Tips for Improving Home Indoor Air Quality


When most people hear the term air quality, they assume it refers to outdoor sources of pollution such as car exhaust, factory emissions, or high pollen levels. In fact, indoor air quality (IAQ) is usually a more serious concern. Modern Americans spend a good deal of time indoors, so poor IAQ can wind up causing significant health problems ranging from an exacerbation of asthma symptoms to the development of new respiratory diseases and even cancer.

The good news is that while there’s little that any one person can do about levels of airborne pollution outdoors, everyone has a certain level of control over their home environment. Read on to find out about a few simple ways to improve IAQ at home.

crawl space

Remove Obvious Pollutants

The first step to take is to remove obvious sources of airborne pollutants from the living environment. If anyone in the household smokes, ask them to do it outside, and move sources of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) to the garage or a detached storage shed. VOCs are common in things like paint, cleaning supplies, and other household products, but don’t assume that means they’re safe. Some VOCs are highly toxic, and prolonged exposure can cause damage to the kidneys, liver, or central nervous system.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

The next step to take is to make sure that the entire home features proper ventilation. For most homeowners, it’s obvious that the living areas of the home should have adequate ventilation. However, many people forget about attic and crawl space air quality. These infrequently visited areas of the home can quickly become hotspots for mold growth, though, and the spores won’t stay confined to unused spaces.

Maintain Healthy Humidity Levels

Relative humidity levels vary significantly between seasons in most climates. In the summer, homeowners face high humidity that can predispose their properties to mold growth. Most know how to combat this issue with dehumidifiers.

What not everyone realizes is that the extremely low humidity levels that sometimes accompany the colder months of winter can also cause air quality issues. Be sure to check relative humidity levels throughout all four seasons and consider investing in a humidifier if they get too low in the winter.

Use Quality Air Filters

All modern HVAC systems come with built-in filtration. However, the air filters that come standard with furnaces or central air conditioners aren’t always as effective as they could be. Higher-quality filters that can catch smaller airborne particles need to be replaced more frequently but they also offer significant indoor air quality improvements. Plus, more effective air filtration helps HVAC systems maintain their longevity by keeping particles out of sensitive equipment.

IAQ Is About More Than Keeping Things Clean

As should be clear by now, maintaining healthy indoor air quality is about more than just dusting exposed surfaces and closing the windows when pollen counts are high outside. Homeowners who want to protect their families from poor IAQ also need to remove obvious sources of air pollution, ensure adequate ventilation throughout the home, and use high-quality air filters, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers. If that’s not enough to resolve the problem, contact a specialist for additional help.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More