All About Air Quality

stock-photo-3164773-executive-home-bar-and-entertainment-roomAccording to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention CDC – about 1 in 12 people (about 25 million) have asthma, and the numbers are increasing every year.  The quality of air in your home does matter. Prevention is a big part of maintaining your family healthy. Healthy air quality can be achieved by improving the way you deal with dust and mold.

Below we bring you articles that will help you make your home healthier, and information that will help you improve the air quality at home.

Easy Home Improvements to Benefit Indoor Air Quality

(Family Features) Runny nose, itchy eyes and headache. These are just a few ailments homeowners with poor indoor air quality, potentially as a result of smoke, odors, dust or other contaminants. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, where air quality can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside.

While asthma and allergy sufferers, children and the elderly are particularly sensitive to indoor air quality, everyone is impacted by it. Fortunately, a few simple and affordable home improvements can go a long way to benefit your home’s air.

Humidifier buying guide

Getting started

Scratchy throats and itchy eyes from dry winter air help put humidifiers on roughly 10 million shopping lists each year. Our top picks start at just $35 and include penguin shapes and other flights of fancy.

Ideally, indoor humidity should be 30 to 50 percent. But without humidification, that level can drop to 10 percent in winter, because cold air holds less moisture and dries even more as it’s heated. But our tests show that some models do little humidifying and could soak you with added costs. Here’s what you need to know:

Put substance over style. Models resembling a radio, or sporting art deco or space age accents can liven the decor but if their output is too low for the space you need to humidify then they aren’t right for your home. Some models with a touch of whimsy, however, also delivered on performance. Don’t assume that pricier is better. Two reasonably priced models topped our list of consoles, which can humidify an average-sized house, beating out more expensive models.

Dehumidifier buying guide

A dehumidifier can take that sticky feeling out of a damp basement or crawl space. Humidity levels above 50 percent can breed dust mites, mildew, and mold, which may worsen allergies and asthma. Our latest tests show that the best dehumidifiers aren’t necessarily the highest priced.

Dehumidifiers use a fan to pull air over two sets of refrigerant-filled coils, which pull moisture from the air and drip it into a tank. All the models we evaluated in our test chamber performed at least adequately overall. But some came much closer than others to the humidity levels we set on the humidistat. And some used less energy or ran more quietly. We’ve also found that some models handle simulated power outages better than others.

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