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Healthy Environments

Clean Air Month: Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Supported by the American Lung Association since 1972, May is Clean Air Month. This month-long event is held annually with the goals of educating individuals about the importance of clean air and encouraging everyone to take the necessary steps to improve indoor air quality.

Use this information from ServiceMaster Clean to learn more about the importance of Clean Air Month and what you can do to improve indoor air quality in your home or workplace.

What Is Clean Air Month?

Put into effect in 1970, the Clean Air Act has had a significant influence in reducing premature death due to indoor air quality-related issues. Recognized nationwide, Clean Air Month is a time for communities to celebrate the successes the Clean Air Act has had on the environment. Several different events are held throughout the month of May to raise awareness about indoor air quality. Examples of activities hosted by the American Lung Association include "Bike to Work Day" and "Car Share Day."

The Risks of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can harm the environment in a variety of ways. Air pollution can be caused by many things such as second-hand smoke, harsh cleaning chemicals and vehicle emissions. Air pollution is linked to serious medical conditions like chronic bronchitis and cancer, and the problem can exacerbate existing conditions like allergies and asthma, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

How to Reduce Exposure to Polluted Indoor Air

While you may not be able to eliminate every source of air pollution, you can take action to improve indoor air quality within your environment. The EPA advises, "Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions." Here are just a few ways you can begin to improve indoor air quality:

Keep Your Space Clean

Keep your home or office clean and fresh by doing the following:

  • Investing in a good vacuum with a HEPA filter that can trap smaller particles and allergens.
  • Vacuuming and mopping at least once a week to remove built-up dust and other residues.
  • Choosing eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • Keeping household pets bathed and brushed regularly to reduce pet dander.

Clean Carpets and Upholstered Furniture

Even if you keep your home or office clean and tidy, carpets and upholstered furniture are often a major source of lingering dust, pollutants and spores. Have your carpets and upholstered furniture professionally cleaned to remove harmful pollutants, spores and toxins from fibers.

Ventilate Your Space

Most heating and cooling systems aren't designed to bring fresh air indoors. Ventilate your space by keeping windows open whenever possible to circulate fresh air throughout the area. Use bathroom or kitchen fans to remove contaminants directly from the room and increase the outdoor air ventilation rate, too.

Clean Air Ducts and Air Filters

Heating and cooling system air ducts may be filled with dirt and dust that can be circulated throughout your home or workplace. Additionally, if they’re already clogged with pollutants, they won’t be able to effectively trap more dirt, dust and pet dander. Change your air filters regularly to ensure the air you breathe is as clean as possible. Then, have your air ducts professionally cleaned to help improve indoor air quality and reduce allergens.

Do your part to improve indoor air quality during Clean Air Month and beyond. In addition to practicing the above suggestions, learn about 9 of the best air purifying indoor plants that can help keep the air cleaner. Discover 9 ways to improve air quality in your office, and find out how to improve office air quality to encourage worker safety and performance.

Finally, if you're experiencing symptoms of poor indoor air quality, contact the experts at ServiceMaster Clean. Our residential and commercial cleaning services can be customized to your needs and budget, all while contributing to better air quality in your home or workplace.

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