10 Tips For Better Indoor Air Quality

Controlling indoor air quality is an important part of keeping your family healthy. In many instances, indoor air can be just as polluted — if not more polluted — than the air outdoors. Here are a few things you can do at home to increase the quality of the indoor air in your home…and a few you may need some help with:

Do-It-Yourself Tips

1. Invest in air purifiers. Air purifiers are an easy way to increase the quality of the air in your home. Look for in-room units with True HEPA filters and UV-C lights to kill up to 99.97 percent of airborne germs in your home.

2. Use houseplants to make indoor air healthier. Houseplants naturally remove airborne toxins like carbon dioxide, benzene, ammonia, and formaldehyde from the air. If you want a natural way to increase air quality in your home, consider buying an aloe plant, gerbera daisy, or other air purifying plant for your home.

3. Keep an eye on household chemicals. Becoming more aware of the products you purchase and store in your home is another way to increase indoor air quality. Many household products like paints, cleaning supplies, cosmetic supplies, and furniture polishes contain dangerous chemicals that may harm your family’s lungs if inhaled too often.

If possible, try scaling back the amount of these products purchased. If you must have them in your home, store them in low-traffic areas where the chances of inhaling these chemicals are lower.

4. Control dust mites. Dust mites are a major source of airborne pollution in your home. They produce dry, brittle shells and other airborne particles that, when inhaled, can cause lung damage. In order to reduce the occurrence of dust mites in your home, try washing your linens and dusting all surfaces weekly and keeping your pets off of your furniture.

5. Get rid of your carpets. Carpets are like giant allergen traps. They attract dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens and continuously release them into the air when disturbed. Consider installing hardwood flooring for the best air quality in your home. If wooden floors are not an option, vacuum your carpets as often as possible.

6. Install high efficiency furnace filters. High efficiency furnace filters filter airborne particles out of the air that circulates through your home’s HVAC system. For the best home results, look for a filter with a higher MERV rating.

7. Control your home’s humidity. High humidity in your home can encourage the growth of mold, mildew, bacteria, and fungi that may cause breathing problems. For the best results, keep the humidity in your home around 50 percent using either your air conditioning unit or in-room humidifiers and dehumidifiers.

Tips You’ll Definitely Need Some Help Implementing

8. Ensure your home is properly ventilated. Proper home ventilation is an important part of keeping healthy air circulating throughout your home. Opening windows and turning on fans can help, but if your home has a poor ventilation system, call an HVAC professional to help determine the best ways to incorporate mechanical ventilation into your home.

9. Test your home for radon. Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that lowers the air quality in your home and increases your family’s risk of lung cancer. If you are struggling with poor air quality in your home, have it tested for high levels of radon. If necessary, install a radon fan that pulls radon out of your home and moves it outdoors.

10. Relocate your HVAC unit…or protect it. If your furnace, air conditioner, or ductwork are located in areas with high levels of dust or grime, they may be inadvertently bringing contaminants into your home. If you have this problem, talk to an HVAC professional about the possibility of relocating your unit. If that’s not possible, discuss ways to insulate your ducts and protect the intake fans for your units to help increase the air quality in your home.

If you’re looking to improve the air quality in your home, consider implementing as many of these 10 tips as possible, and your family will breathe a little better.