The UltimateAir® News

Indoor Air Quality Audit: The Outdoors

Posted on Fri, Oct 28, 2011

UltimateAir aims to promote health, specifically clean indoor air inside your home. As part of an ongoing "Indoor Air Quality Home Audit" series, we will travel to every room in the home and outside the home to share best practices and tips to ensure your family is breathing fresh air.

outdoor air qualityIt’s easy to overlook and think that it can’t possibly affect indoor air quality, but there are many characteristics of our yards and the environment that surrounds our homes that have direct impacts upon energy use and air quality within our homes.

How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality by Improving Your Outdoor Air Quality

  • If there are blockages in your chimney, vents or air intakes, remove them immediately (Seek professional help if necessary).
  • If you see cracks on the exterior of your home, seal them.
  • Shrubs should be at least three feet away from the foundation of your home.
  • Refrain from using chemical fertilizer and pesticides on your lawn and garden as they can be tracked in or could infiltrate your home.
  • Remove leaf and grass debris from the intake and exhaust of your whole house ventilation unit intake/exhaust hoods located on the exterior of your house.

How to Reduce Energy Costs by Improving your Outdoor Air Quality

  • Plant coniferous trees on the north side of the home and deciduous trees to the south. This combination blocks cold winds and allows for passive solar heating in the winter, and provides shade in the summer months. Trees remove gaseous pollutants from the air such as sulfur dioxide, ozone and nitrogen oxides. Additionally, they can increase the value of your home!
  • If you are building a home or choosing one, it is best to have more windows facing south than north to make use of solar heat.
  • When installing doors and windows, it is wise to add weather stripping.
  • This combination, in addition to the installation of a whole house ventilation system like the RecoupAerator®, will make your home as energy efficient as possible.

An audit of the area outside your home is one of the simple and practical steps you can take towards the continued health of your family.

Topics: Indoor Air Quality Audit, Common Indoor Air Pollutants, Outdoor Air Quality