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  • College Dorm Shopping List for Better Indoor Air Quality

    Before you start the college shopping spree, add these air-friendly items to your list.

    As fall approaches, college students begin moving into their new “homes.” Follow this college dorm shopping list with items that keep indoor air cleaner.

    Moving into a college dorm room can be exciting, but it’s also a big adjustment—especially in terms of air quality. Your student is likely going from a whole home or apartment with access to an air filtration system, to a single room with no HVAC access or easy ventilation options. So, while you shop for necessities, add items like an air purifier for their college dorm room to your list so you can breathe easier knowing they’ve got cleaner indoor air at school.

    • 1. Air purifier

      Just because you can’t access a building’s HVAC system, doesn’t mean you can’t get cleaner air at college. An air purifier is a great tool to filter unwanted particles out of stuffy dorm air—especially since many dorm windows cannot open. Filtrete™ Smart Air Purifiers come equipped with a True HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of airborne particles*, from dust, mold and mildew, to viruses and bacteria.

      Smart Air Purifiers come in two sizes: For rooms up to 150 sq. ft, and rooms up to 310 sq. ft. Each device comes equipped with an air quality monitor that indicates how clean your air is. Plus, your student can control their air purifier from the Filtrete™ Smart App, so they can return from classes to fresher indoor air.

      2. Extra air purifier filter

      Between studying for finals and making new friends, the last thing your student may think about is when it’s time to replace their air purifier’s filter. Send them off with an extra one to keep the clean air coming. Most Filtrete™ Air Purifier Filters last approximately six months, but lifespan varies based on how often the air purifier is used and how much it’s capturing. You and your student can both monitor the filter’s life in the Filtrete™ Smart App, too.

      3. Portable fan

      A little ventilation can go a long way! If your student is able to open their dorm window by even a few inches, a portable fan for college dorm rooms can help improve indoor air quality by diluting those pesky airborne particles with fresh outdoor air.¹ Even propping open their door and circulating air in from the hall can do some air quality good.

      4. Gentle cleaning supplies

      While your student won’t have to deep clean any bathrooms while living in a dorm, they’ll still want to keep their own space nice and clean. However, some common household cleaning supplies can have harsh volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can pollute indoor air.² Consider choosing your arsenal of cleaning products from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Safer Choice” product list.

      5. Reed diffusers

      When your student just can’t get that microwave popcorn smell out of the air, they might be tempted to light a candle to swap the smell for something more refreshing. However, candles can do more harm to indoor air than good because they release soot and wax residue into the air. Since candles aren’t allowed in most college dorm rooms anyway, opt for a reed diffuser that uses essential oils to create a fragrance instead.

      *As small as 0.3 microns from the air passing through the filter media. Initial efficiency value.


      1. “Improving Indoor Air Quality,” Environmental Protection Agency. 2022.
      2. “Cleaning Products and Indoor Air Quality,” California Air Resources Board. 2022.

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