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Improving indoor air quality


Last updated 8/7/2008 at Noon

When the topic of improving air quality comes up, much of the discussion focuses on how to improve outdoor air quality. But what about improving air quality indoors? Poor air quality indoors can be just as harmful as outside air - or even more so considering the amount of time spent indoors - making it a good policy to keep tabs on indoor air quality via the following tips.

· Dust frequently. Dusting is an easy chore when it’s done frequently. The longer dust is allowed to build up, the harder removing it can become and the more damaging it is to the quality of indoor air. When dusting, use microfiber towels and dusters, they attract dust, which will cling to the fibers instead of simply dropping to the ground.

· Adjust the stove. Stoves can be adjusted to decrease their amount of gas emissions.

· Clean the blinds. Blinds are common gathering places for dust, which tends to gather on the outside-facing part of the blind, making it look like the blinds are clean when they are not. Clean blinds weekly using the same microfiber dusters used to dust the rest of the house.

· Bathe and brush pets regularly. Pets contribute mightily to poor indoor air quality, particularly pets that stay outdoors while their owners are away. Pets’ coats are often loaded with dirt and dander. When animals shed, much of that dirt and dander is then scattered around the house. To avoid this, brush pets’ hair before they re-enter the home from outdoors, and be sure to wash them and their bedding regularly.

· Wash human bedding, too. If a human’s bed linens aren’t washed frequently (preferably in hot water) dust mites can begin living in the linens. Feather pillows and bedding also attract dust mites, so those might be something to avoid.

· Don’t over water houseplants. Some suggestions have hinted that houseplants can reduce levels of some chemicals in the air. However, no evidence to fully support that notion currently exists. What is known is that over watering houseplants can promote the growth of microorganisms in the air, which can affect those with allergies.

· Vacuum regularly. All sorts of dust and other things such as pet hair can collect in a carpet if it’s not vacuumed regularly. Anyone with a home that has heavy traffic should vacuum every other day, if not every day. An upholstery brush should be used on all furniture as well. If a home has wood floors, use a vacuum that is designed for such floors, as dirt and other items can collect on hardwood floors as well.


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