indoor air - by Mike Holmes Jr.
indoor air - by Mike Holmes Jr.

How to bring good quality back to your indoor air

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Healthy lifestyle

Friday, June 8th, 2018 @ 6:12am

6 Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality At Home


Our homes say a lot about our personalities. We spend a lot of time turning a new house into a home that functions as a living space for our families and reflects our personalities. You want your home to be a comfortable and healthy environment, don’t you?

How much time do you think we spend indoors? You might be surprised to learn its about 90%. And unfortunately that time is often spent in dark, poorly ventilated, and in some cases, unhealthy buildings.


Here’s a surprising fact you might not know: indoor air can be up to 5x more polluted and worse than outdoor air, but 7 out of 10 Canadians are completely unaware of this fact. And this is a serious problem.

What we didn’t realize this over the years is that we’ve introduced more things into the air that we didn’t think about (like VOCs). In an airtight home, you must make sure you are properly ventilating and exchanging the air.


#1 Test Your Indoor Air Quality

I recommend hiring a professional home inspector to do an air sampling on every floor of your house.

#2 Look For Mold and Dampness

Mold is everywhere. Getting rid of mold-producing germs and bacteria is impossible. Here are some steps to prevent mold growing in your house in the first place!

RELATED: Why Is Your Water Bill So High? Inside Leaks Explained


Not only can that create moisture and mold issues but in case of a fire, the exhaust fan can actually pull the fire into the attic space, causing it to spread quickly to the rest of your home.

#3 Pay Attention to Building Materials

A lot of materials in your house can have VOCs (volatile organic compounds). In high concentrations, VOCs can have negative health effects when trapped indoors. They can cause throat and nose irritation, fatigue, nausea and headaches.

Materials that tend to contain VOCs are:

  • furniture
  • paints, paint strippers and other solvents
  • wood preservatives
  • aerosol sprays
  • household cleansers and disinfectants
  • insect repellents
  • air fresheners
  • stored fuels and automotive products
  • pesticides
  • craft supplies such as glue and markers

#4 Ventilation To Improve indoor air quality

Benefits of proper ventilation

A good ventilation strategy reduces indoor air pollutants. Our homes are becoming more and more airtight. While this is excellent for energy efficiency, we are also trapping pollutants inside the house. With proper ventilation, you exchange stale indoor air with the outdoor air. You should consider installing an HRV (heat recovery ventilator) or even better, and ERV (energy recovery ventilator).

Here is a guide for bathroom and kitchen ventilation.


Panasonic WhisperCeiling DC Fan Installed At Mike Holmes Job Site

Panasonic WhisperCeiling DC Fan Installed At Job Site

Simple steps such as opening your windows around the house a few times a day to let air circulate, turning on your hood fan while cooking, and letting your bathroom vent fan run for 30 mins after a shower makes a difference.

#5 Install An HRV or ERV

An HRV (heat recovery ventilator) constantly replaces stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air. ERVs (energy recovery ventilator) can exchange both heat and moisture.

READ more about HRVs and ERVs.

energy recovery ventilator

#6 Invest In An Air Purifier

There are a lot of different of air purification options out there. Portable air cleaners are the most common. Do your research before picking one. Some air purifiers can actually clean your air effectively and remove allergens from the air.  A good quality air purifier can have a significant impact on your health.

I personally recommend the Whisper Air Repair units from Panasonic. I have 5 of these air purification devices installed in my ceiling at home. The units I installed clean the air and get rid of odors.

Panasonic WhisperAir Repair is Mike Holmes Approved.

We’ve installed the Panasonic WhisperAir Repair on many of our job sites including my own home.

Here is a description of the Whisper Air Repair units (Panasonic) that I installed in my house.



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