It’s summer—time for some fun! But between all of those backyard barbecues, baseball games and trips to the beach, it’s important to give just a few minutes of time and attention to summer’s sometimes gloomy effect on your home’s indoor air quality. This house tour can guide you toward cleaner air for your family.
Leave sandals and flip-flops by the door—they track in oodles of outdoor contaminants, such as dirt, pollen and allergens. Ask guests to remove their shoes, and don’t forget that bare human feet and pet paws can track in contaminants, too. Place a package of wet wipes by exterior doors to help ensure only clean feet are walking around your home. (Use a non-toxic, pet-friendly variety for pets since they tend to lick their paws.)
Summer means increased humidity in most parts of the country, so keep excess moisture to a minimum. In the kitchen, always run an exhaust fan or crack open a window when cooking or running the dishwasher. In the bathroom, run the exhaust fan while showering or bathing, and for a full 30 minutes afterward. And inspect plumbing fixtures in both rooms—leaky pipes can foster moisture-loving mold throughout the year, but especially in warmer months.
You might need to up your dusting game in summer, especially if you have family members with seasonal allergies. And use your vacuum’s brush attachment at least once a month to thoroughly go over drapery panels, in addition to thoroughly vacuuming floors.
Take advantage of trips to garden centers and purchase a few house plants, which act like living air purifiers by absorbing synthetic pollutants released into the air. Make sure you purchase non-poisonous, kid- and pet-friendly plants. The National Institutes of Health lists areca palm, lady palm and bamboo palm as three to consider.*
It’s a summer luxury to fling open bedroom windows on cool summer evenings, but doing so can invite seasonal and environmental allergens into our homes—so check outdoor pollution and allergy levels before doing so.
Having the neighbors over for some burgers and veggie kabobs? Great! Just make sure grilling fumes aren’t entering your home through open doors or windows. Try to position grills (both gas and charcoal) as far from your home’s exterior as possible. If you’re hosting a party and people are constantly using a door to enter and exit, consider positioning a fan to blow smoke and fumes away from your home.
Keep humidity levels to 30 to 50 percent by using a dehumidifier, especially if your home has a basement. Also, change your HVAC system’s air filter more frequently than usual to help keep the air throughout your home as fresh and clean as possible. Filtrete™ Filters attract and capture microscopic particles such as bacteria, virus-carrying particles and mold spores—even pollen.