Indoor air pollution is a major health risk. How to ensure your home has clean, healthy air.

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Here is an alarming fact for you.  Did you know that the EPA has identified indoor air pollution as one of the top 5 urgent environmental risks to public health?  I was really surprised when I read this.  We think of indoors–particularly the indoors of our own homes–as a safe haven from health damaging pollution.  Not so apparently.

Whether from our pets, a burned dinner, or that weird smell coming from the sink, people often turn to air fresheners or scented candles to mask odors in the home.  Unfortunately, these air fresheners release VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air. Scented candles and incense may contain particulates, soot, and chemicals.  These also only provide temporary relief from the odors.

FIltreteOdorFilterSo then, is there a better alternative?

Filtrete sent us several of their filters to use and review.  One of the filters sent was the Filtrete Odor Reduction Filter (1200 MPR).  I had no idea an odor reduction filter even existed!

With that in mind, here are just a few easy to use suggestions for keeping your home air clean and healthy.

  1. Avoid using air fresheners, scented candles, or incense unless you know that the specific kind you use is doesn’t release VOCs, soot, chemicals, or particulates.
  2. Use an odor reduction filter like the Filtrete Odor Reduction Filter.  The Odor Reduction Filter starts to remove even the strongest odors in just minutes after the furnace fan is turned on.  The Odor Reduction Filter helps improve overall air quality and captures airborne allergens like mold spores, pollen, dust mite debris, smoke, pet dander and smog from the air passing through the filter.
  3. Change your filter frequently! Where we live there is a lot of very fine dust and dirt, and our housing development is still under construction so there are a lot of particles in the air.  We find it best to change our filter ever 2 months.  The longest you should go between filter changes is 3 months.
  4. If you live in a place with heavy air pollution be sure to keep your windows closed on the moderate to heavy pollution days.
  5. Vacuum frequently.  As a mom with three little children this is far and away the hardest suggestion for me to follow.  Unfortunately, it is one of the most important.  Sucking all the dust, pollen, and other particles out of the carpet will leave less floating around in the air for the air filter to have to catch.  Oh, and it is also a good idea to make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.
  6. Forgo the wood fire in the fireplace or stove. Unless you have a post-1990 energy-efficient wood burning stove your efforts to stay warm and cozy at the fireplace will result in air pollution and a furnace that has to work harder to heat, not to mention the fact that most of your warmth from the fire will go right up the chimney with the smoke.
  7. Invest in small room air filters.  These can be a great way to ensure the air in your home is in tip top condition for breathing.

What would you add for #8 to ensure your family’s home has clean, healthy air?

Filtrete brand from 3M makes an entire line air filters for your home’s heating and cooling system.  There is one for each family’s needs and lifestyle.  Starting at just a few dollars, these air filters last up to 3 months and can be purchased at Walmart, Lowes, Target, and Costco as well as at your local hardware store.

You can find Filtrete on twitter at @Filtrete as well as on Facebook.


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. We change our filter monthly and have an air cleaner that we run a few days a week. We use Filtrete water pitchers and filters too.
  2. Good air is so important. We have bad allergies, so my husband always buys good filters like these. He ordered 24 Filtrete Filters two weeks ago so that we have a huge stock on hand and don't make excuses for not changing the filters on time since they are sitting in our storage room!
  3. I know people with allergies who use air purifiers , so I might add that as my #8. I really need to get on #5 more - can I clone myself so I'll have more time to do it?! LOL! Thanks for the info on Filtrete, these would be nice for my heater.
  4. Great tips! I'm really bad about burning candles. I love the smell of them!
  5. Great tips! Any recommendations for more natural air fresheners?
    • I really like essential oil diffusers and oil bottles that come with diffuser reeds. You can also find non-toxic room freshening sprays (they're often made with essential oils too).
  6. Not sure what I would add! But I do have to say I notice a difference when I change my air filter. And vacuuming is a MUST. Great post!
  7. Oh yikes, I never really thought about what scented candles and fresheners are emitting. Guess I'd better do some research and change my filters!
  8. Julie Wood says
    You know those air diffusers where you have a stick in a jar with liquid. Those cause distress with breathing. I had to throw those out. And indoor air is dirtier than outdoor air, and it is very important to make sure to change the filters on the furnace, and make sure the ducts are not dirty!