Clean Air Choices At Home
Everyday choices we make, in and around our homes, can improve the air we share. Here are some ideas to get started.
In your home
Heat with wood, please burn widely? Burning wisely means taking the time to do it right so that very little smoke, if any, is emitted from your chimney. Burn a small, hot fire using only dry, seasoned wood. After a brief start-up period, check the chimney. Excessive smoke is illegal and isn't giving you much heat. Always check burning conditions before you start your fire. More wood heating information.
Reduce your waste by purchasing items in less packaging. Remove yourself from junk mail lists and take reuseable bags with you when shopping
Reuse plastic bags and containers. Donate items you no longer use to local charities.
Recycle magazines, newspapers, batteries, glass, cans, paper and plastic. For more information, visit Spokane Regional Solid Waste System.
Waste resource tool - Not sure what to do with a waste product or something you no longer use. Check out the new Spokane Waste Directory.
Keep your home warm by following these tips to lower the heating bill.
- Control the thermostat - set it between 68 and 70 degrees when home, and 55-60 degrees when gone for more than 3 hours or when sleeping.
- Change furnace filters regularly to allow your furnace to run efficiently.
- Plug air leaks to keep the cold out. Install door sweeps, weather stripping and caulking around doors and doorframes. Seal creacked glass, caulk or glaze around edges, seal pulley holes in windows.
- Install shrink-to-fit plastic over your windows on the inside of your home.
- Cover and seal off fireplaces when not in use.
- Fill and cover large holes and caulk or foam seal small holes and the plumbing breaks.
- Seal electric outlets and light switches on perimeter walls with foam gaskets.
- Caulk baseboard strip on perimeter walls.
- Cover and seal any other holes with insulation or crumpled plastic bags, cover with cardboard and seal with duct tape.
Remodeling, be aware of asbestos rules - Asbestos-containing products can be found in over 3,000 different building products. Regardless of the age of your home be sure to learn more about asbestos and how to protect yourself and others.
In your yard
Sweep up leaves - Help reduce air pollution by sweeping and raking leaves instead of using leaf blowers. Leaf blowers tend to blow dirt and dust along with the leaves. If you do use a leaf blower, please use it for what it is intended for—blowing leaves into piles on the lawn. Please do not use it to blow around dust, dirt and debris from sidewalks or driveways - this simply creates a cloud of dust that you, your family members and neighbors have to breathe.
Compost - Another way to handle garden wastes is to start a compost bin. You can use it for your food scraps as well. Adding compost to your flower beds and garden provides nutrients and help keep water in the soil. For more information on composting visit Spokane Regional Solid Waste System.
Recreational fires - Wood burning fire pits, fire bowls, chimneas, and the like have grown in popularity. It's important to note before you purchase one of these devices that there are restrictions for their use. Not only are there air quality and nuisance rules, there may also be rules if you live in a planned development.