Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. These three strategies from the Environmental Protection Agency will help improve air quality in your home.

Source control. The most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. For example, areas that contain asbestos can be sealed off or enclosed, and gas stoves can be adjusted to decrease their emissions.

Improved ventilation. Heating and cooling systems don’t usually bring fresh air into your home. To increase the amount of outdoor air that comes inside, open windows and doors, operate window or attic fans when the weather permits, or run a window air conditioner with the vent control open. And save pollutant-emitting activities like painting, sanding, soldering or welding for outside.

Air cleaners. There are many types and sizes of air cleaners on the market, from relatively inexpensive tabletop models to sophisticated and expensive whole-house systems. Some air cleaners are highly effective at particle removal, while others are much less so. In general, air cleaners are not designed to remove gaseous pollutants.

For a simpler solution, try a plant. Although it has not been scientifically proven, there is some evidence that household plants can help remove significant quantities of pollutants from the air in your home. But be careful: overwatering plants can be detrimental to your home’s air quality — damp soil can promote the growth of microorganisms.

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