Reap the benefits of clean, fresh air
Clean home with fresh air

Your comfort and health will benefit from good indoor air quality. Breathe easier with simple strategies to improve your indoor air!

Breathe easier indoors

Not surprisingly, the best advice to follow for improved indoor air quality is to keep your home clean! We all want to breathe easy, but a build-up of dirt, dust and other pollutants can diminish the purity of the indoor air. Take some sensible steps to be certain the air quality in your home is the best that it can be — for the safety and comfort of your family!

1

Clean up

Using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter ensures that the dust and allergens you're cleaning up aren't blown back out through the exhaust. Regular vacuuming can reduce concentrations of dust and other toxins in your home — lead, chemical residue, and allergens from pollen, dust mites and pet dander. When vacuuming, don't just do the floors! Walls, carpet edges, floor boards and upholstered furniture all trap dust. After vacuuming, mop it up! A swab with plain water will pick up any dust the vacuum leaves behind. The new microfiber mops and dust cloths capture more dust than traditional fibers. People track in more than dirt on their shoes when entering the home — outdoor pollutants such as dirt, pesticides and lawn chemicals come in too. Have a large doormat in entryways so most pollutants are left at the door.

2

Lower humidity

The humidity in your home should be regulated at 30-50 percent — any higher is an invitation to dust mites and mold. Air conditioning can reduce the pollen count and keep humidity at a reasonable level. Make sure you vent your clothes dryer to the outside, and use the exhaust fan when you bathe or shower, as well as in the kitchen when cooking or while running the dishwasher. Keep the drip pans in window air conditioners or dehumidifiers empty and make sure there are no plumbing issues. Leaky pipes create a breeding ground for mold.

3

Check for toxins

Make sure your cleaning solutions are non-toxic. Natural cleaning products contain no volatile organic compounds. Materials used in furniture, carpeting and wall finishes, caulks and adhesives should be as chemical-free as possible. Read the labels! Paint with low or no-VO paint. Check your furnace filter every two months, and clean or replace it as needed. A well-functioning furnace is a line of defense in removing air pollutants inside the home.

4

Boost freshness

We associate certain odors with fresh and clean — that lemony scent of a clean kitchen or just-washed laundry. In reality, the fragrances in items such as laundry detergent, fabric softeners and dryer sheets, air fresheners — solids, sprays and oils, and household cleaning products emit dozens of chemicals into the air. Most fragrances are made from petroleum products. A plug-in air freshener can emit 20 different volatile organic compounds! Look for fragrance-free products for cleaning and laundry, open the window to let fresh air into your home and buy some plants. Indoor plants work as natural air purifiers!

5

Ban smoking

It's bad for your health and pollutes indoor air, so make your home a "No Smoking" zone. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, and second-hand smoke is a danger to everyone who is exposed.

Quick tip

Purchase a dehumidifier to use in your home during warm and steamy weather. It will make the house seem cooler and is a way to keep excess moisture inside from encouraging the growth of dangerous mold.

More air quality tips

5 Health-damaging household toxins
Reduce irritants in your home
10 Easy ways to improve the air quality in your home

Tags: air quality indoor air quality

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Comments

Comments on "5 Ways to improve indoor air quality"

Tina May 28, 2013 | 11:01 AM

I have been affected by black mold, sick building syndrome, negative air circulation and now have allergies and other health problems. I am wondering of the healthiest plants to clean the indoor air and that are not hard to take care of. Also recipes or other green idea's. Thank you, Tina

Greg January 06, 2013 | 12:30 PM

Unless you have an air scrubber there isn't a heck of a lot you can do to control your indoor air quality. Every house has a relative amount of exposure and inefficiency so the only way to truely combat the issue is to have a constant filter within your hvac system.

Ray June 01, 2012 | 6:35 AM

Another indicator of your indoor air quality is if you can smell lingering perfume or cologne you probably have a air quality problem get a co2 meter to find out just how bad.

harleyrider1978 June 01, 2012 | 5:29 AM

We’ve been told for years secondhand smoke is deadly dangerous but we are here alive and there are no deaths from it, not even close. It’s an exaggerated, created science all its own. It’s propaganda - fallacies created to have justifications for a new round of tobacco prohibition. I am for freedom, freedom for all people to have their own place in this world, including the smokers! Tobacco smoke maybe an irritant to some, but that’s about it. Its chemical makeup has been so exaggerated by tobacco control pundits, it’s insanity. Only 6 percent of tobacco smoke constitutes those 7,000 theorized and identified components of the smoke. Theorized is the word, since the claimed chemicals are themselves so small they can barely be detected. Nanograms, femtograms are the sizes of what can be detected so they theorize the rest. Four percent is carbon monoxide, while nearly 90 percent constitutes ordinary atmospheric air! These figures come from the surgeon general’s report in 1989. Oh the pundits may bring up benzene in tobacco smoke. The average cigarette produces roughly 300 micrograms of benzene (1986 report of the surgeon general. p.130) 0.3 micrograms - 300 nanograms. Benzene is normally found in fruits, fish, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, beverages and eggs. The National Cancer Institute estimates that an individual may safely ingest up to 250 micrograms in their food per day, every single day of the year. Thus, the “safe” exposure to benzene from one day of a normal diet is roughly equal to the exposure experienced by a nonsmoker sharing an airspace with smokers for over 750 hours. It’s a political movement and it was never about health. ...

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