RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Nobody likes to live in filth, but according to a recent survey, we’re too concerned with the dirt that we see and not concerned enough about the filth we breathe in; namely, all the particles and chemicals floating in our indoor air. The survey, commissioned by 3M (a company that manufactures air filters), found that 73 percent of us are worried about mildew in our bathtubs and 69 percent, about bugs and mice, but only 40 percent are concerned about indoor air quality.
And that is concerning, says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which frequently states that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, even in the largest, most industrialized cities. Indoor air-quality problems can vary season to season, since the sources of pollution are so varied, so here are a few ways of dealing with summer-sensitive air-quality issues:
1. Check your air filter.
Air conditioner filters (whether in a central-air system or a window unit) trap a lot of the junk that comes in from the outside—pollen, smoke, smog, and dirt—but they also filter out dust, dust mites, and pet dander that builds up in recirculated indoor air. Check your system’s filter once a month and either change it or clean it, depending on the type.