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Working from home: 6 ideas to improve your indoor air

If you’ve worked at an office, you’ve probably breathed clean indoor air: Commercial office spaces are subject to regulations that cover air quality. At home, however, poor air quality from damp, mold, secondhand smoke, formaldehyde, radon and volatile chemicals from cleaning products has been linked to all kinds of health concerns.

If you spend long hours working from home, it’s more important than ever to ensure good indoor air quality. The following tips could help.

Test the Air Quality

Before you make any changes, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Do-it-yourself testing kits are an easy way to start. Because different kits offer air quality testing in specific areas, you may need to buy separate kits for radon, allergens, cleaning chemicals, formaldehyde, tobacco smoke and so on. Alternatively, you could get a comprehensive test kit for about $200.

Hiring an air quality testing company with specialized equipment is an option, but it can cost more than doing it yourself. Generally, businesses that offer mold prevention and removal tend to have expertise in air quality testing.

Removing Contaminants From the Ductwork

Allowing dust and dirt to build up in your HVAC system means the ductwork will spread those harmful particles throughout your home. No matter how thoroughly you vacuum, you will not be able to remove that deep-seated debris without the help of a professional.

Having an experienced HVAC technician clean out your ductwork can improve your indoor air quality. This improvement in indoor air quality is even more important if anyone in your family suffers from asthma, sinus infections or other respiratory conditions.

Correct Any Problems

Indoor air quality tests tend to reveal many common problems. If you have allergens, finding mold remediation services could help. If pet-hair-related allergens exist, bathe and brush your pets on a regular basis. If you find allergens in your carpeting, drywall and soft furnishings, you might need to hire professional cleaners or replace items.

If the tests indicate the presence of chemicals from cleaning substances or smoke, an air purifier equipped with high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters could scrub your air clean.

Open the Windows

The air outdoors is usually cleaner than the air indoors unless there are wildfires nearby. The more you air out your home, the healthier your indoor air is likely to be. You can open the windows or ensure that your air ducts and ventilation fans are in good working order.

Make Sure Your Air Isn’t Damp

Dampness in the air can come from damp basements, leaky plumbing, cooking and the bathroom. While you need to fix any structural problems to ensure healthy, dry air in the long term, good ventilation and a dehumidifier could be effective in the short term.

Purify Your Air

While an air purifier can be an effective way to clean your indoor air, specific houseplants, such as common ivy, peace lilies and dracaena, can go further.


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