1. Hot and cold spots
This sort of ” bad air” tends to lurk near sunny windows or drafty doors. You can reduce the effect of these trouble spots and the temperature ups and downs by using a variable-speed furnace. A variable speed furnace helps by running at low speed most of the time which keeps air circulating and preventing inconsistent thermal build up in these areas, plus end up costing you less money in the long run.
2. Firewood nearby
Firewood stacked less than 30 feet from your home is an invitation to termites, mold and a fire risk. Stack firewood on the uphill side of your home when possible.
3. Ineffective Gutters and downspouts
Keep gutters free of leaves and dirt. Using a stiff brush or a water house can be a help and make sure downspouts are positioned to carry water away from your home to help prevent mold growth.
4. Year-round allergies
Even in homes that look clean, your allergies may be aggravated by airborne contaminants like pollen, mold spores, or pet dander. HEPA Filtration systems remove up to 99.97% of the small particles that standard disposable filters can’t stop.
5. Mold and mildew
Dampness and darkness are perfect conditions for fungus growth along with mildew and mold. They can grow on most surfaces including clothing, leather, lawn chairs, and shower tiles. Make sure fabrics are clean and dry before you put them away, use a squeegee in your shower to get excessive water off tiles after use and use a dehumidifier to keep your humidity between 45% and 55%. If you get mildew, try using bleach to kill it off and help clean it up.
6. Use of ozone producing systems
Some home filtration systems can make the air worse by producing ozone. Most electrical appliances produce some amount of ozone but these air filtration systems use ozone in an attempt to make your air smell cleaner. Not a very wise idea given that the American Lung Associations says ozone can trigger shortness of breath and chest pain, this is in part because your body can’t process ozone, but mistaken it for normal oxygen. Choosing an ozone-free filtration system to protect your indoor air quality can be a big help!
7. Dying houseplants?
House plants need a bit of moisture in the air to thrive. Taking baths instead of showers, setting a heat-resistant container of water on a wood-burning stove and installing a whole-house humidifier will help keep the humidity in your home more constant, easier to breath for you and your plants.
Books, collectibles, and stuffed toys collect dust and cluttered closet floors are hard to clean. Keeping your home simple helps keep it clean.
9. Dusty surfaces
Dust is unattractive and can cause you to sneeze a lot. Weekly vacuuming can help keep dust under control and air cleaners and changing your furnace filter once a month can greatly reduce the amount that builds up. Plus changing that furnace filter is good for improving the service life of your furnace anyway.
10. Lingering odors
Avoid using toxic household cleaning products except when completely necessary. The fumes from these products can linger and stack. Just cutting down on there use can greatly improve the smell of your home.
There are many other good web sites for more information on keeping your home clean. The following are some good starting points.
- NEA Health network has some great information. While there indoor air quality section is a bit broad, there are many useful gems there.
- Indoor Air Quality has many good tips of there own and links to many other resources. There facts and problems and solutions pages are of particular help.
- The United States Department of labors Occupational Safety & Health Administration has some information, however you will need to dig through some rather extensive documents to get at it.