25 Ways to Clean Your Indoor Air

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25 tips for cleaning you indoor air quality @remodelaholic

 

25 Ways to Clean Your Indoor Air!

Did you know that the month of May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and in honor of that I am partnering with Filtrete to help you find great ideas to clean your indoor air(all opinions are mine!).  You wouldn’t believe it but according to the The American Lung Association the indoor air quality of your home could be 2-­‐5 times worse than the air outdoors, according to the EPA!  Yeah, that is pretty scary to me considering some reports say we spend 90% of our time indoors.

So, there are three strategies that the EPA recommends for reducing indoor air pollution, controlling sources of pollution, ventilating adequately and cleaning indoor air.  I’ve been collecting a bunch of great ideas for cleaning out your air.

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Filters: 

1. Proper Filters:   Did you know that the air filter in your heating and cooling system can help create  healthier indoor air by capturing airborne allergens such as pollen, mold spores, dust mite debris, smoke, pet dander and smog from the air passing through the filter.  Sort of like vacuuming your air!  (and you don’t have to put much effort into the work it is doing!  Bonus!)

  • Try out  the Filtrete Odor Reduction Filter which has a unique two-­‐sided design, with one side that captures large airborne particles and the second side that removes household odors.  It is the most effective 1” odor-­‐reduction filter at removing odors in the home—such as those from cooking, tobacco smoke, pets, mildew and cleaning chemicals—and is 65 times more effective* than other carbon filters {*Based on comparison of organic vapor capacity vs. other national retail furnace filter brands}   It last up to three months for odor removal and particle capture for air passing through the filter.  MSR Price: $15.99 which is a great price!  They can be purchased at Lowe’s,  Target,  Walmart, Costco and your local hardware store. Find a location near you by visiting FindMyFiltreteFilter.com

2. New filters: Change out your air filters regularly, the filter mentioned above lasts up to 3 months.  But if you are a big remodeler like me consider changing it out a little more often during times of construction!

3. Other filters: Don’t forget your other filters!   There are filters and screens around your home, for example  air purifiers, dryer lint screens, vacuum cleaners, range hood screens, bathroom exhaust fan grilles, etc.  Be sure to keep them clean or replace them as needed.

how to clean your indoor air

Keep it out: 

4. Please Remove Your Shoes.  Believe it or not your shoes and covered an a fine layer of chemicals, dirt, bacteria and mold.  Those contaminates will settle onto your flooring, carpeting and rugs.   Then As you walk around you can stir up these particles, causing you and your family to breathe them in.

5. Fresh air.  Opening a window isn’t always the best choice.  Be sure to check the air quality and pollen levels outside before opening the windows.

6. Cooking:  When you are using your stove top, be sure to turn on your outdoor venting fan to help moist, smoky or chemical laden air to leave the house.

7. Dry Cleaning:  Try to get your dry cleaning done with a few days to spare for them to air out at the dry cleaners!  That way you can pick them up after they dried completely and have let let off most chemicals.  There are also less toxic dry cleaning options, so be sure to do your research.

8. Attached Garage:  Be sure to open you garage door fully before stating your car.  When you pull back into your garage, also be sure to leave the door open for a few minutes after turning the car off to allow fumes to escape.  Otherwise overtime the carbon monoxide can enter your home.

9. Fireplaces: Be sure your fireplace flue is inspected by a pro to be sure that it is working properly and keep those particles out of your indoor air.

10. Bathroom Fans: When you shower or use hot water in your bathroom, be sure to use you bathroom fans to vent out all the steam and extra moisture in the bathroom air that can cause mold and mildew growth.

11. No Air Freshners!  Homeowners often turn to products to help mask odors in the home but often times do not realize that they may also contribute to poor indoor air quality.  According to the EPA air fresheners actually release VOC’s into the air.   Scented candles and incense may contain particulates, soot and chemicals.   For a safer air freshener, dip cotton balls in a sweet smelling extract or essential oil and stash them around the house.  (and don’t forget the odor eliminating air filters like I mentioned above!)

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 Cleaning Tips:

12. Clean Ducts!  Have your air ducts cleaned.  Make sure the contractor is a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (nadca.com) and uses not only high velocity air but a whip that is fed through the ductwork to loosen up any debris stuck to the walls of the sheet-metal.  A good resource for deciding when and why to clean you ducts is here.

See more great cleaning ideas on the next page –>

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5 Comments

  1. Thank you! This is a great, comprehensive reference. 30 years ago, after 2 big allergy patch tests, the doctor gave me a similar to-do list, including all the foods I couldn’t eat. I lived on cheese sanwiches for about 2 years! The only item I couldn’t cope with was getting rid of my cat. I found that following all the other advice cleaned up my environment enough that the pet dander wasn’t a big threat anymore. My immune system wasn’t overloaded with all the other stuff in the air and food, and could easily deal with the cat. Getting rid of the cat would probably have induced other illnesses like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia, low self-esteem, gambling, alcohol, and drug addiction. Just sayin’ what worked for me!

    1. Monica! I know I just LOVE having a little pet to love in my house. And my daughters ADORE her! I think life is sad without a pet. I am glad that working through everything else helped you enough to keep her! I am so glad to hear that this advice helped you, and I hope this advice can help some other people with similar allergies!… and I am SO sorry about the cheese sandwich thing, I think I would DIE, I love variety!

  2. I never thought of how taking off your shoes before entering your home would make the air quality better, but it definitely makes sense! Thanks for the tips.

  3. A great post Cassity! So informative but easy to apply. I don’t think a lot of people realise how poor the air quality in the homes can get. I think a lot of times problems such as damp don’t have very immediate or strong effects but over time they really can become life threatening. Would you cut off opening windows for fresh air entirely? I think it’s a good basic way to clear the air, especially for those who perhaps cannot afford to have specialist attention applied to their homes. Really interesting point about the plants though. It’s great knowing it’s there to improve air quality as well as to look pretty!

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