woman replacing furnace filter in basement
Photo: Matthew Benson
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Basement

Right Now:

60. Check for radon. This odorless natural gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Use a test kit, like RTCA's 4 Pass Charcoal Canister Test ($22; rtca.com), to measure levels every few years and after any basement work.

61. Schedule an HVAC checkup to make sure furnaces, boilers, and water heaters are properly venting carbon monoxide.

62. Clean or replace your furnace or forced-air system filter every three months. Electrostatically charged pleated filters do a particularly good job of removing allergens. Shown at left: Accumulair Diamond ($16; filters-now.com).

63. If you own a sump pump, make sure it's working properly so that mold-inducing moisture won't build up.

64. Check for flaking asbestos around pipes and boilers. Call in an expert if you suspect it's present.

65. Avoid air fresheners, which may mask mildew odors with fragrance-bearing phthalates and may contain VOCs as well.
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