Poor indoor air quality can significantly affect comfort and health, especially in densely populated urban areas like Philadelphia. Enhancing the air quality inside your home not only improves the living environment but can also prevent health issues associated with pollutants and allergens. Here’s how you can improve the indoor air quality provided by your central air system.

1. Regularly Replace or Clean Air Filters

  • High-Efficiency Filters: Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or those with high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings to trap finer particles. Change filters every 1-3 months, depending on usage and manufacturer recommendations, to maintain optimal airflow and cleanliness.

2. Install Air Purifiers

  • Whole-home Air Purifiers: Consider installing a whole-home air purifier that works with your central air system to remove airborne pollutants throughout your house.
  • Room Air Purifiers: If whole-home options are not feasible, use portable air purifiers in frequently used rooms, like bedrooms and living areas.

3. Maintain Humidity Levels

  • Dehumidifiers: In humid climates like Philadelphia’s summers, use dehumidifiers to keep humidity levels in check, typically between 30% and 50%. This helps prevent mold growth and reduces dust mite populations.
  • Humidifiers: During dry winters, a humidifier can add necessary moisture to the air, which helps reduce respiratory discomfort and static electricity.

4. Ensure Proper Ventilation

  • Ventilation Upgrades: Enhance the ventilation in your home with energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) or heat recovery ventilators (HRVs). These systems help exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air without losing much energy.
  • Natural Ventilation: Open windows and doors when weather and outdoor air quality permit, to improve air circulation and flush out pollutants.

5. Keep Your AC System Clean

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance checks for your HVAC system to ensure it's clean and functioning efficiently. This includes professional cleaning of air ducts, which can harbor dust and mold.
  • Clean Ducts: Consider having your air ducts inspected and cleaned if you notice visible mold, excessive dust, or odors when your HVAC system is running.

6. Use Indoor Plants

  • Natural Air Purifiers: Some indoor plants can naturally remove toxins from the air. Species like spider plants, peace lilies, and Boston ferns not only improve air quality but also enhance the aesthetic of your home.

7. Monitor Air Quality

  • Air Quality Sensors: Use indoor air quality sensors to monitor levels of pollutants, humidity, and other air quality indicators in real time. This can help you make informed decisions about ventilation and filter maintenance.


Improving indoor air quality is essential for maintaining a healthy home environment, especially in urban settings. By combining regular maintenance of your HVAC system with the use of air purifiers, proper humidity control, and natural solutions like plants, you can significantly enhance the air quality in your Philadelphia home. Remember, the key to good indoor air quality is a combination of purification, filtration, and regular maintenance.