Home Ownership: Simple ways to improve air quality

When it comes to the elements that make a house safe and comfortable, air quality should be near the top of your list. Poor air quality can result in allergies, colds, discomfort, damage your home’s structure, and even cause sleepless nights.  Here are a few easy ways to get better air quality.

Home Ownership: Simple Ways to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

  1. Increase Ventilation: Proper ventilation reduces the concentrations of indoor air pollutants and provides healthier air quality in your home. Start by making the most of exhaust fans or opening windows when showering, cooking, or using the dishwasher to let moisture escape your home quicker. If you have a garage, install an exhaust fan to the outdoors to prevent car fumes from entering your home. Make use of ceiling fans that draw up and distribute cool air from the floor on warmer days, and circulate warm air that collects near the ceiling on colder days.
  2. Change Your Filters: Many people who have forced air heating systems in their houses forget to change the filters regularly. Here’s a tip: change the filter when you change the batteries in your smoke detectors – at least twice a year.
  3. Go Easy On The Cleaners:  Cleaners that are tough on stains can also have the same effect on your health.  So use them with care.  After cleaning any surface, wipe the residue dry with a clean absorbent cloth.
  4. Balance Humidity:  If the air in your home is too dry or stuffy, it can irritate your skin and cause respiratory problems. On the other hand, too much moisture in the air can cause mildew, dust mites, and other conditions that can trigger allergies. That’s why balancing humidity is important. Humidity is normally measured by the amount of moisture in the air using a hygrometer. As a rule of thumb, the recommended humidity in your home should be between 30 – 50%*.  If the air in your home is too moist, a dehumidifier will help prevent a damp environment and protect walls, floors, and furniture from water damage. If the air in your home is too dry, a humidifier will add moisture and relieve dry skin and many allergy and asthma problems. It will also reduce cracked paint and plaster occurrences, as well as prevent wood floors from warping.


*Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

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