There’s no place like home—especially when you take time to make it the best it can be. Being aware of indoor air quality can help bring you peace of mind about what you’re breathing.
Follow these steps to manage and improve your air quality while spending more time indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This guidance comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
When it comes to comfort at home, we know temperature matters. Use your HVAC system regularly and keep up on equipment checks. ASHRAE recommends the temperature in your home remain between 68 and 78 degrees.¹ It’s also important to keep relative humidity at normal levels—between 40 and 60%—which can reduce the growth of mold in humid areas of your home like the kitchen and bathrooms.²
It’s important to introduce fresh air to your indoor space. Run your home’s mechanical ventilation system so intended flow rate is maintained at all times. When weather permits, opening multiple windows or using whole-house cooling fans are good alternatives if you don’t have a mechanical ventilation system.³
Exhaust fans, like those in your kitchen and bathroom, can also help circulate and introduce fresh air in your home. Make sure they’re on whenever the bathroom or kitchen is being used. Keep toilet lids closed whenever you can. Turning on ceiling fans can also help circulate air in areas where there aren’t windows to open or exhaust fans to use.
Stand-alone air purifiers, such as Filtrete™ Air Purifiers, help clean the air in a specific room. These devices should operate continuously, use high-efficiency air filters and have a high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR).³ If you only have one air purifier, use it in the room where your family spends most of their time. Hint: the size of your room should dictate which air purifier to purchase. We have several options that can accommodate varying room sizes. Find out which one is best for you here. Routinely replacing your filter is also important—watch for the filter life indicator light to know when it's time to make a change.
A well-insulated home can help save on energy bills, but good insulation and sealing can also help keep polluted outdoor air from making its way inside. Common culprits of insulation issues often appear in attics and basements or near windows and doors. Caulking any holes leading outside and using door bottoms or weather strips can help prevent drafts. Consider using 3M™ Window Insulator Kits to keep cold drafts out and warm air in, during colder months in the year. Available in a variety of sizes, these insulator kits are easy to install, have the clearest film and stay up all season long.
If you have an HVAC system, replacing filters regularly helps maintain the equipment and improve indoor air quality. It's important to know how many air filters your system requires and where they are located. When shopping for a new filter, keep in mind that not all filters are the same. For example, the higher the MPR, the more effective the filter is at reducing unwanted air particles without harming your HVAC system. Look for an electrostatic filter—versus a flat panel/fiberglass filter—with an MPR rating of 1500 or above, such as a Filtrete™ Smart Air Filter or Healthy Living Air Filter.