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6 Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

A dehumidifier, a vacuum, and an air purifier
GE/Dirt Devil/Blueair

Poor air quality in your home can cause a number of health problems, including asthma and allergies. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to ensure the air in your home is always as clean as possible.

To maintain healthy air, there are some preventative measures you can take, in addition to regularly checking for dangerous pollutants. Here are some tips to help you improve and maintain the air quality in your home, and keep your family safe.

Invest In an Air Purifier

An air purifier in a home

An air purifier filters and traps dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens that circulate throughout your home. The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ is ideal for any home. Its advanced, Swedish design uses filter technology to capture 99% of airborne pollutants, including viruses, pollen, dust, pet dander, mold, and bacteria.

The activated carbon filter also reduces gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and odors from pets, smoking, cooking, and wildfires. The fabric pre-filters are even machine-washable. Plus, with a noise level of only 31-56 decibels, you’ll never even notice when it’s doing its job.

Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier

Filter all indoor air and keep it clean.

Keep the Floors as Clean as Possible 

A vacuum and a broom
Dirt Devil/TreeLen

Floors accumulate dirt, bacteria, and dander daily, all of which can easily be kicked around into the air and adversely affect your health. To keep your floors clean and eliminate harmful particles, try to vacuum or sweep regularly and wet mop at least once a week.

Dustpan with Broom Combo

All you need to keep hard-surface flooring clean.

If you want to invest in a good vacuum that’ll also improve your indoor air quality, the lightweight Dirt Devil Endura packs some serious power in a compact design. Its easy-empty dirt cup and hassle-free maintenance make it a breeze to maintain. However, its main benefit is you can use it on carpets, hardwood, or tile.

Dirt Devil Endura Reach Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Use it on any type of flooring, from carpets to tile.

Change Your Air Filters

Air conditioning units, heaters, air purifiers, and many other appliances use air filters to trap dirt, pollen, and other allergens. Over time, these filters get clogged with all the debris they’re collecting. Not only will a dirty filter be unable to capture any pollutants, but it’ll also actually spit the gunk right back out into your home.

This is why it’s so important to check the air filters on all of your appliances and systems at least once a month to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced. Disposable air filters generally need to be changed every one to three months, however, this varies depending on the type of appliance and/or manufacturer.

You should be able to find out how often you need to change the filter on anything in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

Generally, reusable filters should be cleaned every month, again, though, this can vary by model and how much debris is being sent through the filter daily. To clean air filters, all you have to do is rinse them in warm water, and gently scrub them with a soft-bristle brush and mild detergent.

Control the Humidity

A dehumidifier in a home

Dust mites, bugs, and mold all love moisture. Keeping the level of humidity in your home between 30-50% is the optimal way to deter pollutants and pests.

The following are some simple ways you can reduce the moisture in your home:

  • Always use an exhaust fan while cooking.
  • Make sure all vents are pointed outside.
  • Fix any leaky pipes.

A dehumidifier is another way you can reduce moisture and control allergens. This portable model by GE removes up to 35 pints of moisture from the air each day, making it perfect for basements, garages, and any other area that’s always a bit too damp.

It even alerts you when it’s time to empty its bucket or clean the filter, so there’s no guesswork when it comes to maintenance.

GE Portable Dehumidifier

Perfect for damp areas and easy to maintain.

Keep Up with HVAC Maintenance

HVAC units, like your air conditioning system and furnace, play an important role in the quality of the air in your home. Regular furnace and air conditioning maintenance will ensure that everything is working properly and not contributing to poor air quality.

The technician will also check all filters, and can identify and/or fix any cracks or damage, or clean your home’s air ducts.

Keeping up with basic HVAC system maintenance will not only help your system last longer, but it’ll also ensure it’s always working efficiently. Who wants higher energy bills because their furnace or AC is having to work harder than necessary?

Test for Radon

A radon test kit
Health Metric

Radon is an odorless gas that can cause lung cancer, so you certainly don’t want it in your home. Although it’s far more common in certain areas than others, radon can be found in any home. It comes from the ground and, typically, leaks in through cracks in the foundation and/or walls.

Fortunately, testing for radon is easy to do and inexpensive. You can buy a test kit online or at any home improvement store and the test only takes a few minutes.

Radon Test Kit for Home

Make sure your home is radon free.

If the test is positive for radon, there are some steps you can take to eliminate it from your home:

  • Ventilate: Open as many windows as you can (all of them, if possible) and use fans.
  • Close off the source: If a basement, garage, or crawl space is the source, keep the door closed and sealed and try to limit its use until you can hire a professional.
  • Seal all cracks: If you only have a small amount of radon in your home, caulk any holes and cracks, and then test again.

If these tips don’t work and you have to hire a professional, the Environmental Protection Agency has a guide that will walk you through the necessary steps.

It’s easy to think of air pollution as an outdoor problem, but air doesn’t stay outside. Checking the quality of the air inside your home will not only help you keep allergens at bay, but it could also alert you to any harmful pollutants before they impact anyone’s health.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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