8 WAYS TO IMPOVE AIR QUALITY

Air pollution in your home can be just as bad - or even worse - than outdoors. With the average American sending 87% of their life indoors, you'd think that indoor air quality would be something we'd hear about more often. Don't panic! With a little preventative maintenance and some basic knowledge, you can take steps to improve air quality today.

Air pollutants can range from contaminants brought in from the outdoors by your pets to dangerous gas leaks. Carbon monoxide is a common pollutant resulting from natural gas that escapes into your home without being burned off. In bathrooms and kitchens, mold and mildew can become a nuisance where moisture levels are typically higher than in the rest of your house.

Here are 8 things you can do right away to improve the air quality in your home.

1. Change your air filter: Air conditioning systems are always working to give you home that perfect temperature all year round. But while they're cycling through all that air, they're filtering out some of those common air pollutants. Eventually, their air filters fill up and stop doing their job. Not only does that cause trouble for you indoor air quality, it also wears down you AC system. This can lead to costly repairs down the road.

2. Don't forget about other filters: Your AC filter isn't the only thing working to keep the air clean in your home. Be sure to check the filter in your other household appliances. Your vacuum cleaner, clothes dryer and kitchen vents should all be inspected.

3. Check you air ducts: Air ducts are responsible for distributing hot and cold air throughout your home. Duct that are not installed properly or maintained can distribute contaminants from one room to another. Dust, dander and even mold can accumulate in your ducts, reducing the overall air quality.

4. Use cooking vents: Many air pollutants come from the kitchen. Gas stoves release harmful contaminants, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Electric burners produce those same pollutants in lower levels.

5. Keep your rugs and carpets clean: Rugs and carpets do more that increase the comfort of your home. They act as their own air filters, trapping dust and other particles in their many fibers. Clean carpets and rugs weekly and they will keep working for you.

6. Control Humidity in your Home: Humid and moist conditions breed mold and mildew that can trigger respiratory issues like allergies and asthma. The hot summer months can bring about humid conditions. Reduce the amount of moisture in the air and curb the growth of molds with a few well-placed dehumidifiers.

7. Buy indoor plants to freshen the air: Plants are nature's natural air filters. Buying a few plants can do wonders to improve the indoor air quality in your home.

8. Install a Residential Air Cleaner: No maintenance air purifiers for residential air conditioning systems.