Improve Indoor Air Quality at Home

Modern homes are very well insulated so indoor air temperatures can be maintained.   But air-tight homes can mean that chemicals get trapped indoors, leading to poor indoor air quality.  So what can you do to improve the indoor air quality of your home?  You have options.

Make sure your home is well ventilated; if your home doesn’t have a built-in ventilation system, install vents in your home or open up the windows more often to improve indoor air quality. Bring the outdoors inside with indoor plants.   There are many common varieties of houseplants have been proven to remove harmful chemicals from the air in your home and improve indoor air quality.

The following article from offers insight on the causes of poor indoor air quality, how poor indoor air quality affects your health, and what steps you can take to improve your indoor air quality at home.

How To Improve Air Quality At Home

Your home should be your sanctuary. It should offer a safe haven from the chaos of the world, a place to retreat and rejuvenate at the end of a long day. In some cases however, your home may be harboring pollutants that make it an environment that can jeopardize our health.

When it comes to air quality, indoor air is often worse than the air you breathe when outside. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve the quality of air you breathe at home, reducing the negative health effects resulting from breathing "bad" air. Here we look at a few ways you can breath new life into the air quality inside your home.

Recognize the signs of poor air quality

Home construction today results in buildings that are more airtight than those built in the past. Heating and cooling systems are more efficient when hot or cold air is kept out of the home. Unfortunately, this lack of fresh air circulation can lead to the following conditions which suggest a lower level of air quality inside your home.

  • lack of air movement, stale or stuffy air
  • unusual odors
  • noticeable odors
  • excessive humidity
  • mold and mildew

There are other causes of poor air quality beyond lack of fresh air. Indoor air contaminants such as chemicals, dust, and vapors also contribute to reduced air quality in a home. Certain building materials and even appliances can reduce indoor air quality.

How poor air quality affects your health

Depending on the air quality in your home, you may experience minor reactions or, in extreme cases, severe illness. For those who suffer from allergies or asthma, poor air quality will exacerbate the problems associated with these conditions.

Common symptoms reported from individuals affected by poor indoor air quality include; headache, shortness of breath, coughing and sneezing, congestion, fatigue and dry or irritated skin, nose, throat and eyes. If you are unsure whether air quality is to blame for health issues, keep track of when you notice symptoms the strongest. Do you notice symptoms are present at all times, even when you are outside or not in your home? If your symptoms go away when you leave your home, only to return a few hours after you arrive back, it is time to address the air quality of your home.

How to improve the air quality of your home

There are dozens of ways to improve the air quality of your home. Assuming you have eliminated any obvious air pollutants, consider the following general tips to help improve your indoor air quality.

  • Vacuum and mop regularly. Dust can be a major factor in poor air quality, and it is also present in every home. Regular vacuuming and mopping can reduce the chemicals and allergens which accumulate in dust. Invest in a quality vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter that not only picks up dust but also prevents it from being redistributed out of the exhaust.
  • Keep humidity levels down. By reducing the moisture levels in your home, you control the growth of mold, mildew and other allergens that thrive in moist conditions. A dehumidifier as well as air conditioning in the summer months will greatly reduce indoor air pollutants.
  • No smoking. Do not allow smoking in your home, period. If you are a smoker or live with a smoker, make a commitment to smoke outdoors. Secondhand smoke is one of the biggest indoor air pollutants and also one of the most easily managed.
  • Clean naturally. Cut out synthetic fragrances and opt for a clean, fresh scent in your house. All of the products available today to make your home smell "good" may also be contributing to the poor air quality in your home. Consider using natural cleaners instead of chemical cleaners. Open a window to allow for the circulation of fresh air, which will reduce stuffiness and odors that become trapped in the home.

By improving the indoor air quality in your home, you make it possible to enjoy your residence while reducing the negative health consequences resulting from poor indoor air quality.

When you want your home to smell good – think about the effects it can have on your indoor air quality. You can still make your home smell good naturally, by using fragrance-free or naturally-scented laundry products, using lemons and baking soda to clean the kitchen, and letting in the fresh air from outside. Each of these can have an affect on indoor air quality.

To keep your healthy indoor air quality levels healthy, keep your floors fresh. Keep as much dirt, pesticides and other pollutants out of your home as possible with a large floor mat. Even if people coming into your home don’t wipe their shoes, most pollutants will be left on a large mat and out of the rest of your home. When the indoor air quality is good at home, you will notice the difference and be able to live more comfortably at home. Follow these tips to better your indoor air quality.