Improve Indoor Air Quality

Hanging clothes to dry can decrease air pollution in your home.

Think about how much time you and your family spend inside versus outside. From your home to the car to work and to school, it’s not uncommon that the majority of your day is spent indoors. This modern phenomenon means increased exposure to indoor air pollution.

Everyday activities, such as cooking, cleaning, showering, burning candles and drying clothes, contribute to polluted indoor air. Pollutants coming from toxic materials, such as plastic toys, synthetic furnishings, cleaning solvents and building materials, can also worsen indoor air quality. Adding natural light and fresh air to your home can help combat the dangers of modern indoor living.

Here are a few steps homeowners can take to improve indoor air quality:

• Vent air while cooking: Always remember to turn on the hood fan while you’re cooking and open nearby windows and skylights. Try cooking oils with higher smoke points, so you produce fewer fumes. Palm, peanut, grapeseed, avocado and sunflower oils all have smoke points higher than 400 degrees.

• Use natural air flow: Hot air rises and cool air stays closer to the ground. You can take advantage of this natural air exchange in your home by opening a skylight or window higher in your home while also opening one below it or on a lower level. As fresh, cool air is pulled in, the warmer, polluted air will escape at the top.

• Avoid burning candles: Candles provide ambiance and often a pretty scent, but they can have a negative effect on indoor air quality. Opt for beeswax candles, which produce fewer airborne toxins. Or try battery-operated candles.

• Clean regularly: Create a home and pet cleaning schedule, and stick to it as much as possible. Vacuuming can help eliminate dust and dander.

• Dry clothes outside: When the weather is nice outside dry clothes outside naturally with the sunshine and breeze. Eliminating use of the dryer or dryer sheets decreases air-polluting fumes and moisture buildup in your home.

• Make home airing a daily habit: Even if the weather only allows you to air out your home for a few minutes, it can make a world of difference. Make a habit of opening windows and skylights daily.

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