Protecting family members from health risks is a top priority for many homeowners. One effective way of doing so is by maintaining good air quality in your household. Research by the Environmental Protection Agency has found that the concentration of air pollution indoors can be two to five times as high as outside. This rise in airborne contaminants can result in increased cases of respiratory and sinus infections, along with more frequent asthma and allergy attacks. Luckily for homeowners in Dundalk, MD, we’ve put together a list of effective and inexpensive ways of boosting indoor air quality. Here is your essential guide to maintaining a clean environment in your home.

Houseplants Are Nature’s Air Purifier

You can reduce the number of toxins in the air while adding a hint of class to your home by purchasing more houseplants. By nature, plants act as purifiers, cleaning up the air while eliminating harmful substances. The more plants you bring in, the better off you will be. If you want to be more efficient with your indoor garden, there are certain species of plants that do a better job of cleaning the air than others. These include the following: Peace Lily, Lady Palm, Bromeliad, Dracaena, Boston Fern, Spider Plant, Jade Plant and Aloe Vera.

No More Cleaners with Harsh Chemicals

Perhaps the largest contributors to poor indoor air quality are heavy-duty cleaning products. Many homeowners own gallons of cleaners and store them around the house. They often contain high amounts of harmful chemicals, including ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, phosphates and petroleum-based substances. Even while sitting idle under the kitchen sink or in the closet these products can decrease the air quality. On the positive side, many major retailers now carry environmentally friendly cleaning products that are biodegradable and contain no poisons or corrosive compounds. If you’re seeking a more hands-on solution, it’s possible to create a variety of cleaners using natural ingredients, including water, baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice.

Ventilate Your Home with Fresh Air

One of the quickest ways of increasing the air quality in a home is by opening a few windows. Bringing in fresh air can help displace more toxic air in your household. It’s recommended to do this while cooking, particularly if you own a gas stove, as this is a major source of air pollution. Circulating air this way also has the effect of lowering moisture levels, which slows down the development of mold and mildew. If your bathroom has a fan, it’s also a good idea to turn it on while taking a shower in order to reduce condensation due to steam. If you’re afraid opening windows will allow more toxic air from the outside to enter your home, you can also install trickle vents or exhaust fans. These will have the same effect while keeping the air inside fresh and clean.

Periodically Swap Out Your HVAC Filter

Your HVAC system’s filter does an important job of making sure any dust and debris that makes its way into your air ducts doesn’t spread into every corner of every room in your house. Once this filter gets dirty or clogged, it’s no longer effective at trapping these harmful particles. Make sure to check your filter every few months to see if it needs replacing. Maintaining good air quality in your home requires you to be proactive when taking care of your household. These steps are a good start toward protecting every member of your family when it comes to the follies of bad air.