Clean Indoor Air

You cannot have a green home without addressing indoor air quality. Did you know the air inside your home could be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside? It’s true. The air we breathe in our homes is loaded with pollutants like pollen, lung-damaging dust, pet hair, dander, dust mites, mold spores, bacteria and viruses. No wonder the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health today. And if you think your standard 1″ throwaway furnace filter is doing the job, you couldn’t be more wrong – typical 1″ filters only trap about 5-15% of airborne particulates.

With the advancement in building technology since the 1970′s, homes are built much tighter in order to save energy. These advancements, while good for saving energy and money, have lead to an increase in poor indoor air quality – houses don’t breathe like they used to. This is why every green certification program, whether local or national, not only addresses energy efficiency but also health and sustainability.

Particulates and pollutants become trapped and eventually build up inside your home, settling on countertops, floors and other surfaces. And with a standard throwaway furnace filter, only a small percentage of airborne pollutants are captured, with the majority of pollutants and particles being carried and re-circulated throughout your house via your air ducts and vents.

Problems:

  • Airborne pollutants – dust, dust mites, pet hair, dander, pollen, particulates from clothing and furniture.
  • Biological contaminants – bacteria, viruses, mold spores, mildew.
  • Odors and vapors – tobacco smoke, cooking grease

What You Can Do to Treat the Symptoms:

  • Open windows when weather and other conditions permit.
  • Bathe pets regularly and keep pet beds and litter boxes away from vents.
  • Change your furnace filter according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Run your heating and cooling system blower when vacuuming and dusting to circulate polluted air through your furnace filter.
  • Keep relative humidity between 30 and 60 percent.
  • Make sure kitchen, bathroom and other exhaust fans vent to the outside.
  • High efficiency air cleaners help qualify your home for the Green-Built Certification Program of the National Association of Home Builders

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