The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a list of thirteen common indoor air pollutants, but the agency missed an important one: water vapor. Excessive humidity promotes mold and fungus growth and respiratory ailments, making it potentially as harmful as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other better-known pollutants.
Here are some ways for homeowners to keep the air indoors cleaner and more healthy:
- Keep your home well-ventilated.
- Clean or replace your HVAC filters frequently, especially when there’s smoke from a wildfire in the local atmosphere.
- Use low-VOC paint when remodeling.
- Stop cooking with gas. That’s the direction government regulations are pushing, so maybe now is the time for that new induction cooktop.
- Consider upgrading gas appliances with high-efficiency electric ones, like a heat pump for home heating/cooling and a hybrid water heater.
- Don’t spray pesticides. There are safer, more effective ways to handle ants and other pests.
- Smoke outdoors.
- Use unscented cleaning products. Some fragrances combine with ozone (itself a pollutant) to form formaldehyde.
- Avoid products that generate ozone, like vegetable washers, and hair or facial tools.
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