Skip to content

    Tips for Reducing Indoor Pollutants in Your Home

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Topic Overview

    Exposure to indoor air pollutants can cause respiratory problems, such as asthma attacks, or diseases, such as lung cancer. Pollutants include smoke, pet dander, radon, mold, cleaning products, and other chemicals. You can create a healthier home by following the tips below.1

    Reduce allergens

    • Groom pets often to reduce dander. Don't allow them to sleep in the bedroom with anyone who has asthma or allergies. If possible, keep them off carpets and furniture.
    • Choose window coverings that are easy to clean, such as wood shades or blinds. Drapes are magnets for dust.
    • Check houseplants for mold. Repot or move them outside if the soil contains mold.
    • Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home.
    • Eliminate carpeting and replace it with wood or tile flooring, if possible.
    • If the humidity level is more than 50% inside your house, dust mites and molds can be a problem. To control dust mites, get allergen-resistant covers for bedding. Wash sheets and blankets in hot water.
    • Use high-efficiency bags in your vacuum cleaner or install a central vacuum system in your home.
    • Don't store firewood indoors. Drying green firewood can contain mold spores.
    • Keep trees and shrubs at least 3 ft (0.9 m) away from your house. Roots can provide an easy path for water into your basement or crawl space.
    • Keep bathrooms, kitchen, and basement-places where allergens are likely to grow-clean and dry.

    Control moisture

    • Fix leaks and other sources of water intrusion, and remove water-damaged materials.
    • Make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outside.
    • Install and keep clean hood exhaust fans in your kitchen. Make sure bathroom vents exhaust air outdoors and not into basements, crawl spaces, or inside the house.
    • Make sure that exhaust fans don't draw too much air out, creating a negative-pressure situation in which the pressure inside the house is lower than outside. Negative pressure can reverse the flow of combustion gases from furnaces, gas stoves, and water heaters, and draw water vapor and dangerous carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide into your home.
    • Caulk the interior and exterior of your home, especially around windows and vents.
    • If you're building a new home, install a waterproofing system that keeps moisture away from your foundation.
    • Keep gutters and drains clean.
    • Remove any water-damaged carpet. Replace it, if possible, with wood or tile flooring.
    1 | 2 | 3
    1 | 2 | 3

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Tips for Reducing Indoor Pollutants in Your Home Topics

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.