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Improve Your Indoor Air Quality.

Most people spend over 90% of their time indoors, not knowing that the air they are breathing may be more polluted than the air outside. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that indoor air pollution levels can be 100 times higher than the air outdoors.

Breathing contaminated air puts the health of you and your family at risk. In fact, the American College of Allergist says that 50% of illnesses are caused or aggravated by polluted indoor air. So take control of your indoor air quality by reducing pollutants that can contribute to headache, lung irritation and fatigue as well as more long-term conditions such as asthma, allergies and infectious diseases.

There are so many machines available today for the sole purpose of helping us breathe easier indoors. But simply having an air filter doesn’t mean your home air quality is perfect. Mold, dust, and other allergens can accumulate in your air conditioner, humidifier, and air filter to make the air you’re breathing more polluted than ever.

Air ConditionersImage result for air conditioner

What they do: As anyone who lives in a hot-weather climate knows, air-conditioning is a must-have summertime comfort. But did you know that air conditioners do double-duty by cooling the air and also removing moisture so you feel less hot and sticky?

How to use them effectively: To cool down the entire house, central air-conditioning is usually the most effective way to go. Be aware, though, that a central air conditioner that’s too powerful for the size of the house will cool the air down quickly, but won’t have a chance to remove moisture from the air adequately if that’s a concern. If you just want to cool a single room, a less-expensive option is a window-mounted air conditioner.

Air Filters

What they do: Air filters remove irritants like mold spores, pet dander, candle and cigarette soot, and even skin cells from the air, making it easier to breathe, especially for people who have allergies.Image result for air filter

How to use them effectively: High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters generally cost more than ionic filters, but HEPA filters are more efficient at removing all of the airborne particles, says Dr. Portnoy. The best way to filter air for the whole house is with a filter that’s placed in the furnace, he says. Be sure to leave the system’s fan running even if the heat is not on to allow the filter to do its job.

Humidifiers

What they do: Does walking on your carpet give you an electric shock? Those sparks are an indicator that the humidity level in your home is too low. A humidifier can counteract this by adding moisture to the air.

How to use them effectively: Most people rely on stand-alone humidifiers to add moisture in individual rooms, which is fine if you can’t attach a unit to the furnace. However, according to Dr. Portnoy, the most effective way to humidify the whole house is usually with an evaporative model that can be placed in your central furnace. To give the humidifier enough time to work effectively, you may need to leave the fan running even when the heat is off.

 

 

Lisa Lewis. “How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality” Web blog post. Eco friendly. Better Homes & Gardens. March 2005

Images provided by Google.

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