Best Indoor Air Quality Monitors, Medically Reviewed

Per Cunniffe, there is a wide range of pollutants that can cause the air quality inside your home to take a nosedive.

One such pollutant is particulate matter (PM), which Cunniffe explains “is made up of tiny particles like dust, smoke, and allergens that can remain suspended in the breathing zone in the air.” She adds that common allergens and triggers found around the home, such as dust mites, pet dander, and candle or tobacco smoke can also negatively impact indoor air quality.

“Another known contributor to poor indoor air quality are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals that are released into the air from various products and activities,” Cunniffe says. “Installing building materials, flooring, paint, and even cooking can emit VOCs, so it is important to consciously choose low VOC products.”

Dr. Anisha Arora, a pulmonary critical care physician with Memorial Hermann in Houston, TX, points out that some causes may be more unexpected.

“For example, woodworking or ceramics and allergens from pet bird feces that can get into someone’s lungs when they are constantly in close quarters with the allergen when cleaning the birdcage,” Arora shares.

Arora says a good ventilation system, regularly changing your air conditioning filters, and investing in a portable air filter may all be helpful in improving indoor air quality.

“I would also recommend checking the house for humidity or dampness as mold can be present, and that can lead to lung problems for many people,” she adds. “Good respiratory hygiene would also include regularly cleaning your environment and dusting it down.”

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