Whether it’s in the office or the home, poor indoor air quality has long-term damaging effects on inhabitants’ health. This matters because Americans spend about 90 percent of their time in enclosed places, according to a research from the University of California at Berkeley. From necessary to optional, here are five of the most efficient ways to prevent indoor air quality degradation.

  1. Dust Regularly

Dusting may be considered a boring, menial task, but it’s extremely important. Without regular dusting, the rest of the suggested efforts from the list below will not achieve much. Indoor dust is constantly piling up, harboring hazardous particles including carcinogens. A dry microfiber or cotton cloth will do just fine for the flat and open surfaces, but for those hidden dusty areas it’s best to use a vacuum cleaner.

  1. Maintain HVAC Systems

Heating and ventilation systems require regular attention if they are to deliver high-quality performance. Regular servicing of HVAC ducts including dusting and cleaning should be scheduled according to the changing of the seasons, your system configuration, or whenever it’s needed. This assures a constant flow of clean fresh air and prevents dust from circulating inside. HEPA filters are very efficient and highly recommended to help filter out the tiniest toxic and allergenic particles from the air.

  1. Open a Window

More often than not, opening a window to let some fresh air in is the best way to immediately get rid of bad odors, cooking smells, and smoke. Of course, try to avoid or ban smoking inside. In urban areas, the best opportunity for fresh outdoor air is early in the morning when traffic is still minimal. Opening the windows also prevents the appearance and spread of mold and fungi.

  1. Don’t Overdo Air Fresheners

The worst thing about air fresheners is that they can’t really freshen the room. They simply add undesirable chemicals in the air, which, depending on the conditions, may pose a potential health risk. The threat is not alarming, but moderation is advisable. It’s especially important to avoid using air fresheners in children’s rooms. If you want a natural, pleasant scent indoors, try using some fresh fruits or herbs.

  1. Grow Some Houseplants

Other than the nice smell and the aesthetics, certain houseplants can seriously contribute toward improving the air quality in a closed environment. They replenish the oxygen in the room and filter toxins from the air, and they are also very useful in regulating indoor humidity and temperature. It’s certainly a great way of bringing a natural air purifier indoors.

Since there’s not much an individual can do to control the outdoor air quality, constantly maintaining the indoor air at its highest quality becomes a necessity. Taking care of the air in the places we occupy the most means taking the basic steps for health preservation. Timely efforts to quickly tidy up the place and refresh the air can go a long way in keeping us out of the doctor’s office.