Is Your Home Making Your Family Sick? Tips for Cleaner Air

Could the air in your home be making you sick? Studies show headaches, breathing problems and even frequent sneezing could be due to the air in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality can be two to five times worse than outdoor air. Air pollutants such as dust particles, microbes and toxic chemicals can cause flue-like symptoms such as headaches and respiratory irritation, as well as aggravate asthma and allergy conditions.

As a life-long allergy and asthma sufferer, I’ve always extra air purifying systems in my apartments (and now my house) to help keep the air cleaner. While many people may not be bothered by their home, I can personally attest that people with more sensitive systems can really tell the difference.


Luckily, you can perform a few simple tasks to help reduce or eliminate these indoor air pollutants.

1. Call an HVAC professional. Have them inspect, clean and tune-up the home’s heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system annually. This will ensure the unit is operating at optimum efficiency and will prevent future issues.

2. Clean duct-work on a regular basis. Circulating built-up dust and dirt will only make a home’s air quality worse. It is recommended to inspect and clean a home’s air ducts every two years. You can periodically do this yourselves with rags and a vacuum hose, but a professional cleaning every five to seven years can eliminate mold or bacteria that have accumulated.

3. Change air filters. This may seem pretty obvious, but dirty air filters are the number one cause for poor home air quality. They’re just to easy to forget, right? Filters should be changed at the least every three months, but it is recommended they be changed every month – especially during peak heating and cooling seasons.

4. Install an air purification system. Your professional HVAC dealer can identify potential air quality issues and recommend the best air purifier for your home based on your specific needs and budget. We installed a full-on new system when we discovered both of our kids suffered from environmental allergies. We also made sure we put on ultraviolet lights to help kill any bacteria floating around the house to give the kiddos a better chance of staying healthy.

5. Use an individual air purifier in bedrooms. This will provide top air quality which will more than likely allow you to sleep and breathe better. The better ones have a HEPA quality filter. I’ve had an individual air purifier in my bedroom as a adult and I can tell you it does make a difference.

These simple tasks can dramatically improve your home’s air quality, save you money and bring you and your family much needed relief.

Personally, I have used Honeywell Filters as individual filters in the bedroom, and have had great success with them. They’ve lasted a long time for me (years!) and have made a marked improvement in air quality in the room I’ve placed them in.



  1. Hi, this is very good advice to make note of, as dust can build up within minutes of cleaning. Housework is never ending.

  2. We encounter this problem a lot in our home. We live in an old house, and I am convinced that we need to have our air ducts cleaned out. We’re constantly changing the air filters more than we should have to, and I have to dust every day, or everything winds up coated. Great tips! I may consider changing the filter brand we use, too!

    1. HEPA air filters make a serious difference compared to general filters. If you haven’t made the switch, I highly recommend you look into doing so 🙂

  3. Thanks for the tips, I have lung problems and I’ve been searching for Air Purifiers, I’m going to look into this one!

    Ce Ce

    1. I made the switch about 10 years back and have yet to find one we like better. I made the mistake of buying a different brand for my son — ended up going back to Honeywell.

  4. Elizabeth Copeland says:

    Another way is to use air filtering plants in addition to the humidifiers and using low VOC products in your home.

  5. Ah living in a tropical country most houses here really don’t have centralized air on system in our homes so this is a non-issue to us. But great tips I must say.

  6. Great tips– especially the individual HEPA filter…I am sniffing and sneezing, and is it any wonder? We have a big yellow Lab, a lovable cat, and a lovable husband that smokes cigars. Did have my son-in-law clean and tune up for the furnace and buying some of the awesome furnace filters.

    1. The individual HEPA filter really made such a difference. I was quite surprised. Hope those sniffles go away!

    1. Love the Honeywell. Boy did it make a difference for me! Much more than a regular filter.

  7. My husband has lung fibrosis. We got a Lennox Pure Air which we love, cleaned our duct work and replaced any fiberglass ducts with metal. Our HVAC coils are cleaned yearly and we change filters strictly every 30 days. We need a HEPA filter in our bedroom. Our air quality improved so much we can notice poor air quality easily. Great advice for air quality!

    1. Thanks, Tammy. I think people take their air quality for granted. And I’m always surprised by the parents I talk to who have kids that have air-born issues (like allergies) who don’t take some of these steps.

  8. Of course, changing filter at required duration is very important step towards getting fresh air.

    1. Absolutely! I wonder how many families are still using the same old filters without changing them out?

  9. Yes, experts advise having your air ducts cleaned every 2 to 3 years. However, homes with pets or children with allergies should have their air ducts professionally cleaned more frequently than the recommended average.
    You should also remember that ductwork is not like fine wine, it doesn’t get better with age. And when ductwork gets old (10-15 y.o.), homeowners should replace it.

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