Consumer Reports: How to improve the air quality in your home


Believe it or not, the air quality inside your home can be worse than the air you breathe outside - especially in colder months when we keep windows and doors closed.

That’s why we’re working for you with simple steps you can take to improve the air you breathe.

While newer, more tightly sealed home construction improves energy efficiency, Consumer Reports said it is also partly to blame for indoor pollutants.

Where are they coming from? CR said gas stoves for one.

Tests by Consumer Reports confirm they’re a possible source of toxicity and are a cause for concern.

So, what can you do?

“Think ventilation! Use your range hood while you’re cooking or open the window to get the cleaner, outside, air in,” Paul hope with Consumer Reports said.

Other pollutants? VOCs or volatile organic compounds emitted from cleaning agents, pesticides, aerosols, and even couches and carpets.

Irritants to your throat, nose, and eyes, may even cause cancer. The solution?

“Try not to use some of the harsh chemicals out there to clean your home. If you do use them, again ventilate, and open the windows,” Hope said.

CR said to buy mattresses and furnishings that use natural fibers, like cotton.

Keep your home dust free - use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to trap contaminants, and clean or change the filters in your air conditioner.

CR said air purifiers can also help - Alen, Winix, and Blueair models earn top marks in Consumer Reports tests, and will run between 275 and 741 dollars.

You’ll likely smell our next pollutant – mold!

Often caused by humidity, it can cause rashes, flulike symptoms, and eye and lung irritation.

CR said to consider a dehumidifier.

Consumer Reports highly rates Honeywell, Midea, and Homelabs, and will run between 200 and 320 dollars.

If your mold stems from a recent weather disaster you might be eligible for federal assistance.

And that odorless, colorless - sometimes fatal gas, carbon monoxide? Install a detector on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area.

Consumer Reports also recommends checking for radon - a radioactive gas that can seep into your home from water and soil.

And if your house was built around 1980 or before - check for asbestos and lead.

About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.