Simple steps to improve the air you're breathing inside your home

Posted at 6:58 AM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 12:16:23-04

The air in your home, which you're breathing right now, could be dangerous to your health. The good news is there are simple steps to fix it.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is usually between two and five times worse than outdoor air. 

Heating and air conditioning experts say it’s all about lack of circulation.

When you keep your doors and windows tightly closed to keep the heat in or out, depending on the time of year, the chemical byproducts generated by activities like cooking, cleaning, and burning candles don’t have a chance to leave.

Pollutants build up over time, and dust and mold can accumulate. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that asthma rates have been rising from about 20 million Americans in 2001 to more than 24 million people in 2016 and the EPA says working to clear the air in your home is part of managing that.

Candles also add to the toxins in the air between burning the wax and the wick. 

The EPA says the chemicals benzene and ketones have been linked to cancer and asthma and are commonly released by burning candles. Allergists say "artificial oils" can also trigger an asthma attack.

Luckily, it’s easy to improve the quality of your indoor air. Here are some tips for making sure the oxygen you’re breathing is breathable.

Open your windows. Shocking, right? There's no better way to circulate air, getting the stale out and the fresh in.

Replace your air filter regularly. It can be easy to forget, but swapping out your filter every six months can make a big difference.

Moderate your use of candles and plug-ins. They'll make your home smell nicer, but they do so by releasing chemicals into the air. You don't have to stop completely, but it's a good idea to be mindful of how much and how often you're using. Also, opt for paraffin free wax and stick with vegetable oil, beeswax or soy-based candles instead.