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improve indoor air quality

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 90 percent of our time is spent indoors.  The concentration of pollutants indoors can be two to five times higher than outdoor air, so it’s important to take steps to improve indoor air quality at home. There’s a lot we can do to reduce indoor air pollutants like pet dander, dust, mold, and pollen.

Clean Regularly to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Floors, carpets, and rugs should be cleaned weekly with a HEPA filter vacuum. This type of filter keeps pollutants from returning to the air through the vacuum’s exhaust. While you’re vacuuming, clean hidden places where dust can collect, like the creases of upholstered furniture.

Mop hard-surfaced floors with plain water and vinegar at least once a week. To improve indoor air quality, get rid of clutter because it collects dust. Regularly launder your bedding and drapes to reduce dust.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Most HVAC filters need to be replaced or washed at least every three months.  Filters that are a minimum of two inches thick are more effective at lowering the level of pollutants in indoor air. Schedule duct cleaning services with an HVAC company once or twice a year to improve indoor air quality.

Eliminate Excess Moisture to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Both mold and dust mites thrive in moist conditions. Your home’s humidity should not exceed 50 percent. Purchase an inexpensive hygrometer at a hardware store. If you need to lower the humidity, use a dehumidifier in any area with high moisture levels. Fix problems that are causing excess moisture, like plumbing leaks.

Ban Tobacco Smoke Indoors

Breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke causes many illnesses, including lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and SIDS. You can eliminate this source of indoor air pollution by enforcing a no-smoking policy in your home. Create a smoking area outdoors that is away from doors and windows for family members or guests who smoke.

Invest in Low-Tech Solutions

Place a rug in front of your exterior doors to trap pollutants. Another affordable way to improve indoor air quality is to use hypoallergenic covers for your mattress, box spring, and pillows. The covers keep dust mites from infiltrating your bedding. Launder the mattress covers and pillow covers each time you wash the rest of your bedding.

OBX Home Inspections offers home inspections in the Outer Banks area of North Carolina. Contact us to request an appointment.