Improving Indoor Air Quality
Our homes harbor more than just our families and possessions. Home is also where pollutants, allergens, and other irritants accumulate and thrive, with possible harmful effects on our health. There are simple steps homeowners can take to improve the air quality in their home and increase their comfort and well-being.
GET A HANDLE ON HUMIDITY
Keep indoor humidity below 50% to help prevent mold and dust mite growth. Once mold gets established it can continue to grow even at lower humidity levels. Use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms, make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outdoors, and address any leaks or condensation issues. A dehumidifier can help in especially humid locations such as basements.
Dust can contain pollen, mold spores, lint, animal dander, bacteria and more. While it’s impossible to completely rid a home of dust, there are ways to help control it. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter that traps small particulate matter. Change or clean the furnace filter regularly, according to manufacturer’s instructions. High-quality furnace filters are more expensive but do a better job of filtering dust, pet hair and other particles.
Open doors and windows whenever possible to improve air circulation and allow the house to “breathe” fresh air.
Choose cleaning products with environmentally friendly formulations. Many of these products do an equal or better job than their conventional counterparts. Dispose of old paint, pesticides, solvents and other products so they aren’t leaking fumes into the home. Check local requirements on how to properly dispose of such items.
By taking these relatively easy steps, homeowners can truly make their home a breath of fresh air.