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There are several easy things that you can do that will
improve the air that you and your family breathe.

You may have to clean better. Think carefully about the kind of vacuum you have. A vacuum with a microfilter bag or a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter is one of the best, most practical vacuums. Make sure to maintain the vacuum according to the product’s instructions for optimal performance. As mentioned previously, you should also wash all bedding and towels at least weekly to cut down on dust mites that aggravate asthma and allergies.


Changing the filter in your heating and air conditioning units is critical. Make sure to do it regularly, according to the unit’s instructions. When possible, it is better to use washable electrostatic filters than washable reusable filters, as the former captures small particles better. Wash this filter at least monthly, but more often if your area is experiencing high pollution.


As you might imagine, hard surface flooring is more health-friendly than carpet, as it is easier to clean and doesn’t hold as many pollutants. Real hard wood flooring is best, as engineered wood flooring can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you are installing new flooring, be sure to check on whether it contains VOCs.


Your cleaning products and pet shampoos can leave harmful chemicals behind. Read the label before purchasing these products, including health and beauty products and air “fresheners.” If the product has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) number, that means the product is classified as a pesticide, but is not necessarily safe. Also keep in mind that labels that say “organic” or “natural” are not always safe for everyone.


Instead of using air “fresheners” like sprays or plug-ins, try increasing the ventilation in your home by running fans and opening windows, especially when you are using household products.


Having a carbon monoxide detector is important. Combustion appliances that burn gas, oil or wood give off monoxide and other dangerous gases. These appliances should be properly installed so that these gases are vented to the outside, but having a detector is important, just in case.



The American Lung Association’s IQ test will also test what you need to know about air quality, including facts such as these:

The air inside your home can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside your home.


As yucky as it is, dust mites feed on skin flakes. If you clean up one problem, you will clean up the other.


Installing a whole-house air filtration and ventilation system will provide your home with a continuous supply of fresh, filtered air.


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