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How to Ensure Clean Air at Home

Most homeowners don't know that the air inside their homes can be more polluted than the air outside.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Start With a No Smoking Policy

To make sure you have clean, healthy air, a "no smoking" policy is a great place to start. Repairing water leaks and tossing out moldy carpets will also help. Cooking gases and odors can be vented outside; even vacuuming cuts down on dirt and dust mites.

Step 3: Install a Filtration System

Inside the house, opening doors and windows will get rid of a lot of chemicals and odors and a heat or energy recovery ventilation system can also be installed. A whole-house filtration system with a MERV 16 rating removes 90-95 percent of mold spores, pollen, pet dander and viruses.

MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) ranges from 1 to 16—the higher the number, the better. MERV 16 efficiency will be more than 95 percent efficient at removing particulates including dust mites, mold spores, fungi, pollen, and pet dander larger than 0.3 microns and more than 90 percent efficient at removing the smallest, breathable particles, such as viruses and bacteria, down to 0.01 microns. NOTE: a MERV filter requires professional installation.

Step 4: Reduce Mold Growth on the AC Unit

To help cut down on pollutants inside the home, have a professional seal your duct system. Some portable room air cleaners, such as electronic and ionic air cleaners, produce ozone, a dangerous form of air pollution. Make sure the models you buy are ozone free. Finally, a UVC germicidal light shining on an air-conditioning coil reduces mold growth.