s wide and draping leaves often have a highlight of lighter green down the middle.
  7. Warneckii Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis ‘Warneckii’) is another stunning plant from the dracaena family. The sturdy plant is shown off in offices because it can tolerate such a wide range of growing conditions.

Whicher plants you buy, don’t forget to dust them, they’ll perform better, produce more oxygen, and you’ll reduce the build up of any allergens.

3. Deeply Clean those Soft Surfaces

From your couch to your carpet, try to clean your soft surfaces multiple times a week like you would your kitchen counters. Pet hair and dander can build up to intense levels for those with allergies if you avoid this.

Consider a vacuum with a HEPA so that you aren’t blowing around everything you’re trying to vacuum up. Another product where Dyson shines, I promise it’s because they’re just that good. Even a simple choice between carpeting and hard-surface flooring can go a long way. Since you can mop up the dust that vacuuming can miss, hard-surface floors can readily aid in keeping a high level of air quality in your home.

Don’t forget about your bedding and drapes! Change and wash your sheets at least every two weeks so that they stay fresh and your bed stays properly protected from the oils and cells your body loses at night. Investing in a mattress protector is a great next step to ensure that your mattress is as protected as possible from building up unwanted allergens.

Keep in mind that mopping really only needs to be done with simple water, I’ve got more cleaning tips next.

4. Adjust your cleaners

Switching away from chemical cleaners will make a huge impact on your life, especially if you’ve got tiny humans or fur-babies at home. A simple switch to a vinegar cleaning spray will change your world. I’m not saying get rid of all your cleaners now, that’s not economically smart, but instead consistently make the effort to see what vinegar cleans to your standards.

Personally, I opt to use vinegar all over my kitchen as a daily disinfectant. It’s perfect in a simple spray bottle 1:4 with water, try your sink, stainless steel appliances, counters, and so much more. This simple switch saves our environment and our lungs from harsh chemicals and aerosols, so it’s a no brainer.

Baking soda is another great adjustment to your cleaning routine, adding that extra scrubbing power you look for in harsh cleaners, baking soda can be just what you needed to keep to natural cleaners. Did you know that you can put baking soda in your kitchen drain and add vinegar for a burst of drain cleaning power? It really does the trick to manage kitchen pests like fruit flies!

A clean home goes a long way to reducing allergens.

5. Clear away unwanted clutter

The things in our home that sit on shelves collecting dust can really hinder the holistic health of your living space. We often forget about cleaning or dusting our nick-nacks and this can mean they harbor a ton of dust. 

Donate some of your unused or unwanted items if they have no sentimental value. Stuff for stuff’s sake isn’t worth it. If you can give someone the opportunity to brighten their home with a discounted decor item, share the wealth!

6. Circulate every chance you can

In order to have good air quality you have to avoid stale air, which means air circulation is crucial, you can use a ceiling fan or a tower fan for some nice air circulation. Even just opening your windows to regularly circulate the air in your apartment will do some good. By cracking a window open you’re bringing fresh air in and reducing your indoor air pollution. If you’re in a crowded city aim for traffic off times so that this isn’t counter-productive! There are also

Fresh air has a number of health benefits, too, so it’s a smart choice to let the air circulate regularly, you can . The increase in oxygen is good for your lungs, digestive system, and even your mood! Even if it’s absolutely freezing outside, popping open a window for just a few minutes can make a huge impact on your wellbeing.

Every time you’re cooking on the stovetop, try to use your hood fan, too. Basic ventilation tips like this seem standard, but we can all forget sometimes.

And finally:

7. Aim for an all-natural renovation

Your standard house paints and carpets contain harsh gases that can linger long after your reno. Even the furniture you choose could contain toxic fumes from industrial glues and plastics. Thankfully researchers are doing their best to improve the adhesives we use, but we can do our part as consumers and ask the questions.

Making these good decisions early on is key so that your result is a sustainable and healthy foundation. I know you’re not likely to be able to renovate an apartment, but this can go for any DIY projects you intend to have inside your home. Whether that’s updating an antique dresser or low and behold your landlord actually lets you paint.

These tips are not only effective, but they can be incredibly cost-effective solutions for any budget. You can improve indoor air quality in your home inside of a day and prepare your lifestyle for a shift towards healthier air to breathe.