The Surprising Truth About Your Indoor Air Quality

Many sources of air pollution are pretty easy to discern: We can see or smell smog, vehicle exhaust fumes, or cigarette smoke around us. But there’s very little to signal harmful pollutants inside the home — and unfortunately, that’s often where the quality of the air you breathe can be the worst.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality is at least five times worse on average than outside air — and it can be as much as 100 times worse. And since, as the EPA has also estimated, we spend as much as 90% of our time inside, that compromised air has the potential lead to a whole host of health issues, ranging from allergy symptoms like itchy eyes and a runny nose to headaches, asthma, respiratory infections and, alarmingly, even heart disease and cancer.

Clearly, it’s a problem to tackle from all sides. Here are a few good ways to start.

Help your HVAC work better

Changing your air filters is one of those tasks many homeowners perform infrequently (or not at all), so it’s no wonder “dirty filter” is high on the list of reasons for an HVAC service call. Clean, unclogged filters can make an appreciable difference in the quality of the air in your home and — no small bonus — also help your heating and cooling system operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Courtesy of Trane

Ideally, you should change the filters in your home’s furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers and the like each and every season. One way to make this a set-it-and-forget-it part of your home-maintenance routine is Trane FilterTime: When you sign up for the subscription service, you just let the company know what size filters you need and set up a three-month (or whatever you prefer) delivery frequency. The arrival of fresh Trane filters on your doorstep becomes your automatic cue to change them out.

Courtesy of Trane

Turn to technology

A whole-house air cleaner or purifier can remove harmful substances from, as the name suggests, all the air circulating in your home. This makes it a more efficient solution to what experts refer to as poor IAQ (indoor air quality) than individual room filters. The CleanEffects Whole Home Air Cleaner from Trane, for example, can remove up to 99.98% of unwanted airborne pollutants with filters refined enough to capture particles as small as 0.3 micron. Installing one will help reduce the presence of dust, pollen, pet hair and dander, dust mites, mildew, lint, fungus, most tobacco smoke, cooking grease and even certain bacteria and viruses.

And in independent testing, Trane CleanEffects was found to meet benchmark standards that earned it the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s asthma & allergy friendly certification — the first whole-home filtration system to meet the standards, which are based on the latest research in health issues and indoor air pollution.

Control your home’s humidity

Courtesy of Trane

One simple habit that will help maintain a healthy indoor humidity level of between 30 and 50 percent is regularly running your exhaust fans. Switch them on before you shower and leave them running for at least 20 minutes after to help thwart mold and mildew, two common airborne allergens.

Also, consider installing a smart thermostat like the Trane UX360. You can access it from your smartphone, making both monitoring and adjusting super-convenient. And not only can the UX360 control indoor temperature — with the addition of Trane’s whole-house dehumidifier, it also provides enhanced dehumidification to keep your home at optimal levels. The result: You’ll not only feel comfortable — you’ll be confident that your IAQ is improved as well.

Source: Home Ideas -

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