Prevent Indoor Air Pollution
Improving Indoor Air Quality With Prevention and Filtration
Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Keeping pollutants and contaminants out of your home before they start causing health problems for you and your family is much simpler and less costly than coping with illness after the fact. And maintaining healthier indoor air means you’re also helping to keep our planet’s atmosphere cleaner, too! Check out our tips for indoor air pollution prevention:
- Identify and remedy problems: Whether it’s mold, carbon monoxide, pollen, or VOCs, know what pollutants are infiltrating your home first and foremost. Check out this handy Your Healthy Home Guide for ways to identify potential issues and consider having your home tested for things like radon and asbestos. Next, take steps to remove the source of any problems. In some cases, adding a filtration or ventilation system to supplement your efforts will be necessary.
- Maintain optimum humidity: Excess moisture can be a huge problem for indoor air quality, so be sure to measure and monitor it on a regular basis throughout your home. If necessary, repair plumbing or structural problems contributing to excess moisture and/or install a dehumidifier when possible. For those experiencing excess dryness (which can also irritate respiratory systems), consider adding a humidifier to boost ambient moisture.
- Monitor carbon monoxide:If you don’t have a carbon monoxide monitor in your home, have one installed to be sure you’re keeping an eye on any potential CO buildups. The US EPA has a good Carbon Monoxide brief for additional information.
- Have an efficient furnace filter: Many pollutants can be removed from your air as it passes through your furnace. Traditional filters installed with furnaces aren’t adequate for this task, but by choosing a high-quality filter, you’ll be able to pull out up to five times more particles (and smaller ones, too) than a conventional filter.
- Keep contaminants out of your home: You may be bringing in pollutants every single day without realizing it. Contaminants enter our homes through building supplies, cleaning supplies, personal care products, dry cleaned clothing, air fresheners, furniture, candles, bug sprays, landscaping chemicals, and furniture polishes. Choosing natural, low-toxin options that have as little scent as possible is therefore important for air pollution prevention.
Proper air quality control measures
But improving indoor air quality isn’t just about keeping contaminants out of your indoor air, it’s also about maintaining a healthy air flow and getting toxins out when need be. Inevitably, pollutants will enter your home through various avenues and so you need a way to remove them. For homes, this means having a proper ventilation system in place to keep good air coming in and bad air going out. This can include a number of things:
- Fresh air: For green homes, one of the biggest challenges is air circulation - greener homes are well-sealed to prevent energy leakage, but this can result in a lack of air circulation. So to ensure you’re getting adequate levels of fresh air into your home, consider a fresh air ventilator which will draw outside air into your home, filtering it as it does so to remove dust, pollen, and bacteria. Properly installed and maintained, a fresh air ventilator can actually increase the efficiency of your heating system. Just be sure to follow government guidelines for proper ventilation system design.
- Air filtration: Adding an air filtration system to your home can significantly increase the health of you and your family by removing toxins and circulating fresh air. Read through this great Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home to help you determine the right system for you.
- Air circulation: It’s easy to forget about air flow in your home, but it’s important if you want to minimize the impacts of bad air. Be sure that you keep ducts and air vents free from obstruction (remove curtains, furniture, and toys that might block them). If necessary, this may mean having your ducts cleaned and sealed to ensure proper air flow throughout your home.