While your home’s indoor air quality is always important, paying special attention to it is critical in the cooler months. That’s because we spend more time indoors where indoor pollutant levels can be up to two to five times higher than outdoor levels. And our well-insulated, tightly closed homes tend to accumulate allergens and airborne contaminants. The EPA recommends three basic strategies for improving indoor air quality—removal of pollution sources, improved ventilation, and the use of air cleaners or purifiers.
Here are some tips, based on those strategies, for keeping your home’s air clean this season:
- Take your shoes and boots off at the door. This one tip, along with more frequent vacuuming, can dramatically reduce airborne contaminants and finer particulates.
- If you have pets, bathe them more often to reduce any fur and dander floating around in your home and keep them out of bedrooms.
- Increase ventilation with an energy recover ventilator (ERV). An ERV exchanges stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, as well as provides moisture control. Open windows and doors when you can.
- Run air cleaners or purifiers which can trap and kill bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and more—and keep them out of the air your family breathes.
- Don’t allow smoking indoors. There is no “safe” level of secondhand smoke.