Open windows routinely.
HealthyHouseTM CleanAir Tip
Research by the California Air Resources Board, the U.S. EPA, and others has shown that indoor air is typically two to fifty times more polluted than outdoor air. Significant exposure to pollutants such as radon, smoke, and VOCs including formaldehyde occurs almost entirely indoors.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization have concluded that 80% of all cancers are attributed to environmental, rather than genetic factors. Environmental factors include exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, many of which are found in common household products that typically used and stored at home.
Houses are becoming increasingly energy efficient by being wrapped tightly with air barriers and insulation. These energy efficient homes require less energy to heat and cool, but may not be the best recipe for your health. These buildings are designed to not let air escape. If there is no strategic fresh air ventilation planned into the building design, then air becomes stale and can become saturated with chemical compounds off-gassing from stored items or building materials.
Another negative drawback of a home being wrapped too tightly without proper ventilation is that carbon dioxide levels will rise from occupants living in the home. Carbon dioxide levels are commonly found to be twice as high as the outdoor air. Elevated carbon dioxide levels can lead to fatigue, headaches, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath.
It is always best to deal with a problem at the source, such as removing toxic products or installing strategic air ventilation like an energy recovery ventilator. However, a very simple fix to poor indoor air quality is to open windows routinely. Even opening them once or twice a day for five minutes can help to dramatically improve indoor air quality, including increased oxygen and lower levels of pollutants.