9 Ways to Improve Your Home's Air Quality

Unless you live somewhere particularly smoggy, chances are the quality of air in your home is worse than
it is outside. And since most people spend the majority of their days indoors, good home air quality has
significant importance. With better air quality, you’ll breathe easier, sleep better, inhale less allergens,
and pay less on your energy bill.

So how can you improve the air quality in your home? Here are nine simple ways.

1. Keep the House Clean

Perhaps the absolute easiest way to help cleanse the air in your home is to perform routine cleaning.
Vacuum and mop on a regular basis. Have everyone take off their shoes at the door so dirt and other
pollutants don’t get tracked in. And if you have pets, take extra care to reduce loose fur.

2. Maintain a Healthy Level of Humidity

Depending on where you live, maintaining a healthy level of humidity might mean using a dehumidifier or a
humidifier. The humidity in your home should be somewhere between 30% and 50% in order to discourage mold,
mildew, and dust mite presence.

3. Beware of Pollutants

Three main pollutants in the air can actually cause serious medical problems and even death. Those
pollutants are radon, carbon monoxide, and secondhand smoke.

Don’t allow anyone to smoke inside your home; instead, ask them to go outside. Install a carbon monoxide
detector and have a technician inspect all fuel-burning appliances yearly. Radon, like carbon monoxide, is
odorless and invisible and can only be detected by tests.

4. Maintain Your A/C

Have your air conditioner cleaned regularly so that dust and debris don’t build up. If you notice anything
off with your A/C unit, contact your HVAC technician so he or she can diagnose the problem immediately. If
necessary, update your air conditioner. More and more models are being put on the market that help keep the
air quality in your home at ideal levels.

5. Ventilate

A number of daily activities create water vapor-from cooking to showering to even breathing-which you want
to decrease. Simply opening windows can let out the water vapor and let in fresh air. Remember also to turn
on fans while showering and cooking.

6. Use Products With Low VOCs

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, include extremely toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde. Numerous
household products (including paint, hair products, art supplies, and cleaning products) contain varying
levels of these chemicals. Look for products labeled “low VOCs” when shopping for these items.

7. Get Rid of Carpeting

Carpet fibers trap chemicals, pet dander, dust mites, fungi, and dirt, and vacuuming may not get rid of
them. In fact, running a vacuum over the surface could send contaminants airborne instead. If you’re unable
to tear out the carpeting in your home, get a vacuum cleaner specifically made to handle small particles like
those listed. Otherwise, tear out the carpet and replace it with something like hardwood or tile.

8. Use Natural Scents

Synthetic fragrances that come from air fresheners or cleaning products release countless chemicals into
the air-none of which you’ll find on the product’s label. Opt for products that don’t have scents added. And
to get that fresh smell throughout your home, use baking soda or sliced lemons.

9. Grow House Plants

If you or someone in your house has a green thumb, another great way to help your home’s air quality is to
bring the outdoors inside. Countless types of plants such as Boston ferns, peace lilies, and gerbera daisies
are perfect for such a task. Many of these plants are also fairly easy to take care of-just give them a
little sun and some water.

If you still have questions or concerns, talk to your HVAC technician to discuss the air treatments he or
she can offer.