28 Tips to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality, Part 1
In observance of National Care About Your Indoor Air Month, I posted a new indoor air quality tip each day during the month of February on Twitter and Facebook. The first 7 are listed below—just in case you missed one. Stay tuned for the next three installments to read all of our better air tips!
- Change or clean your air filters regularly. One of the keys to keeping your indoor air quality clean and healthy is to change the air filters in your air purifier, window or portable air conditioner, central air system, and other filter-containing devices according to manufacturer guidelines. This will also protect the life of the appliance. Join our Better Air Program to receive free convenient reminders when it is time to replace your air purifier filters.
- Use “green” cleaning solutions like steam cleaners. Steam cleaners and similar products are great for removing unwanted dirt, debris, bacteria, and viruses from your indoor environment without the use of harsh chemicals. Since steam cleaners just use ordinary water as the cleaning agent, no chemical residues or noxious odors are left behind.
- Line dry clothes outside or use a safe dryer setting. Some clothes can’t be safely dried in a clothes dryer, so many people opt to hang them in the bathroom. Hanging clothes in the bathroom can actually foster unhealthy humidity levels and encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Line drying clothes outside or using the dryer when possible will help you maintain healthy air quality in your bathroom and throughout your entire home.
- Properly ventilate your home to reduce exposure to VOCs and other indoor air pollutants. Placing ventilation fans in kitchens and bathrooms, occasionally opening windows to let in fresh air, and ensuring that central heating and air systems are properly installed can go a long way toward improving your home’s indoor air quality.
- Maintain a smoke-free home. Exposure to secondhand smoke poses serious health risks for everyone. However, children are exceptionally vulnerable since they are still growing and developing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), children exposed to secondhand smoke are at greater risk for asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.
- Use houseplants to naturally remove airborne irritants from your indoor environment. Research published in 1989 by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA)—now known as PLANET (Professional Landcare Network)—revealed that common household plants can help remove harmful indoor air contaminants including formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Read our Household Plants Improve Indoor Air Quality blog for a list of 15 helpful plants.
- Install a radon detector. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas found in many homes. While low levels of radon pose little to no threat, exposure to high levels of radon can lead to a variety of health problems including cancer. A radon detector will alert you when radon gas levels reach dangerously high levels, giving you an opportunity to call a professional and restore a healthy indoor air quality to your home.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our 28 Tips to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality series.
In the meantime, visit the Sylvane Learning Center for a wealth of resources on indoor air quality, indoor air quality product buying guides, allergies, asthma, and more.