Indoor Air Quality Tools

Best Practices

The resources on this page can help you build evidence-based interventions and understand what has worked well in addressing IAQ in other communities.

Asthma Community Network 
This online network provides a wealth of information and resources for community-based asthma programs and organizations that sponsor them—including representatives of health plans and providers, government health and environmental agencies, nonprofits, coalitions, schools, and more. Most relevant to this module are podcasts and webinars highlighting the specific scope of services some home-based asthma service delivery programs are choosing to provide. In addition, users will learn more about creating a program or service that can adapt to the different needs of their client base. [url; ACN]

Healthy Home
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America developed this interactive healthier home module and the Asthma-Friendly Home Checklist with steps to identify and reduce triggers. [url; AAFA]

The Flipside Report: A White Paper on Targeted Geographic Electrification in California’s Gas Transition
This equity-based environmental justice proposal pertaining to the transition from natural gas to electrification considers how electrification policies impacts both indoor and outdoor air quality. The Flipside Report proposes a geographical decision framework for the transition of buildings away from on-site natural gas combustion to all-electric infrastructure that could simultaneously ease the pollution burdens of environmental and social justice communities and also highlights existing frameworks for decarbonization and electrification. [pdf; BDC]

Reducing Exposure to Cooking Pollutants: Policies and Practices to Improve Air Quality in Homes
This Environmental Law Institute report highlights the importance of local exhaust ventilation in reducing the negative impacts of cooking on indoor air quality. The report covers available technologies that can be implemented, describes current building codes and how certain states and jurisdictions are augmenting them to include regulations on exhaust ventilation, and explores the potential for green building standards to improve indoor air quality in new buildings. The report also provides avenues of improving kitchen ventilation in existing homes, such as through strengthening housing codes and utilizing landlord-tenant laws, the Weatherization Assistance Program, and other existing programs and grants for housing and health. [pdf; ELI, 2021]

Energy Savings plus Health: IAQ Guidelines for Single-Family Renovations
This EPA-developed guide provides a set of best practices for improving indoor air quality in conjunction with energy upgrade work in homes. [url; EPA, 2021]

EPA: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) 
EPA’s indoor air quality landing page links to various informational resources and strategies to improve IAQ and aims to educate the public about indoor environmental issues, including health risks and the means by which human exposures can be reduced. [url; EPA, 2023]

Healthy Homes: What You Need to Know About Pests and Pesticides to Protect Your Family’s Health
The Boston Public Health Commission offers this informational guide to families and tenants for addressing pests using an accessible, integrated pest management approach as an alternative to pesticides. This guide includes tips such as removing pests’ food supply, cutting off water sources, sealing pests out, and erasing pests’ travel routes. The guide also includes printable instruction cards that highlight healthy-home approaches to addressing pests. [pdf; BPHC, 2006]

Reducing Indoor Exposure to Particle Pollution from Outdoor Sources: Policies and Programs for Improving Air Quality in Homes 
This report by the Environmental Law Institute explores ways that indoor exposure to outdoor particulate matter pollution can be reduced in both new and existing homes by reducing infiltration of outdoor air, providing adequate outside air for ventilation, and ensuring adequate filtration. For new homes, the report considers how high-efficiency filtration (HEF) can be implemented along with related building practices and how model building codes can be augmented to include filtration needs, provides an example of how California has augmented their codes to include HEF requirements and explores how green building codes can increase adoption of HEF in new, affordable housing. Also included are potential practices to reduce exposure to particulate matter from high-traffic roads. For existing homes, the report discusses strengthening minimum property maintenance standards to enhance filtration implementation, covers potential ways of accessing funding sources to target filtration, and also provides an example of innovative funding for air filtration in California. [pdf; ELI, 2020]

Air Cleaners and Air Filters in the Home
This webpage presents EPA publications and other resources that provide information about portable air cleaners and HVAC and furnace filters commonly used in homes. The short consumer guide covers portable air cleaner, furnace, and HVAC filters used in a home. It includes tips for selecting a portable air cleaner, furnace filter, or HVAC filter. The longer technical guide focuses on air cleaners for residential use. In addition to providing general information about the types of pollutants affected by air cleaners, it discusses the types of air-cleaning devices and technologies available, metrics that can be used to compare air-cleaning devices, the effectiveness of air-cleaning devices in removing indoor air pollutants, and information from intervention studies on the effects that air cleaners can have on health and on health markers. [url; EPA, 2022]

Wildfires and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) 
This webpage provides information for consumers needing to reduce indoor exposure to wildfire smoke at home. Wildfire smoke is a complex mixture of particles and gases; however, this webpage focuses on reducing exposure to the primary pollutant of public health concern, PM2.5. [url; EPA, 2022]

Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials and Related Resources 
This webpage provides state, tribal, and local public health officials with the information they need to be prepared for smoke events and, when wildfire smoke is present, to communicate health risks and take measures to protect the public. Although developed for public health officials, the information in this document may be useful to many other groups including health professionals, air quality officials, and members of the public. This webpage also links to changes to the guide, updated information made available after publication of the most recent version of the guide, and fact sheets summarizing key information from the guide for the public. [url; AirNow, 2019]

Planning Framework for Protecting Commercial Building Occupants from Smoke During Wildfire Events 
In their Planning Framework, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and other building measures to minimize occupant exposures and health impacts from smoke during wildfire and prescribed burn smoke events. The recommendations are designed for buildings that use HVAC systems with air-handling units that bring outside air into buildings or recirculate indoor air. Planning Framework is aimed specifically for commercial buildings, schools, and other similar building types and is not intended for single-family homes. Wildfire smoke is a complex mixture of particles and gases; however, the document focuses on reducing exposure to the primary pollutant of public health concern, PM2.5. [pdf; ASHRAE]

Citizen Science 
This program from the Tennessee Department of Conservation and Energy enables citizens to send their home radon testing kits to the CDC as contributions to scientific research. The collected data helps to map out radon levels throughout the state. [url; State of Tennessee]

State and Tribal Indoor Radon Grants (SIRG) Program: A Fact Sheet for Tribes 
The Environmental Protection Agency published this resource for new and existing tribal grantees as well as regional tribal air coordinators. A Fact Sheet for Tribes outlines tribal eligibility, shares background on allowable costs for tribal radon programs, and provides examples of successful tribal radon projects. [pdf; EPA, 2022]

Healthy Homes Manual: Smoke-Free Policies in Multiunit Housing 
Published by the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch of the National Center for Environmental Health’s Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services, Smoke-Free Policies in Multiunit Housing is intended to frame issues and provide guidance for state and local healthy homes programs working to reduce secondhand smoke exposure in multiunit housing. Included in the manual are best practices, field-tested strategies, recommendations, and tools, drawn from peer-reviewed research and practitioner interviews. While readers may choose from among the described strategies, it’s important to note that the strategies are interconnected and mutually supportive. [url; CDC, 2011]

How Maine’s Public Housing Authorities Became 100% Smoke-Free 
In this Asthma Community Network podcast, listeners will learn how to replicate the success of the Maine Smoke-Free Housing Coalition, which—by engaging both tenants and property owners—became the first coalition in the nation to set statewide smoke-free public housing policies. [url; ACN, 2011]

Resources for Flood Cleanup and Indoor Air Quality 
This webpage from the Environmental Protection Agency collects various resources related to flood cleanup and indoor air quality, including guidance documents, webinars, and fact sheets. [url; EPA, 2022]

Wood Smoke 
EPA’s webpage provides summary information on the indoor air quality concerns surrounding wood smoke and links to EPA research and safety resources. [url; EPA, 2022]

Health@Home: High-Performance Housing Rehabilitation Guidelines 
These guidelines from HUD were developed to help affordable housing developers address the principles of healthy housing when conducting home repairs and rehab. The standards in the guidelines are organized according to eight healthy housing principles recognized by HUD plus an additional principle of healthy living and active design. [url; HUD]

Advancing City-Level Healthy Housing: Policies, Programs and Practices in Asthma and Lead—Strategies for Progress 
The National League of Cities published this report, authored by the George Washington University School of Public Health, highlighting the critical role of city leadership tools in developing successful approaches to healthy housing, such as proactive rental inspection and rent withholding mechanisms. The report also outlines common challenges faced by local healthy housing efforts and key strategies to overcome and advance them. [pdf; NLC, 2020]


Latest page update: March 8, 2023.