We’re getting into the time of year when you can start to open the windows of your Middle Tennessee home, but chances are, after a long winter, the air inside your house isn’t as clean and healthy as it could be.

At Arthur Rutenberg Homes, we can install high-tech air filtration systems and heating and air units into custom homes in Hendersonville and Nashville, but once you’re living in your home, there are lots of things you can do to keep the air fresh and clean as well. Consider five of the best ways to do so.

  1. Maintain proper humidity levels. Especially in the winter, this is tricky. Overly dry air can irritate your sinuses, so most people close their homes up tightly against the cold, dry winter air, and may run a humidifier to soothe their sniffles. However, if the air in your home is too moist, mold, dust mites, and bacteria can thrive, and that can make you more prone to getting sick. A humidity level between 30-50 percent is ideal, so ensure your humidifier is set to maintain that level.
  2. Choose cleaning products properly. Air fresheners, antibacterial cleaners, and laundry detergents may make your home smell fresh, but they may also be irritating your senses with chemicals. And if the air in your home is stagnating anyway, these chemicals can be even more of an irritant. Use basic soap and water, vinegar, or naturally-scented cleaning products instead.
  3. Air it out. Now that spring is here, you’re probably ready for some fresh air, but there’s a caveat if you suffer from pollen allergies. Pick low-pollen days to open your windows, or only open them when you’re cooking or cleaning to help circulate any chemicals in the air of your home.
  4. Test your home. Even new homes are prone to radon, an odorless but dangerous chemical that can develop in soil from the natural decay of uranium, and work its way up into your home. You can get a cheap test that only takes a few minutes to check the radon level in your home – and if it’s high, you can talk to a radon mitigation contractor about easy, affordable ways to reduce it.
  5. Change your air filters regularly. Filters help catch the fine particles that come through your air system. Even a high-efficiency central unit won’t catch everything, so a good filter will ensure that the air circulating through your home is as clean as possible. Of course, eventually filters lose their effectiveness, so you’ll want to get on a regular schedule of checking and changing them to make them work at their peak.

These are good basics for every homeowner to keep their air clean and healthy. There are other steps you can take, especially if you have allergies – regular vacuuming and mopping, and having everyone take off their shoes will cut down on that, as will keeping pets outside if you have dander sensitivities. And you should always make your home a smoke-free zone.