1. No smoking. Secondhand smoke can be deadly even to nonsmokers. Declare your home a smoke-free zone.
2. Ventilate. Let in fresh, outdoor air through vents and open windows. Leave doors open between rooms for better air circulation.
3. Dry the air. Keep humidity levels low with a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
4. Shop for low VOCs. When remodeling, opt for low-VOC floorcoverings and paints.
5. Test for radon. Test your home and hire a professional for mitigation if necessary.
6. Clean regularly. Scrub floors and wash fabrics to keep dust mites and other allergens to a minimum.
7. Watch the chemicals. Check cleaning products for toxic ingredients and follow precautions. Consider switching to natural alternatives.
8. Don’t overspray. Don’t spray pesticides unless you have a problem. Consider using integrated pest management (IPM), a system that incorporates a variety of pest-control methods, such as administering treatments in accordance with pests’ lifecycles and/or introducing predators of the offending pests. IPM uses minimal amounts of chemicals, and only when absolutely necessary. More information: EPA.gov/pesticides/controlling
9. Test for carbon monoxide. Have all fuel-burning appliances inspected by a qualified technician once a year. Install a carbon-monoxide detector.
10. Look under the surface. Check for asbestos and lead paint in older homes. Leave them undisturbed or have them professionally removed.
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