Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


Image by Projekt_Kaffeebart from Pixabay

Your indoor air quality can have a significant impact on your health and well-being. Allergens, air pollutants, and other particles can accumulate in your home and lead to certain health issues, such as respiratory symptoms. Maintaining good indoor air quality is an important part of making sure that your luxury home provides you with a healthy living environment. The following options can help you improve the air quality in your home. 

Whole-House Air Purifier

Air purifiers are designed to remove harmful particles from the air inside homes and other buildings. While portable models are available for cleaning the air in smaller spaces, consider a whole-house air purifier for your spacious home. This type of air purifier connects to your HVAC ventilation system. When your heating or cooling system runs, filters that are part of the purifier trap harmful particles inside your ductwork. This prevents these particles from entering rooms and other areas of your home. Having a whole-house air purifier installed helps ensure that your entire home has good indoor air quality.

Air Filters

The air filters inside your HVAC system play a crucial role in catching pollutants, allergens, and other particles. These filters prevent particles from going through your ducts and out your vents into living spaces. If you’ve been using standard air filters, such as disposable fiberglass ones, they might be trapping some of these particles while letting others through. Switching to an air filter that is designed to catch smaller particles, such as a HEPA filter, means fewer harmful particles are able to get into the air inside your home. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to change your air filters every month or every few months, since dust and debris build up on them over time.

Dehumidifiers

High amounts of moisture in your home, especially on a regular basis, can lower your indoor air quality. Too much humidity makes it easier for mold and mildew to grow. High humidity levels can also make your home feel less comfortable overall. Portable and central dehumidifiers can help you gain better control over the humidity level in your home. A central dehumidifier is set up to maintain healthy humidity levels in all areas of your home. However, if you only have humidity or moisture problems in one area, you can opt for a portable dehumidifier instead.

If you’re planning on buying or selling a home this season, please contact us.


Could your home be making you sick? Could those allergies be inside rather than outside? Yes, and yes. Of course, you’ve already sussed out the obvious places: the mold in the bathroom, years of dirt in the carpet, even the drapes and blinds. 

But what about the air ducts? You know, the very thing that carries the conditioned air to you from your expensive HVAC unit. Just because you use filters on your furnace and air conditioning unit doesn’t mean that those ducts are clean. Here are times to check your ducts to keep your air breathable and pristine.

When you buy new

Even if your home is new, you have no guarantee that your ducts are clean. In fact, you’ll often find layers of drywall dust, insulation, and other harmful debris in your ducts that entered during the building and testing stages of your home and its systems. If you’re prone to allergies, have your ducts cleaned before you move in.

When you buy old

If you’re a home’s second, third, or more owner, you have no idea what might be lurking in those ducts. If three owners ago had a litter of kittens, you may not find any dander in the new carpets, but there could be pet hair and dander in those ducts. Try to get having the ducts inspected and cleaned added into your seller’s closing costs or home warranty.

After a long winter

When your home is closed up for long periods due to inclement weather, dust mites find their way into your ducts. Add some damp days and that crossover period from winter to summer (usually called spring) when you try not to operate your heat or air conditioning, and you’ve set up your ducts to be breeding grounds for allergens of all types including mold spores and dust mites, and a collecting place for pollen.

When to call the pros

Even a shop vacuum with a super long hose cannot clean out most ducts from the vent back toward the fan unit. Call in a licensed and bonded professional air duct cleaning service to take care of the problem for you. Schedule them before the worst of the allergy season to clean out the ducts and install HEPA filters in the air returns and furnace. Make sure that your filters can trap microscopic particles, pet dander, and fine dust. Change them as frequently are noted on the packaging.

If you’re buying a home, be sure to ask about any special filtration included in your HVAC until. And talk to your agent about requesting adding air duct cleaning into those seller’s closing costs.


Did you know that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most store-bought air fresheners contain formaldehyde, petrochemicals, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol pollutants. There seems to be some kind of connection between air fresheners and Asthma problems. It is also thought that air fresheners containing these chemicals can accelerate respiratory diseases and reduce lung capacity. The EPA has not advised against purchasing these air fresheners, but suggests using them with care. If you have concerns about the health risks associated with these products, why not try a natural air freshening alternative. If you have a musty basement or smelly closet, a tray of natural clay cat litter may be helpful. The main ingredient in cat litter is a natural occurring mineral that absorbs odors and moisture from the air. If you prefer an alternative to cat litter, try diatomaceous earth which you can purchase at a garden supply store. Place it in a bowl or other open container in foul smelling areas. Placing fresh or used (dried) coffee grounds in a bowl or stocking will help to cut the odor of winter mustiness. Fill your home with subtle scents and refresh the air by simmering some sweet smelling ingredients in a little water on your stove. Try to keep your supply list simple and use items found at the grocery store or even in the yard. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges make very fragrant scented waters. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme are good choices as well. Pine or cedar twigs and needles collected from the yard will give off a fresh, natural fragrance. Almond and vanilla extract and spices like cinnamon and cloves when simmered together add a wonderful fragrance to the air without the dangerous chemicals.