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Question DetailsAsked on 3/18/2017

What are good ways to improve air quality in your home?

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3 Answers


My suggestions would be:

- Keep your house well-ventilated

- Hoover and dust regularly of course

- Keep the bins shut and empty regularly

- Also, having plants in the house is great - oxygen production! I have read that Lucky Bamboo is a good choice (see attached article).

Anwering this question is motivating me to do the same!


Answered 3 years ago by ndharris


In addition to the good thoughts from ndharris:

1) if you have forced air or a central full-house fan ventilation system, use properly sized and airflow rated high quality air filter in the system - and keep it cleaned/changed as it dusts up (typically every 6-12 months except in very dusty areas or if you have serious shedders in the pet category).

2) you need both CIRCULATION and VENTILATION - ventilation is providing replacement fresh air (or in most cases recirculating much of the air through an air cleaning filter plus a smaller portion of outside makeup air as needed), circulation is making sure all the house (including any basement/crawlspace area) gets enough airflow circulating around in it that you do not build up stale air spots or start accumulating enough moisture that you get mildew/mold growth.

3) vacuum carpets frequently (commonly biggest source of indoor air issues) and shampoo periodically (typically every 6-24 months depending on how much dirt is tracked in and on kid/pet contributions) - and if you have shedders in the house, clean fabric covered furniture frequently too

4) clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces frequently (commonly every month or two) - walls and smooth ceilings and floors (more like weekly or more often for them) with soap and water (grease-cutting one like Dawn best for routine cleaning, TSP for serious deep-down cleaning through too much of that and you start wearing out the paint). Rough textured ceilings are hard to clean - dust them, and periodically you may need to dab-clean and repaint to keep a clean surface.

5) use mats inside and outside exterior doors to limit/catch tracking in of dust and grit

6) use kitchen and bathroom fans when generating steam or using significant hot water to vent excess moisture (including dishwashers which vent into the airspace around them instead of outdoors, which means most of them), and use kitchen fan whenever frying, boiling, or anything else that generates airborne grease or water vapor in quantity

7) make sure kitchen fan filter is kept clean so you get good airflow through it, and to prevent grease odors - tyupically every month or two unless you fry/stir fry a lot.

8) run liquid detergent (can be lemon scented like Mr Clean) through garbage disposal every week to three to prevent odors from there - cutting a lemon into pieces and running it through works well too

9) if you have sump pump that does not run frequently, put just a spoonful of chlorine bleach in a gallon to two of water into the sump, then after a couple of minutes pour in enough fresh cold water to roughly equal the volume of the sump twice over (so it pumps out a full sump volume or more) - this also gives you a good sump pump test to be sure it is working OK and not backflowing after it shuts off.

10) make sure the dryer vent is clear so you are not backing lint and moist air into your house (which is also a fire hazard)

11) clean clothes washer lint trap, and every few months run a half cup or so of borax powder (NOT Boraxo soap - but the laundry Borax powder) through the clothes washer with a dirty clothes load to clean the drum and seals. (Read washer manufacturer instructions first on this for front-loaders).

12) be sure hatches/doors to attic (if not part of the conditioned air space) are well sealed, both to prevent unfiltered air infiltration and for energy efficiency

13) use increased ventilation or dehumidifier if you have high humidity (over about 45-50%) in house or conditioned space basement

14) if crawlspace soil is damp, put vapor barrier in to limit moisture access to the underside of the house, were it commonly leaks into the subfloor to the conditioned space - especially in hot climates/seasons.

15) make sure everyone use laundry buckets - preferably ones with covers/flip lids - and does laundry before any damp or gym/exercise items can start mildewing - especially kids

16) yes plants generate oxygen - though there is no shortage of that unless you have an ultra-tight house. But they do put out a LOT of indoor moisture, so it is necessary to keep an eye on that so you do not start mildew/mold growth or condensation damage and mold growth on windows.

17) ventilate closets periodically (or use vented doors) to prevent musty fabric smell - and in areas where it gets significantly below freezing, put in spacers in closets on outside walls to hold the clothes an inch or more away from the walls, so they do not make contact and insulate the wall enough that you start getting condensation there - which can cause mildew on the clothes and wall

18) when conditions are nice out, turn off HVAC system and open a lot of windows and let the air blow through for a good many hours to thoroughly ventilate the house

19) make sure attic (the part outside the "conditioned space") has good ventilation (usually eave to ridge vents with gabled roofs) to avoid musty or mildew/mold conditions which can generally at least to some extent seep into the house

20) remember to clean curtains/drapes periodically, as they are great lint/hair/dust catchers

21) store fruits and vegetables (ones not in the reefer) in well-ventilated area so you don't get concentrations of odor from them, and rotate till used to avoid getting bad spots which can smell - hanging in nets works well for most of them. And store strong-scented foods in reefer in containers/bags - use plastic covered onion container for cut onions for instance, and don't leave things like garlic and such exposed unless you like that smell

22) run some lemon-scented Mr Clean or such in a quart or more of hot water through bathroom sinks and shower/tub drain every few months or so to deodorize - let sit at least 15 minutes before flushing through. Ditto to floor drains except use about a gallon water to flush out the water in there (which will go stagant eventually) and to be sure they are completely full. Don't forget basement and garage floor drains, and any under laundry appliances.

23) use recommended cleaners on any vinyl/naugehyde/leather furniture to clean off skin/hair oil which can build up a rancid odor over time

24) avoid "air cleaners" and such because they just mask any smells you should be leiminsting by resolving the issue at the source - plus they put a coating of the chemicals on clothing and furniture and alll over the house surfaces which eventually builds up and can start putting out a dramatically less pleasant odor

25) make sure fish tanks, terrariums, etc are cleaned

26) use a tiny dab of liquid dish soap in watering cans for house plants, to prevent/kill mold and odor-causing growth in the soil, and to kill gnat eggs in the soil. And periodically drain out/clean catch pans under pots to remove the stagnant water in them.

27) promptly and thoroughly clean frying pans, indoor grills, etc before the grease can start smelling

28) when cooking strong smelling foods, you may need to supplement the kitchen fan with some open windows chosen to best ventilate the kitchen - preferably if possible with the kitchen air going OUT the kitchen window rather than in.

29) frequently clean the cabinets and floor around the range and the wall and cabinets behind/over it, because spatter and cooking oils tend to buyild up there quickly.

30) follow manufacturer recommendations on cleaning any spa/jacuzzi/hot tub in the house, and keep water-filled items like hot tub covered when not in use to limit moisture contribution to the house

31) store chemicals, solvents, cleaners, etc in air-tight containers

32) prevent any accumulation of plant debris (leaves, etc) around the perimeter of the house, avoid any rotting woodpiles, and ensure the drainage around the foundation is away from the house to eliminate any boggy spots

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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