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Blog/Opinion: How to Spring Clean the Green Way - Improve Your Indoor Air

By HHI Staff

Open up those windows and let the fresh air in! Besides opening the windows, here are other steps to improve your indoor air this spring and the rest of the year.


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In a previous post, we discussed how you can choose and make less toxic cleaners. Preventing contaminants by eliminating unhealthy airborne fumes from cleaning products is one of the best ways to keep your indoor air clean.

Remove air fresheners. Most air fresheners don't really “freshen” the air; they simply mask the odors. In fact, most add pollutants to the air in the form of toxic chemicals. If, despite cleaning, you have persistent unpleasant odors in your home, use true odor reducing methods such as putting out odor absorbers (e.g., activated charcoal, zeolite) or ventilation. If you still prefer a little fragrance, go natural and use fresh flowers, herbs, or other greenery.


Keep your home dry. As mentioned in the previous post, excess moisture can contribute to mold and dust mites. These can lead to poor air quality if not prevented by removing moisture via dehumidifiers, spot-ventilation, or whole-house ventilation.


Consider using an air cleaner. If you have allergies, air cleaners or purifiers can help remove pollen, animal dander, and other irritating particulates. Some units can help remove VOCs and other gases in addition to particulates. Here's an article to help you choose the right type of air cleaner, Filtration Strategies.

Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. As suggested at the onset, one simple way to ventilate is to open windows. However, opening windows is often less efficient than using mechanical ventilation. Most homes already have some forms of mechanical ventilation, so make sure your existing ventilation systems are in good order (e.g., ductwork cleaned and well sealed, exhaust is venting outside the home). Then decide if additional mechanical ventilation would be right for your home. Some common additions are ERVs or HRVs. See A Ventilation Guide from HVI.

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The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


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(Note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)

How to Spring Clean the Green Way - Improve Your Indoor Air:  Created on May 6th, 2011.  Last Modified on May 12th, 2011


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