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7 tricks to improve indoor air quality

Indoor air quality is an essential component of our comfort and wellbeing, especially for people who spend a lot of time inside. Unfortunately, the air inside of your home can actually be more polluted than the air outside because the contaminants become trapped and enclosed in a smaller space. Poor indoor air quality can pose a risk to you and your family's health.

Thankfully, by choosing the right products and taking a few preventive steps, you can easily improve the air quality inside of your home. Here are seven tips to help you do just that.
1

Ventilate your home with a heat recovery air exchanger (HRV)

HRVs remove stale indoor air and replace it with fresh air from outside, distributing the cleaner air throughout the house. During the cold season, HRVs are able to recover 60 to 80% of the heat from the stale air and use the energy to preheat the incoming fresh air. The process is reversed during the cooling season to ensure indoor comfort year-round while saving you energy and money.

An HRV not only brings fresh air into your home, but it also helps to remove pollutants such as bacteria, moisture and moulds, and household chemicals from your indoor air. Most HRVs come equipped with HEPA filters which remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air that passes through them for even better air quality.

With an HRV, you'll no longer have to think about opening windows to aerate your home. During the summer, this will reduce dust and pollen infiltration, bringing relief to allergy sufferers. During the winter, it will reduce heat loss and save you on the costs of heating. Look for ENERGY STAR® certified HRVs among our ECO products to maximize your money and energy savings.

PRO TIP

In order to receive an ENERGY STAR® designation, products must first meet strict technical specifications for energy efficiency and performance. They are tested and certified by an independent third party and guaranteed to save more energy than standard products without sacrificing performance in any way. An ENERGY STAR® product is usually within the top 15 to 30% of its class in regards to energy performance.

All ENERGY STAR® certified products available at RONA are part of our ECO Products Program, making it easy for you to find the right products for your home.

2

Use low-VOC products

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a class of hazardous vapours and gases often found in indoor air. VOCs can be emitted into the air inside of your home from many different sources, including common household products and building materials. Short-term exposure to high levels of these compounds can cause respiratory irritation and breathing problems. People with certain health conditions, such as asthma, may be more sensitive to VOCs.

There is a wide variety of low-VOC options among our ECO products, including:

3

Ventilate your bathroom and kitchen

Ventilating your bathroom and kitchen on a regular basis will help prevent the buildup of moisture and pollutants from indoor activities like cooking and showering. Make sure that your bathroom fan, range hood, and dryer all expel air outside.

Save money while keeping your home well ventilated by choosing an ENERGY STAR® certified bathroom fan, which will use 50% less energy than the typical standard model.

4

Control your home moisture levels

Controlling the moisture levels inside your home will help limit the growth and proliferation of mould. Exposure to mould can have a number of serious health effects, including eye, nose, and throat irritation, allergic reactions, and symptoms of asthma. Another problem with high moisture levels is that it can cause products to release formaldehyde, a dangerous VOC, into the air in greater amounts.

An ENERGY STAR® certified dehumidifier will remove excess moisture from the air inside of your home while using 30% less energy than a standard model. You can further control mould growth by sealing the bathtub and sink with caulk to prevent water accumulation and seepage.

5

Aerate your home when renovating

Just about every step of a home renovation project, from painting and gluing to using cleaning products, requires proper ventilation. The products involved likely contain harmful chemicals that will seep into your indoor air if you do not aerate.

Good aeration is especially important when tackling a paint or varnish project or when installing carpeting using glue or adhesives. Make sure to use your ventilation fans and HRV when necessary.

6

Keep your home clean

You can greatly reduce the amount of dust and contaminants such as mould in your indoor air with frequent vacuuming. Another way to maintain good air quality is to stay on top of routine heating and ventilation system maintenance tasks like changing air filters and screens according to manufacturer's instructions. Choose HEPA filters from among our ECO products to keep dust and particles out of your air conditioner and improve your indoor air quality at the same time.

Regular cleaning and maintenance are especially important if you have young children. Because your little ones probably spend a lot of time playing on the floor and the furniture, they are more likely to be exposed to dust and other irritating or potentially hazardous particles. You can also help protect your family from exposure to fire retardant chemicals by covering or replacing exposed foam padding on upholstered furniture or carpet underlayment.

PRO TIP

Discover more than 4 000 ECO products for the home! You could enjoy their many benefits for your family and the environment, such as a reduction of your energy consumption and better air quality.

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7

Keep emissions outside

Exhaust gasses from engines contain many VOCs and other pollutants that should not be allowed to enter your home. Don't let any vehicles, lawn mowers, or snow blowers run inside an attached garage or beside any exterior doors and windows.

Stay on top of furnace maintenance and keep wood-burning stoves and fireplaces clean. It is also a good idea to make your home and your vehicle a smoking-free zone.

Remember that you always need to have properly working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed to keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire or when the air is too toxic to breathe.

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