Whether you own or rent, are in a home for a short time or it is your “forever” home there are simple, inexpensive things you can do to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ). Research shows that good IAQ can be a contributor to good health, so taking steps to improve your indoor air is important!
1. Run your range hood every time you cook and your bath fan every time you bathe (and for about 20 minutes after you are done).
NOTE: If either of these fans are missing or not functioning properly – get them installed, repaired, or replaced!
2. Stop adding fragrances. Most scented candles, sprays, deodorizers, cleaning/laundry products add chemicals with known health hazards to your indoor air. “Clean” shouldn’t have a smell; switch to products with no added fragrances. Products that carry the EPA Safer Choice label are a great place to start!
NOTE: If you have an off-odor, address the problem at its source instead of trying to cover it up.
3. Dust regularly using a microfiber or electrostatic cloth.Allergens, dander, mold spores, chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and more have been found in common household dust. Dry dusting “stirs” up dust which just resettles on surfaces. Focus on removing dust by using a cloth that traps it.
4. Change your furnace filters regularly and using the highest-rated filter your unit can handle (MERV 11 or higher is ideal). Three (3) times a year is normally sufficient, but if you live in a polluted area, near wildfires, or have asthma or severe allergies, you may find you need to change more frequently.
NOTE: If you can’t change the filter yourself as your landlord or maintenance person to do it for you. Put a little reminder in your calendar so you don’t forget!
5. Store chemicals outside. Paints, pesticides, solvents, non-green cleaning and laundry products, and other household chemicals should be stored outside of the house. If that isn’t possible, they should be sealed tightly and stored in a cool, dry place away from forced air systems and ducts.
6. Declutter. Knicknacks, overstuffed closets, piles of clothes, books or toys (even neat ones) are dust magnets! Keep surfaces and floors as free of clutter as you can and give items in closets a little space so air can circulate.
7. Take your shoes off. Taking your shoes off at the door significantly reduces the particulates (like mold and pollen) and chemicals that come in from outside. Doubling up on doormats – one outside the door and one immediately inside the door – at all entry points to the house can also help. It is a good idea to wipe your pet’s paws too!
8. Vacuum regularly and slowly. Using a genuine HEPA vacuum is the best because it will capture the most dirt and keep the particles from getting stirred up while you vacuum.
9. Attend to leaks ASAP. Even small, “nuisance” leaks can become big problems so if you notice water/moisture where it shouldn’t be, make it a priority to address the issue.
For more tips and to get a deeper understanding of the issues in your home that could be compromising your indoor air quality – get your FREE personalized Hayward Score today.
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Our guide on indoor quality will help you diagnose possible issues and implement intelligent solutions to improve the quality of the air inside your home.