If you think that the air you breathe indoors is less polluted than the air outside, think again. It is far too easy for your indoor air quality to become compromised. In fact, quite a few studies have shown that building related illness is a serious thing. Without proper action, allergies can become aggravated and respiratory infections can occur.  Many are aware of the dangers that exist while occupying older buildings, but are you familiar with the fact that air quality can be poor in newer buildings as well? Let’s take a look at the top four things you can do to improve the indoor air quality.

1. Control your humidity

In many areas, suffering occurs indoors due to lack of humidity. There are several factors that can cause dryness in the environments and that can be pretty harmful. This is an easy fix:  simply get a humidifier. Not only is it easier for everyone to breathe in a properly humidified environment, but an area that is humidified well leads to reduced chance of those nasty sinus infections. Another option is simply placing a pot or pan or a small tub filled with water in the room. The open surface will allow humidity to be created.

2. Fix the common sources of toxicity

Toxicity can easily emerge from a number of sources, the most common of which is a poorly maintained building. Something as simple as cleaning or replacing old carpet or hardwood flooring will help dramatically. It’s also important to use environmentally friendly cleaners when possible, to avoid releasing harsh chemicals into the air. Make sure when renovating your space that you choose to use materials that are non-toxic. It isn’t always easy to guess, so it’s better to consult a professional on the matter. Toxins can be present in all that surrounds us, the paint, the flooring, the furniture; it is essential that you check labels and product information prior to bringing any of this to your home.

Top Home improvement Sites:


Mother Earth Living

GH - Good house Keeping

Green Home Guide

3. Installing proper air filters

The correct air filter can make a vast difference. Make sure that the ones you have installed in your space have a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of at least 8. You don’t want to go too high because that could restrict your air flow too much, but you don’t want to go too low because you want to effectively capture the particulates in your home before they re-circulate back into your air. Make sure to check your filters routinely, and change them fairly often.

MERV Ratings - What do they mean? - Bob Villa

4. Proper Ventilation

Did you know that although newer homes are designed to be more energy efficient, this also means they have a tighter construction? Although this saves money on heating and cooling, it can also be known to trap pollutants inside your space. Although you may save on your bills, it can also be disastrous for your air quality. If a mechanical ventilation system is installed, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of the fresh outdoor air while maintaining the comfortable indoor temperatures you enjoy.

With just one or two improvements, you can enjoy a healthier space where you can breathe easy, knowing that your atmosphere is the best it can be.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.