Whether you have five minutes, a full day or something in-between, you can take steps toward better indoor air.
Short on time? Not a problem — improving your indoor air quality doesn’t require a huge time commitment. Below, explore tips for improving indoor air quality in your home based on the amount of time you have available.
Download the checklist here (PDF, 365.79 KB).
Open the windows in your home. Modern homes don’t allow outdoor air to flow inside as easily. So, if weather allows, pop open a window to allow external air to flush out indoor allergens and pollutants from common culprits like building materials, wood-burning stoves and air fresheners.¹ Check your Outdoor Air Quality in the Filtrete™ Smart App prior to opening the windows to make sure you're letting good air, in.
Check your HVAC Air Filter — and replace if needed. If air filters aren’t frequently checked, changed or cleaned, dust and airborne nuisances can continue to circulate through your house. A fresh filter has more capacity to capture unwanted airborne particles than a filter that’s been used for several months. Maintaining a regular schedule will help mitigate the recirculation of pre-existing pollutants.²
Consider swapping your traditional filter for a Filtrete™ Smart Air Filter to take the guesswork out of when to change your filter. The filter’s sensor pairs with the Filtrete™ Smart App on your phone via Bluetooth® to tell you when a replacement is needed. If you don’t have a Smart Air Filter, you can still stay on top of filter changes by setting a filter change timer in the app. To make sure you always have a replacement on hand, subscribe and save at Amazon or Lowe’s.
Vacuum and clean surfaces you don’t get to weekly. Address significant allergens like pet dander and dust by maintaining basic cleanliness. To start, vacuum the floors and spend a little extra time on the carpet, as it is more likely to collect house allergens than a hard surface.² Then, wipe down surfaces with a microfiber cloth to capture dust and other debris.
Give your oven and stovetop a good scrub. Before you press the self-cleaning button, know that burning food waste can further pollute your indoor air.³ Tackle the layers of grease and baked-on food by safely removing and washing grates and burners with warm, soapy water, then wipe down the surrounding area. Inside the oven, remove any food debris that may have fallen to the bottom and scrub using a baking soda and water paste.
Wash sheets and blankets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you should change and wash your bedding in hot water every week. Doing so reduces allergens, such as dust mites, which can be found in beds.⁴ Water temperature should be at least above 130° F (54° C) for an optimal clean.¹
Schedule routine maintenance. Look back to see when the last time key appliances and structures — your home’s HVAC system, furnace and chimney, for example — had a tune-up. Schedule those that are overdue.
Declutter and donate old items. Dust collects among clusters of boxes. Plus, storing things in the basement can be problematic, since the damp space is more likely to nurture mold.² Sifting through storage and downsizing can help prevent dust accumulation and mold growth in the future.
Dehumidify your space. Moisture is a breeding ground for mold, mildew, bacteria and insects. Get rid of water-damaged materials, standing water and moist surfaces to prevent unwanted growth. As a rule of thumb, homes should sit at 30% to 50% relative humidity.¹ If you choose to invest in a dehumidifier, know that a noticeable change in humidity will take time. Remember to refresh the water daily.
Complete an at-home radon test. Radon — a radioactive gas present in rocks and soil, and the second-leading cause of lung cancer — can make its way into indoor air through cracks in your home’s foundation, walls and drains. While a radon test can take anywhere from two days to several months, short-term DIY tests take between two and 90 days. Starting the process itself is quick, but it takes time to get results. If you want a professional test, contact a state-certified contractor.¹