Fall means pleasant weather in the D.C.-area – and potentially worse indoor air quality. Your home’s heating and cooling systems don’t need to run much this time of year, leading to less circulation and fresh-air exchange. Those of you who already have a window open are ahead of the curve. If you have a tight house, you’ll want to make sure your mechanical ventilation system is working. Read on for 49 worthwhile tips from our friends at Foobot, who make a leading personal air quality monitor.
A personal air quality monitor can help detect problems that your nose can’t. Monitors typically communicate by having data or colors shown when you look at them, and by having a mobile app that gives the details and historical information. Here are 5 important take-aways from Foobot’s e-book:
- Always use the range hood fan while cooking. This is especially important for gas stoves, which are consuming oxygen and expelling CO2 and other pollutants – in small amounts – into your living space. If your hood doesn’t vent outdoors, crack a window or door. And clean your range hood filter regularly.
- Choose house plants that help with specific pollutants. The document has details on 10 plants and their pollution-abating characteristics.
- Keep relative humidity between 40% and 60%. While not a pollutant per se, high indoor humidity can exacerbate health problems and promote mold growth. Very dry air also poses health risks. Consider installing a Wi-Fi thermostat that can monitor relative humidity and manage a whole house humidifier or dehumidifier. Foobot pairs with Nest thermostats as part of ecobeco’s Smarter IAQ package.
- Purchase rugs/carpet made of natural fibers and select solid-wood furniture. Man-made fibers and engineered woods may be off-gassing harmful volatile organic compounds. Alternatively, select products that have low-/no-VOC certification.
- Get harmful chemicals out of the house! That can include oil-based finishes, solvents and the like. Changes in temperature can cause containers to “breathe,” dumping VOCs into your living space. Garage seem like a logical place, but most homes leak air between garages and the living spaces. Outdoor sheds are better, or get your garage air sealed!
Creating homes with great energy efficiency and indoor air quality is a top priority for ecobeco. We are an EPA Indoor Air Plus Partner for new home construction (download our e-book here). We are Healthy Home Specialists as well. We can air seal your home and add ventilation, filtration and humidity control features that improve indoor air quality.