Breathing in poor air can affect children, the elderly, and even unborn babies more quickly than others. If you have seen repeated illnesses, there is a possibility that the air you are breathing in your home is to blame. Common pollutants include tobacco smoke, mold, mildew, animal dander, dust mites, cockroaches, furnaces, fireplaces, asbestos, and formaldehyde (found in carpet, particle board, furniture, and plywood paneling). Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home. Here are some ways to clean the air, and improve your health.

Never Smoke or Allow Tobacco Smoke Inside Your Home

Tobacco is known to contain 60 cancer-causing chemicals. Secondhand smoke causes lower respiratory tract infections, ear infections, asthma, and pneumonia in children. No amount of secondhand smoke is safe.

Test for Radon

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that is also the second most important cause of lung cancer (after smoking) in many countries. It can enter the home through cracks and holes in the foundation because it is found in soil; it has also been found in granite countertops.

Reduce the Use of Harmful Chemicals

Avoid using harmful chemicals found in many common laundry and cleaning products. Seek out natural, harmless alternatives to clean your home.

Use a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate air) Filter

HEPA filters can catch much smaller particles than a typical air filter. Many are made with carbon-based materials and can give added protection against common allergens, including pet dander, dust, and mold spores. HEPA filters can be installed into your existing furnace and air conditioner system, or used in stand-alone devices, like an air filter.

Clean Regularly

Dust mites, animal dander, pollen, and other toxins can all be removed by vacuuming the carpet and upholstered furniture, cleaning drapery, and dusting regularly. For the best air quality, vacuuming should be done twice a week with a vacuum that has a cleanable filter that will not blow any dust back into the air.