woman rolling paint in tin on drop cloth
Photo: Matthew Benson
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Living Room

Maybe Later:

25. Invest in a central vacuum system. Opt for one that vents to the outdoors for optimal removal of dust and allergens.

26. Buy an air purifier. While hardly a panacea, the new generation of purifiers can help control dust and allergens. Find buying guidelines at achooallergy.com.

27. Loosen grime with steam. Steam appliances, such as Haan's Steam Cleaning Floor Sanitizer ($100; buyhaan.com), rely on water alone.

28. Shop for finishes and furniture that are low- or no-VOC and formaldehyde-free. These hazardous chemicals can take up to three years to off-gas. Shown here: Benjamin Moore's no-VOC Natura ($50 per gallon; at paint stores).

29. Invest in machine-washable curtains. Keeping them dust- and allergen-free will be that much easier.

30. Replace firewood. Logs made of coffee grounds or wood fiber and wax produce fewer particulates and less carbon monoxide than wood does. You can also reduce emissions by converting a fireplace to natural gas.
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