Breathe Easy: 45 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

Indoor air quality refers to the quality of the air you are breathing when spending time indoors. Poor or compromised air quality can mean that there is a high concentration of pollutants or materials in the air or that the overall ventilation of the house is poor.

You may be surprised at how many contaminants we add to our own air while thinking that we are improving the cleanliness of our home. Anyone who has respiratory problems can attest to this fact. As such, we’ve compiled a list of ways to improve your home’s air quality.

  1. Vacuum with a HEPA filter
  2. Stop using synthetic air fresheners and petroleum-based wax candles. They only mask odors.
  3. While renovating, choose the low VOC options in finishes, such as upholstery, flooring, etc.
  4. Promptly repair any water leaks.
  5. Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking and showering.
  6. Make sure clothes dryers are properly vented to the outside.
  7. Periodically assess caulking around tubs and sinks to prevent leaks from entering walls.
  8. Check your house humidity: 50% in the summer and 30-35% in the winter.
  9. Regularly clean your humidifier and any other appliances with standing water.
  10. Change the filters in your home regularly, such as your furnace, air conditioner, air purifier, and vacuum.
  11. Use a HEPA air purifier, and make sure it has the capacity to eliminate VOC off-gases and does not produce ozone gases.
  12. Add some plants, and not of the silk variety. David Suzuki’s website hosts a list of plants as determined by the NASA program that can improve the air quality in your home.
  13. Open your windows more often; awning windows provide can air circulation no matter the weather outside.
  14. Groom your pets regularly to minimize the spread of pet dander. Brushing them in the bathroom or somewhere else with hard surfaces will help contain any spread during the grooming. Outside is even better.
  15. Wash pet beds frequently and clean out their carrier crates or kennels regularly.
  16. Painting a room? Remember to use low VOC, water-based paint options.
  17. Minimize the number of carpets in your home and choose low pile options.
  18. Vacuum at least once a week, including your upholstery.
  19. Use a reusable microfiber dust mop.
  20. Wipe down tops of doors, window frames, and window sills weekly as these make for great hidden dust collectors.
  21. Wash curtains and drapes often.
  22. Vacuum blinds at least once a week.
  23. Dust-mite proof your bed with good quality pillow, mattress, and box spring covers—choosing organic where possible.
  24. Wash sheets and blankets once a week.
  25. Check the grout around tiles for signs of mould and mildew. Use a “green” cleaning method.
  26. Check house shingles for signs of wear. Water could be collecting in the attic and forming mould.
  27. Live in an older home? Check for lead paint and asbestos in finishes such as paint and vinyl flooring, and replace as necessary. If you have asbestos, you may need a professional to remove it properly and safely.
  28. Air out your dry cleaning before bringing it inside or find an eco-friendly service.
  29. Leave your shoes at the door. Soil in urban areas can be contaminated with lead from emissions of leaded gasoline.
  30. Check your basement regularly for water leaks to avoid mould growth.
  31. Carbon monoxide detectors are a must. Detect leaks early!
  32. Buy furniture made of low-emission or solid wood materials. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen found in many products such as plywood.
  33. Choose natural flooring materials and low-emission adhesives when gluing to the floor.
  34. Have a workshop? Use a dust collection system or an ambient air filter.
  35. Dirt floor basement or crawlspace? Cover with 6 mil poly to prevent moisture from seeping into the house.
  36. Check your plumbing for lead in the pipes or soldering.
  37. Remove carpet from your basement.
  38. Lose the mothballs and try a cedar chest with lavender paper for long-term clothing storage.
  39. Avoid smoking indoors. Seems like a no brainer but it can trigger or aggravate asthma.
  40. Try a motion-sensor faucet in your bathroom to minimize germ transmission.
  41. Wood-burning stoves and fireplace chimneys should be inspected annually to remove any built up creosote or debris.
  42. Renovate wood-burning fireplace with clean burning gas insert.
  43. Mildew and dust can accumulate in your bathroom vent, clean it regularly with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol.
  44. Stop using antibacterial products. These create antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, and do not protect against viruses.
  45. Remove or reduce basement clutter. Cardboard boxes promote mould growth so replace with storage totes.

Canuck Plumbing can make adjustments to your heating and cooling systems that can help filter out some of the potential contaminants and minimize potential for mould growth.

Contact us today for a quote! 

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