Many people think they only have to worry about air pollution outside, but the air in homes and other buildings can become polluted as well. Illness from poor air quality in buildings is so common that there is even a term for it, sick building syndrome, and it leads to respiratory ailments, headaches, fatigues and other health issues. It is important to maintain healthy air quality in your home and other buildings, and it’s also easy. Air quality can be controlled through knowledge, source control, ventilation, and Filtration.




Discover It: It is important to know the quality of the air you breathe. Even if the air seems okay, there may be toxins present that can damage your health. Purchase a monitoring system from your local home improvement store or call a licensed professional to test your homes air quality. 

Don’t Deny It: Although radon has no odor other potential contaminates do. If something smells bad it probably is bad, don’t cover up bad odors with candles or sprays, find the source and remove it.


Source Control


Doormats: Preventing the source of pollutants in your home or building is an essential key to maintaining your air quality. Doormats aren’t only for decoration; they also prevent dirt, and other contaminates from entering a building. Placing two doormats at each entrance, one inside the door and one outside, will significantly reduce contaminates. 

Vacuums: No matter how careful you are, you can’t keep all pollutants out of your building. Be sure to Vacuum carpets, floors and upholstery twice a week using a high powered vacuum with a HEPA filter. 

Mopping: Even the best vacuum will leave some behind some particles. Always follow up by mopping hard surfaces like tile floors. A simple damp mop can be used to pick up remaining dust and particles and allow you to avoid strong chemicals which can also be bad for your health. 

Moisture Control: Keeping the humidity in your home under 60% will help prevent mold. Be sure to clean your dehumidifier regularly, or it can develop pollutants of its own which can harm rather than improve your air quality. Repair foundation cracks, and leaking doors and windows as soon as they are noticed and make sure all porous surfaces like concrete basement floors are adequately waterproofed and maintained. 

Work Outside: Projects that use chemicals like glues, paints, and thinners can damage your buildings air quality. So can activities like sanding, cutting, and drilling. Always work outside in a well-ventilated area. Working inside can’t always be avoided when this is the case be sure to clean up quickly and thoroughly.

Wash: Wash all of your bedding including comforters weekly to reduce allergens and dust mites and to remove any pollutants you may have carried to them on your clothing.


Ventilation and Filtration


Windows: While it is true that the air outside contains contaminates and pollutants it is likely that the enclosed space of your building has a lower air quality than the air outside. When the weather is nice, open your windows to let in a little fresh air. Be mindful of your allergies and consider the season and what is blooming outside when deciding if you should open your windows. 

Exhaust: Be sure to install exhaust fans that vent to the outside of the building on appliances like dryers and stoves and in areas like the bathroom where moisture and fumes from cleaning products can build up. Leave the exhaust fan running for at least 30 minutes to allow contaminates and moisture from building up and harming your air quality. 

Filters: Make sure that the filters in your air conditioning and heating units are changed regularly to reduce dust and other particles in your air. Ion generators and Electrostatic filtration systems can be added to the existing system to increase the buildings air quality. If you are using these types of systems be sure they are UL867 certified and California certified as low ozone.  

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