The Ultimate Guide to Improving Indoor Air Quality: Tips from an Ecological Architect

As an ecological architect based in New York City, I have spent years studying and implementing ways to improve indoor air quality. With the rise of COVID-19, it has become more important than ever to keep our living spaces clean and healthy. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is by keeping our windows open as much as possible, allowing fresh outdoor air to circulate in our homes. But why is indoor air quality so important? And what can we do to improve it? In this article, I will discuss the difference between sterilizing and disinfecting, best practices for keeping our homes clean, and how to combat common pollutants that can affect our health.

The Importance of Airflow

Maintaining proper airflow in our homes is crucial for improving indoor air quality. Not only does it help to circulate fresh air, but it can also reduce the presence of allergens and pollutants that can cause respiratory symptoms and other health issues. In fact, a three-minute video by the American Lung Association explains how indoor air quality directly affects our lungs and provides practical tips for improving it.

By understanding what makes indoor air unhealthy and identifying specific pollutants in our homes, we can take steps to improve the air we breathe.

The Dangers of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can lead to a variety of short- and long-term health effects. Some common symptoms include headaches, irritation of the ears, nose, and throat, dizziness, and more. However, more serious effects such as cancer and respiratory diseases can also occur. Air purifiers are a popular solution for improving indoor air quality. These devices work by circulating and cleaning the air inside our homes, collecting up to 99% of particles such as pollen and dander.

However, it's important to note that the best way to keep our indoor air clean is by avoiding adding pollutants in the first place.

Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

One of the most common sources of indoor air pollution is formaldehyde, which is found in glues used in composite wood and many types of furniture. This chemical can leach into our indoor air and cause a variety of health issues. To avoid this, it's important to learn about common sources of pollution and take steps to avoid them whenever possible. Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces are another source of indoor air pollution. These can release harmful particles into our homes, increasing the risk of developing long-term health problems such as lung cancer.

Even some of our favorite daily activities or hobbies can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality

Now that we understand the importance of maintaining good indoor air quality and the dangers of poor air quality, let's explore some practical tips for improving it. Whether you or someone in your household has allergies or outdoor environmental conditions are causing issues, these tips can help:
  1. Keep windows open as much as possible to allow fresh outdoor air to circulate in your home.
  2. Regularly clean and dust your home to reduce the presence of allergens and pollutants.
  3. Invest in an air purifier with a circulation mode to help clean the air inside your home.
  4. Avoid using harsh chemicals or products with strong scents, as these can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
  5. Properly ventilate areas where pollutants are present, such as when cooking or using cleaning products.
  6. Regularly change your air filters to ensure they are working effectively.
  7. Consider using natural cleaning products or making your own with simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.
  8. Keep humidity levels in check, as high humidity can lead to mold growth and poor air quality.
  9. Invest in houseplants, which can help to naturally purify the air in your home.
  10. Limit the use of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, and make sure they are properly ventilated.
  11. Regularly check for and address any water leaks or moisture issues, as these can lead to mold growth and poor air quality.
  12. Consider getting your home's air quality tested by a professional to identify any potential issues.


In conclusion, maintaining good indoor air quality is crucial for our overall health and well-being. By understanding the importance of airflow, identifying common sources of pollution, and implementing practical tips for improving air quality, we can create a healthier living environment for ourselves and our loved ones. Remember, the easiest way to clean the air in your home is by simply opening your windows and letting some of the outdoors in!.

Raúl Milloy
Raúl Milloy

Proud music aficionado. Unapologetic tvaholic. Proud zombie evangelist. Unapologetic coffee geek. Hipster-friendly zombie expert. Extreme student.