Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Indoor Air Quality
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Ten Tips for a Healthier Home
- Use a high-efficiency filter and replace it every two to three months. A high-efficiency filter can capture up to 30 times more pet dander, smoke, pollen and other pollutants than a standard fiberglass filter.
- Fix leaks and drips in your home to discourage mold growth. Also, avoid causing mold by making sure humidity levels stay low throughout the year, even if it means getting a dehumidifier.
- Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove moisture, smoke from cooking and fumes from household chemicals.
- Good ventilation reduces indoor pollution. Leave doors open between rooms and open windows whenever possible.
- If you or your family members have dust allergies or asthma, consider replacing carpet with area rugs which can be washed often.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors near your sleeping areas to protect your family from this potentially deadly, odorless gas.
- Some cleaning products contain strong and potentially toxic ingredients. Keep doors or windows open when using them, or consider switching to less toxic cleansers that are free of ammonia and other strong chemicals.
- Test your home for radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer, with an inexpensive kit you can buy in hardware stores. Make sure the label says "Meets EPA requirements." If the radon in your home exceeds the EPA's action level of 4 pCi/l, you should hire a contractor to install a soil ventilation system. The average cost is $1,200.
- Ask smokers not to smoke inside. Secondhand smoke can cause health problems, especially in children.
- Never leave a car or gas lawn mower running in a garage attached to your house.