Clear the air with home allergy proofing tips (video)
Springtime may usher in mild temperatures and lush landscapes, but for more than 50 million Americans it translates into prime allergy season with sniffling and sneezing in tow.
And while many people think they can avoid allergens by staying indoors, Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford says that strategy can actually backfire.
The air inside an average home can become 5-10 times more polluted than outdoor air, Lipford explains. “With the popular movement toward increasing energy efficiency, the envelope of the home is much tighter today than ever before,” he says. “While this is great for the family budget, it can trap and keep polluted air indoors causing health problems, especially for allergy sufferers.”
Lipford recommends five easy and inexpensive strategies that homeowners can implement to improve their indoor air quality:
1. Replace standard vacuum cleaner filters with HEPA filters. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arresting and indicates this type of filter does a superior job capturing small particles and debris in the air. Smaller particles are often missed by standard filters causing them to recirculate back into the air and decrease air quality.
2. Store VOC emitting products in sealed plastic containers. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound and these fumes can be harmful when inhaled. Common products that contain VOCs include paint, glues, other adhesives and cleaners.
3. Use electrostatic filters in your heating and cooling system. Electrostatic filters contain multiple layers of metal and charge air molecules as they move through. As a result of this static electricity, dust and other small particles that might pass through a standard filter become trapped inside an electrostatic filter. As an added bonus, electrostatic filters are washable and reusable.
4. Install and utilize vents in every bathroom to expel moisture to the outdoors. Bathrooms are breeding grounds for mold and mildew which pollute indoor air and pose serious health risks, especially for asthma and allergy sufferers. Lipford explains how to properly size a bathroom vent fan in the video above.
5. Add some indoor houseplants. Certain houseplants such as philodendron, peace lily and bamboo process and remove harmful chemicals from the air creating a healthier breathing environment.
All of these strategies can be implemented in a weekend for under $200, according to Lipford.
For additional information on improving Indoor Air Quality, visit Lipford’s destination home improvement website:TodaysHomeowner.com.
Read more about indoor air quality.