Easy Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality (Source Control)
An effective way to improve your indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, wood burning stoves, and smoke, can be adjusted to decrease the number of emissions. Other elements including pollen, dust and pet dander can be reduced with duct sealing, frequent cleaning, and vacuuming.
Some of the most effective ways to improve your indoor air quality issues include:
- Duct sealing is easily the most effective means of solving indoor air quality issues. This will get rid of air leaks that invite contaminants into your duct system.
- Regularly clean and vacuum to remove dust, dirt, and particulates that build up indoors; be sure to change vacuum filters and clean dirt cups often, to ensure that the dust and dirt doesn’t end up back in your home.
- Use the power of nature to help clean the indoor air – buy some plants! Though chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide are anathema to human health, plants can thrive on them, while also removing them from the air. Plants that top the clean-air list include Peace Lily, Bamboo Palm, English Ivy, Mums, and Gerbera Daisies, all of which are easy to find and easy to care for, so even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still have a green home or office.
- Use non-toxic materials and furnishings – including wall finishes, caulks, adhesives, upholstered furniture, and carpeting.
- Use natural cleaning products, which contain no volatile organic compounds or toxic chemicals.
- Remove your shoes when you enter indoors, and prevent a host of dirt, dust and other particles from spreading throughout.
- Check air and furnace filters at least every two months, and replace or clean them regularly.
- Encase your mattress and pillows to protect against dust mites.
- Turn on hood fans when cooking to help expel fumes. Cooking, especially on a gas stove, releases chemicals that can contaminate the air, such as carbon monoxide. Use the fume hood fan when cooking and make sure it is vented directly outside the house.
- Turn on the exhaust fan when showering to limit moisture build up. Run the bath fan during showers to remove the heat and humidity; if you don’t have a bathroom fan, a small portable fan will do the trick. Keep the shower curtain or bathtub sliding door open after bathing to increase air circulation.
- Eliminate mold sources – Fix leaky pipes and keep bathroom grout clean.