The air in the average home contains an unhealthy mix of biological contagions, chemical toxins and misery-inducing allergens. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s up to five times dirtier than the air outdoors. Here are five effective ways to prevent indoor air pollution so your family can breathe easier.
If your home is well-sealed for energy efficiency but lacks sufficient ventilation, pollutants are trapped inside. To increase air exchange, use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and make sure your attic and basement are well-ventilated. You can also boost controlled air exchange by having a whole-house ventilation system installed.
Test the Air
Even if you can’t smell or see most indoor pollutants, you can test the air to learn if they’re present and at what levels. Naturally occurring radon gas is one potentially harmful contaminant that’s easy to detect with a do-it-yourself kit. There are also test kits available to check for mold, carbon monoxide and hazardous volatile organic compounds, including formaldehyde.
Reduce Chemical Pollutants
Many common household products contain toxic chemicals and irritants. To reduce your exposure, switch to natural cleaning and personal care products. Whenever possible, avoid buying chemical-laden paints, adhesives, aerosol sprays, paint strippers and pesticides. If necessary, purchase small quantities and safely dispose of any leftovers.
Your HVAC air filter is designed to trap larger particles that can damage the equipment. To remove the tiny particles that degrade air quality, talk to your HVAC contractor about installing a whole-house electronic air cleaner. Depending on the type, an air cleaner can filter out 5 to 30 times more particulates than a standard HVAC filter, and also tackle allergens, mold, chemical vapors, bacteria and viruses.
Go Green With Houseplants
Plants not only beautify your home, but certain ones are also effective toxin filters. To help rid your home of pollution naturally, add two of any of these proven purifiers per hundred square feet of living space: English ivy, peace lily, Boston fern or spider plant.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air pollution and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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