6 tips to improve your home’s air quality
Working from home has become the new normal for many of us during the past few months. But if you thought you were being exposed to fewer pollutants now that you’re not making a daily commute, you might be surprised! Your home could have moisture and contaminants trapped inside. No matter how much time you’re spending indoors these days, we have a few tips to help you breathe easier.
1. Ventilate your home
Good air circulation is essential for a healthy home environment, and that includes airing out rooms. If you live somewhere with low pollution and comfortable outdoor temperatures, open your doors and windows for at least 10 minutes twice a day. Make sure to open your patio door curtains all the way so you don’t obstruct the air flow. It’s also a good idea to ventilate your space while you’re cleaning, as the air could be temporarily contaminated by the dust and other toxins that you’re getting rid of. Doors with sash windows (like the Elevation) are perfect for airing out your home without having to leave a door open. Of course, if you’re using your heater or air conditioner regularly, it’s more energy‑efficient to install an air exchanger. Air exchangers vent contaminated air out and bring fresh air in while maintaining a stable temperature indoors. Plus, they filter out dust and other pollutants.
2. Choose non-toxic products
Cleaning products, diffusers, scented candles, sprays, glues, polishes, paints, solvents… our homes are full of toxic products that can contaminate the air. Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can take to limit your exposure. Try making your own household cleaning products, choosing verified earth-friendly products (EcoLogo, Ecolabel, etc.), eliminating odours at the source and ventilating your home instead of using air fresheners. Some construction materials and floor and wall coverings also contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). By choosing eco-friendly alternatives, you can reduce your exposure to VOCs.
Learn more about the benefits of Energy Star products in our blog post Saving on Your Electricity Bill.
3. Keep your space clean
Keeping your home clean is about more than just aesthetics. Regular maintenance and the occasional deep clean (vacuuming and cleaning the walls, ceilings, floors and shower curtain, etc.) can eliminate pollutants like pet hair, dust and bacteria at the source. Note that central vacuum systems vent particles outside, whereas regular vacuum cleaners send them back into the room they came from. We also recommend taking off your shoes when you come inside and leaving them on a mat in your entryway, so you can avoid tracking in chemicals and bacteria from outside.
Don’t forget to clean your windows and doors! You can read all about the benefits of doing so in our blog post Time for Spring Maintenance!
4. Check your home for lead or radon
If your home was built between 1960 and 1990, the paint could contain traces of lead that are harmful to your health. You can send a sample to a lab for analysis or have a contractor with the proper equipment check for lead in your home. You can also buy an easy-to-use testing kit to check for radon—a colourless, odourless gas than can damage lung tissue.
5. Control humidity levels
Humidity is a major contributor to poor air quality because it encourages the growth of mould, bacteria and mites. Mould, for example, can exacerbate health issues like asthma and allergies, on top of damaging furniture and even the structure of your home. That’s why proper ventilation is so important. If you don’t have one, install a range hood, bathroom fan and high-performance air exchanger to evacuate excess moisture outside. If you’re still noticing telltale signs of high humidity like condensation on windows or stale odours, get a dehumidifier and make sure to empty it regularly.
6. Choose high‑performance windows and doors
High‑performance windows and doors are more resistant to bad weather and water leaks. This cuts down on the risk of excess humidity, premature deterioration and mould growth, helping to preserve indoor air quality in the home over the long term. The NHP door is a great choice. Remember, if you want to enjoy the full benefits of a high‑performance door or window, proper installation is crucial.
To learn more about this topic, read our blog post High Performance Doors: A Lasting Investment in Your Comfort.