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How to Purify the Air in Your Home

How to Purify the Air in Your Home

Every homeowner wants to ensure that the air in their house is clean. Over the past few decades, our society has become more and more aware of the health problems caused by polluted air. We all know that allergens are a problem for some people, while chemicals and mold are problems for everyone.

Yet achieving air purity is not a simple task. Cleaning the air in older homes seems like a never-ending chore — and even new homes can have air quality problems.

Here are eight tips for purifying the air in your home.

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1. Get your ducts cleaned.

If your home uses forced air cooling and/or heating, the ducts should be cleaned at least once every year. Mold, pollen, dust, and debris build up over time, and unfortunately there’s no DIY way to get it out. So bite the bullet and call the professionals.

2. Invest in an air purifier.

These machines are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (and therefore doctors are cautious about recommending them), so it’s unclear to what degree their claims about reducing the levels of dirt and allergens in the air can be believed. However, they have definitely improved over the past 20 years and will have a positive impact on the air quality in your home (if used as instructed).

3. Choose home cleaning products with care.

Along with the pollutants that enter the home through the windows and doors, there are the pollutants that people carry into their homes and then release! Try to use cleaning products with natural ingredients and without harsh chemicals.

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4. Choose new flooring materials with care.

Another way that homeowners inadvertently introduce pollutants into their home is through the installation of new flooring (and other synthetic materials). Carpet, laminate, and tiles can all emit pollutants for a period of time after installation. Reduce such off-gassing by doing research before you buy flooring, by choosing a product that releases the smallest amount of harmful chemicals, and by ventilating well during and immediately after the installation.

5. Try wet dusting.

Keeping in mind that traditional dusting and sweeping propels dust and pollen into the air, consider “dusting” with a wet cloth and “sweeping” with a damp mop.

6. Clean old carpets well.

Old carpets can absorb and store dust, pollen, mold, and harmful chemicals. Ensure that they are cleaned regularly with a vacuum cleaner using a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorption) filter. If you choose to wet-clean old carpets, professional steam cleaning is the safest and most effective option.

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7. Clean curtains and drapes.

Curtains and drapes are no doubt what add to your home that final perfect touch of elegance, beauty and decoration and allow in the ideal amount of sunlight. They come to breathe life into a room as they complement the interior décor. However, Curtains and drapes mostly get dusty — very dusty, which means they need to be washed or cleaned on a regular basis. Although you can clean your drapes and curtains yourself at home, the best option remains to hire the services of a professional cleaner especially when it comes to those without a washing instruction label.

8. Monitor humidity levels.

In the bathroom and kitchen, ensure that the ventilation is adequate to eliminate excess humidity in a timely manner. On the other hand, if you use a humidifier to deal with dry indoor air, monitor the humidity with a hygrometer. Relative humidity levels of 30 percent to 50 percent are optimal. A level above 60 percent results in mold.

A variety of factors affect the quality of the air in your home. Therefore constant vigilance is required to maintain a healthy indoor environment. Every effort that you make is worthwhile, as cleaner indoor air results in fewer respiratory problems and a reduced need for medications.

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Featured photo credit: shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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