Tips to Prevent a Stuffy Apartment
From noisy neighbors to broken elevators, living in an apartment building comes with its own set of challenges. Many apartment units fall prey to stagnant air, which can produce odors or make the space feel stuffy. Allergens, dust mites, pet dander, and general house dust in the air can affect your health. Air pollution inside the apartment can come from other units as well as from outside sources, leaving you feeling like you can’t catch a clean breath. Luckily, there are a few tricks to help you breathe easy. Here are some pointers for dealing with stale air in your home.
Keep Air Circulating
One reason for that stale, stuffy feeling is that the air in your apartment may be trapped. Apartments have fewer windows than houses and often have fewer air vents, locking stale air in rooms by design. Take control over the air circulation in your rental. Make sure all air vents are open and functioning (call your landlord if no fresh air is blowing through). Cross-ventilate your space with air circulators or fans. Air circulators like the Lasko® Wind Machine® 20″ Air Circulator Fan and the 20″ Cyclone® Air Circulator Fan with Remote Control are specifically designed to increase air flow and create air currents. The Lasko® Motion-Air Whole Room Circulator uses patented airflow technology that delivers 40% more air to your space. Position air circulators so that they create a cross-breeze with vents or windows, and use them in spaces without windows or access to air vents.
Replace Air Filters
Who is responsible for the air filters in your apartment, you or the owner? Is there a management team that oversees your apartment, or a superintendent or landlord on site? When air filters get too full, the dust and allergens usually trapped inside the filters contribute to stagnant air (and can cause sneezes). If it is your responsibility to change the filters, take the time to do so, and mark the date they were changed on your calendar so that they can be routinely replaced. If it is your management or landlord’s responsibility, reach out to them and make a formal request for the filters to be replaced. Note the date it was changed. Find out if your filters should be replaced seasonally or yearly, mark it on your calendar, and make sure the landlord replaces it as scheduled.
Open the Windows
As often as possible, keep windows open in a stuffy apartment to promote healthy air circulation. This is especially important in the bathroom and kitchen, where excess moisture and food odors can become overwhelming. Of course, it’s not always possible to have windows open 24/7, especially in the winter months. If your apartment allows it (check with your apartment management company or landlord), a window fan can easily be installed to help bring in fresh air without leaving the window open. Window fans fit snugly and securely in most windows, and use motors to push and pull air in and out of the room. A window unit like the Electrically Reversible Twin Window Fan with Remote Control uses two fans for air exchange. One fan pulls air in, while the other pushes air out, simultaneously. Window fans with Storm Guard® (like the 16″ Window Fan with E-Z-Dial Ventilation) allow you to close the window behind the fan during rough weather or for security purposes.
Neutralize Stale Air with >Air Purifiers
Invest in an air purifier. These devices work to remove stagnant odors and airborne contaminants by cleaning and clearing the air itself. A quality air purifier features a multi-stage air filtration system to remove odors, smoke, dust and allergens to combat and dispel air pollution. The Desktop HEPA-type Air Purifier with 3-Stage Air Cleaning System offers a compact design, perfect for smaller spaces like apartment bedrooms or home offices. The Pure Platinum HEPA Air Purifier with Remote Control and Auto Clean utilizes 3-stage filtration and a fresh air ionizer and is able to powerfully circulate more air and purify larger rooms in a compact, slim-line design that fits well in apartment spaces.
Keep It Smoke-Free
Consider making your apartment a smoke-free zone. Cigarette smoke easily embeds itself in furniture and clothing, contributing to stuffy, smelly air. Even when the cigarettes are put out, the scent can linger. If you must smoke inside, do so by a window with ample air flow and circulation. Box fans sitting near the window on the floor can aid in circulation, and some are made to fit inside a window (like the Weather-Shield® Select 20″ Box Fan with Thermostat or the 20″ Power Plus Box Fan). Aim your box fan so the smoke blows outward instead of in, and keep it on after you’re through to increase air flow. Box fans come in a variety of colors to match your interior design, like the Dècor Colors 20″ Box Fan in Black or the Cool Colors 20″ Box Fan in Purple, so you can find one that suits your apartment’s style.