Top 10 Best Ways To Reduce Indoor Air Pollution In Your Home

family inside the house to illustrate a home without indoor air pollution

Maintaining good indoor air quality is extremely important for our overall health all year round. During the colder months, especially most of us tend to spend the majority of our time indoors. We also tend to experience a higher rate of upper respiratory issues and other problems aggravated by indoor air pollution during these months. Please read on below to find out the most common, harmful indoor air pollutants and how to control indoor air pollution in your residence.

Indoor air pollution can cause many health problems, especially for those suffering asthma, COPD, or other upper respiratory problems. Many of the lifestyle choices we make affect the air quality in our homes directly or in more subtle ways. Examples include pet ownership, leaving shoes on in the house, tobacco use, and the use of certain products. In addition to making some simple lifestyle changes, products like HEPA air purifiers and filters, dehumidifiers, and air quality monitors can help us all maintain low levels of indoor air pollution.

Indoor Air Pollution FAQs


woman helping old man to breath properly

There are quite a few different, practical ways to decrease indoor air pollution. We will be offering you some quick tips and tricks, as well as reviewing ten best products on the market that are designed to help you reduce indoor air pollution in your home.

1. What is Indoor Air Pollution?

Simply put, indoor air pollution is the contamination of indoor air by harmful particulates. Some of the most common causes of indoor air pollution are

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Household cleaners
  • Particulates from candles, incense, and perfumes
  • Craft and office supply odors
  • Mold, pollen, pet dander, dust, and other organic pollutants
  • Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves
  • Poor ventilation
  • Harmful building materials like asbestos and lead

2. Is an Air Purifier Worth the Cost?

Air purifiers can absolutely improve the air quality in your home, but you must be sure the one you choose provides high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration. Filters that do not meet HEPA requirements will simply recirculate tiny pollutant particles around your home, potentially exacerbating any issues.

3. How Is My Health Affected by Air Quality?

Each time we breathe, we inhale particulates and irritants if indoor air pollution is present. These contaminants can inflame our sinuses and bronchia, causing discomfort and pain. If continually irritated, infections and upper respiratory damage can occur, making it imperative to address any problems involving indoor air quality.

Homeowners should always be on the lookout for various sources of contamination. For instance, children tend to be more at risk in homes that have carpeted floors simply because they spend more time on the floor than adults do and carpets hold high densities of contaminants. When children play there, they stir this tiny debris up and breathe it in. Also, think about what you bring into your home. Wearing shoes and jackets throughout your home can cross-contaminate multiple surfaces as you move around.

4. How Bad Are Current Problems with Indoor Air Pollution?

We have all heard about air pollution being a problem in large, industrial cities. But, what about our homes and offices? Research indicates that the air inside buildings can be far more polluted than outdoor air, due to factors like poor ventilation and the prevalence of particle-trapping fabrics. Since most people spend 90% or more of their time indoors, they are consistently exposed to areas with the poorest-quality air. Even for people who don’t suffer from upper respiratory problems or disease, this can lead to discomfort in the form of watery eyes, sneezing, and difficulty breathing.

5. What Steps Can I Take to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution?

Luckily, there are many effective ways to decrease indoor air pollution. Some of these methods can noticeably help you breathe easier right away, and implementing several such solutions can make a major difference in the air quality within your residence. We came up with a dozen ideas for you to consider.

  1. Cultivate an indoor garden because many indoor plants scrub the air of carbon monoxide and supply oxygen.
  2. Maintain your HVAC system regularly because improperly cleaned and maintained HVAC systems blow pollutants around.
  3. Use a dehumidifier to reduce mold and particulates, recognizing that high levels of humidity increase the growth of mold and mildew, which can be harmful to the upper respiratory tract.
  4. Vacuum regularly to decrease dust and mites, using a vacuum that is equipped with a HEPA filter to trap particulates.
  5. If possible, remove old carpets and rugs and limit the amount of carpet in your home overall.
  6. Ensure that carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working. (Monitoring these levels not only improves air quality, but it might save your life.)
  7. Don’t smoke indoors and strive to limit tobacco use in general. Both these steps are important because particulates in smoke get trapped in your clothes and other fabrics, leading to an unhealthy environment for anyone who has contact with these items.
  8. Use non-toxic cleaning products or clean with microfiber cloths because using only organic products or low-odor chemicals in your home helps keep irritant levels down.
  9. Keep your pets clean to decrease dander and dirt buildup in their fur. Our pets can attract and bring in all manner of dust, pollen, and other allergens, so it is very important to brush them routinely and have them professionally groomed regularly if needed.
  10. Remove your shoes as soon as you enter the home to avoid spreading dirt and foreign matter around the house.
  11. Install a whole-home air purifier because those that are equipped with HEPA filters generally trap particles as small as 0.3 microns.
  12. Have your HVAC system, including all the ducts and piping, professionally cleaned because this relatively affordable service can do wonders for your air quality.

How We Reviewed Home Air Quality Solutions

Now that you know about the things you can do to reduce indoor air pollution in your home or office, let’s move on to some steps that involve spending a little cash. Purchasing products that will improve the air quality in your home is not as simple as just going to the store and picking something up, however, so a bit of advice is warranted. There are a few things to be aware of as you compare products. We reviewed four air purifiers, two dehumidifiers, two vacuums, and a couple of other items that can significantly decrease indoor air pollution in your home.

We assembled our list of the ten best products to decrease indoor air pollution based on criteria such as filtration technology, pricing, capacity, and overall usefulness. We included products appropriate for different spatial needs, budgets, and lifestyle habits.

What We Reviewed

  • Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover, HPA300
  • IQAir HealthPro Plus Medical-Grade Air Purifier
  • Bissell air400 Air Purifier with HEPA Filter and CirQulate System
  • Winix WAC9500 Ultimate Pet True HEPA Air Cleaner
  • Ivation 70 Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier
  • hOmeLabs 4000 Sq Ft Dehumidifier
  • Kenmore 81614 Bagged Canister Vacuum with Pet PowerMate
  • ProTeam Super CoachVac Commercial Backpack Vacuum Cleaner
  • IQAir AirVisual Pro Air Quality Monitor
  • NINESTARS DZT-70-11R Automatic Touchless Infrared Trash Can/Recycler


Features

This Honeywell HEPA air purifier traps particulates as small as 0.3 microns, which includes most allergens and VOCs. The user can set any of three different air cleaning levels using an electronic tap panel. This filter is Energy Star-qualified, and it features quiet operation and an automatic timer. This highly portable unit is good for cleaning air in rooms up to 465 square feet.

Warranty

Honeywell offers a 5-year warranty on this product, and the company maintains a customer service line for returns due manufacturer defects and other customer concerns.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use buttons and settings
  • Quiet operation
  • Portable design

Cons

  • Purifies air in a limited space
  • Average filtration rating


Features

This IQAir medical-grade purifier filters out particles as small as 0.003 microns. That equates to two orders of magnitude smaller than the Honeywell unit evaluated above and ten times smaller than a typical viral particulate. IQAir put a lot of thought and effort into creating a quiet-running model that has long-lasting filters. The unit is on wheels for easy portability, and it handles up to 1,125 square feet, making it perfect for smaller houses or homes with large rooms. As a side note, IQAir also offers personal purifiers for your car and desk.

Warranty

IQAir offers a 10-year warranty on this hospital-grade air purifier.

Pros

  • Extremely high filtration efficiency
  • Easy to use and move around
  • Quiet and long-lasting

Cons

  • A bit pricey


Features

The Bissell air400 uses a 3-stage filtration fan in order to exchange the air in a 400-square-foot room completely three times per hour. It automatically adjusts its fan speed based on how high the PM2.5 levels are in the space you want cleaned of indoor air pollution. It filters particulate as small as 0.3 microns.

Warranty

the Bissell air400 air purifier has a 2-year limited warranty from Bissell.

Pros

  • Automatically monitors pollutant levels and adjusts fan speed accordingly
  • Sleek design
  • Cost-efficient solution

Cons

  • Average filtration levels


Features

The Winix WAC9500 cleans the air of particulates as small as 0.3 microns. It has a washable carbon filter that is specifically designed to trap dander and pet odors as well as smoke and cooking particulates. This air cleaner also features a washable pre-filter that traps larger particulates like visible dirt and hair. This high-tech unit uses smart sensors and automatic programs to keep your home’s air clean without much fuss.

Warranty

Winix offers a 1-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Washable filters
  • Automatic settings and sensors
  • 5-stage filtration

Cons

  • Filters spaces up to 283 square feet
  • Average filtration level of 0.3 microns


Features

Dehumidifiers also help reduce indoor air pollution and keep you breathing easy. The Ivation 70 Pin Dehumidifier keeps spaces up to 4,500 square feet under control by preventing accumulation of mold, mildew, dust, and other allergens. It has a 2.25-gallon reservoir and operates with a humidistat and a timer.

Warranty

This dehumidifier is covered by a one-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • High-capacity reservoir
  • Good coverage
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Somewhat noisy


Features

This hOmeLabs dehumidifier removes 70 pints of moisture per day from rooms as large as 4,000 square feet. It runs quietly and uses automatic sensors to turn on or off as needed. It has a 1.6-gallon reservoir that we found somewhat small.

Warranty

The manufacturer provides a two-year warranty, plus an additional six months of coverage when you register ownership of your dehumidifier online.

Pros

  • Cost-efficient operation
  • Suitable for a large space

Cons

  • Small reservoir


Features

The Kenmore 81614 vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter, and it uses particle-containing canister bags to reduce dust and dander in the home. The vacuum weighs 22 pounds and uses a wand and hose for increased maneuverability vs. a standard upright design.

Warranty

Kenmore offers a 1-year limited warranty on this item.

Pros

  • HEPA filter pre-installed
  • Onboard storage for 2 additional cleaning attachments, which are included
  • Particle-containing bags

Cons

  • Cumbersome to move around with both the canister and wand
  • No dirt-sensing features


Features

This vacuum features a 10-quart filter to deliver the cleanest air. There is a four-level HEPA media filter onboard to reduce indoor air pollution. The vacuum is designed as a backpack, meaning it is almost as maneuverable as you are. Generally, this vacuum is used for high-intensity cleaning in commercial settings, but it is also ideal for large rooms and busy homes because it is designed to be durable and long lasting.

Warranty

ProTeam offers a 3-year limited warranty on this product.

Pros

  • High-capacity filtration
  • Backpack design
  • Commercial-grade performance

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Less easy to store than some vacuums


Features

This vacuum features a 10-quart filter to deliver the cleanest air. There is a four-level HEPA media filter onboard to reduce indoor air pollution. The vacuum is designed as a backpack, meaning it is almost as maneuverable as you are. Generally, this vacuum is used for high-intensity cleaning in commercial settings, but it is also ideal for large rooms and busy homes because it is designed to be durable and long lasting.

Warranty

There is a 1-year limited warranty on the IQAir AirVisual Pro Air Quality Monitor.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Tracks both outdoor and indoor air pollution levels
  • Monitors many different variables

Cons

  • A bit expensive for the functionality it provides


Features

How will a garbage can help you reduce indoor air pollution? This one seals in trash particulates and keeps users from having to physically touch the surfaces of the trash can when disposing of waste. This significantly reduces cross contamination from things like food, mold, and dust.

Warranty

The manufacturer advertises a two-year, hassle-free warranty.

Pros

  • Touch-free motion sensors open and close the can
  • Delay sensors keep the can from opening due to traffic just passing by
  • Water-resistant and fingerprint-resistant design

Cons

  • Requires batteries
  • Small capacity for recyclable and other waste materials

The Verdict

Indoor air pollution could be the cause of your chronic sinus problems or congestion woes. There are many things you can do to improve air quality in your home or office. These strategies include reducing the use of certain contaminating products, increasing ventilation, growing indoor plants, and purchasing a few products that will actively remove indoor contaminants. Air purifiers equipped with HEPA filtration systems, dehumidifiers, and higher-end vacuum cleaners can all help decrease indoor air pollution significantly

If you are concerned with chronic sinus problems, allergies, or just your overall health, be sure to try some of our tips and tricks for reducing indoor air pollution. As our list shows, there are many worthy, useful and affordable devices on the market to help you accomplish this goal.

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