According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the air inside U.S. homes may be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in some cases as much as 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. What's surprising is that newer homes actually can test higher for poorer indoor air quality.
While builders, architects, and designers succeeded in lowering energy bills in the '70s by building tighter homes, they ended up also adding to the problem of trapping VOCs inside homes. These fumes can be from building products, furniture, animal dander, as well as indoor mildew and mold. While it sounds funny, a drafty home is usually a healthier home.
But there are some steps that cost little to improve the indoor air you breathe. MSNBC Today contributing writer Lou Manfredini says these steps (coupled with the right indoor air cleaning unit) can help you breath a little easier this summer.
Step One: Keep your home as clean as possible. Staying ahead of dust and dust mites can dramatically improve the air you breathing. Dusting window treatments, around window and door trim and out or reach areas can help quite a bit.
Step Two: If you have a forced-air heating system, then have the air ducts cleaned. I'm constantly asked the question: "is cleaning my air ducts worth it"? The answer is yes. Even if your home is newer, you may have more construction debris and dust internally than a home older than 10-15 years. Make sure the cleaning contractor is a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.
Step Three: Improve your air filters on your furnace.
Step Four: Consider an indoor air purifier.
AdvantaClean is a company that specializes in residential indoor air quality.