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10 Steps to Cleaner Air

The American Lung Association and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology offer the following tips to help improve the air quality in homes:

  1. Replace air filters. Air filtration can help reduce pollution from airborne particles inside the home. Try to do it the first week of each season.
  2. Remove moisture. Moisture allows mold to grow -- anywhere. If needed, add ventilation for the cooler months to reduce the moisture built up from day-to-day household activities. It also helps to fix leaks and use the bathroom exhaust fan when bathing or showering.
  3. Update fireplace. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you may want to consider replacing it with a vented gas model, which produces less indoor air pollution. Check flues and chimneys -- look for any blockage or cracks. Make sure the draft is clear of debris.
  4. Install a carbon-monoxide alarm.
  5. Inspect appliances. Hire a professional yearly to examine all your fuel-burning appliances -- furnace, water heater, gas range.
  6. Recycle. Use air conditioners on recycle mode.
  7. Wash your pets once a week and wipe their paws to avoid tracking outdoor dust and pollutants back into the house.
  8. Clean your floors with a damp mop or cloth. Don't sweep with a dry broom; it can make dust airborne again.
  9. Vacuum with filters. Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum cleaners/filters to remove dust.
  10. Get some green. Common houseplants (spider plants, daisies, chrysanthemums) can remove some indoor air pollutants.