When designing your renovation, design to reduce indoor particulate pollution. Vent all combustion sources, such as furnaces and boilers and gas clothes dryers, to the outdoors. The EPA recommends that you keep interior doors to the rest of house open when using unvented space heaters. Properly size woodstoves and make sure they meet EPA emission standards. Last, have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up your central heating system (furnace, flues, and chimneys) annually, including changing filters and repair any leaks properly. This will also have a favorable effect on your energy consumption.

After the Renovation - Home Air Cleaners
If it is not possible or practical to remove all sources of indoor air pollutants, and if ventilation proves inadequate, it is possible to further clean the air with home air cleaners. Indoor air cleaners are designed to clean the air of either particulate matter, such as dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, rodent droppings, tobacco smoke, particles generated from combustion appliances such as cooking stoves, and particles associated with tiny organisms such as dust mites, molds, bacteria, and viruses; or gaseous pollutants, VOCs, from the sources we discussed above (gas cooking stoves, vehicle exhaust, and tobacco smoke, building materials, furnishings, adhesives, paints, varnishes, cleaning products, and pesticides).

Air cleaners can either be installed within the duct work of a central HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) system or be portable.

Particle Removal can be accomplished by two types of air cleaning devices -- mechanical air filters and electronic air cleaners. Mechanical air filters remove particles by capturing them on filter materials such as a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Electronic air cleaners employ the use of charged ions (ion generators, or ionizers) that attach to pollutant particles and such devices may either include the presence of an oppositely charged collection plate that attracts the charged particle and pulls it out of the air (electrostatic precipitators), or may not use a collector plate but rather rely on the property of charged particles to settle faster or to attach to surfaces such as walls and furniture.

The effectiveness of mechanical in-duct particulate filters is measured by the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and filters are rated on a scale of a low 1 to a high of 20. As a reference, LEED for Homes requires a minimum MERV value of 8 or higher, meaning that the filter will remove 20-35% of particles that are 3 to 10 microns in size (mold spores, for example vary from 4 to 40 microns, most being less than 10).

There is no standard measurement for the effectiveness of electronic air cleaners. They may remove small particles but are not effective at removing large particles becasue most settle out of the air before reaching the filter, and some units produce ozone which has adverse health effects associated with it as described below.

VOCs/Gaseous Pollutant Removal is attempted through a gas-phase filter which employs the use of an absorbent material, such as activated carbon, designed to remove VOCs from the air that passes through the filter. However, gas-phase filters are of limited utility because they are designed to remove only certain gases and won’t remove others, and do not have the capacity to remove all the gaseous pollutants found in a typical home. There is no standard measurement for the effectiveness of gas-phase air filters. These filters often have short useful lives become they can quickly become clogged and may re-release pollutants back into the air. Under current technology a filter large enough to be effective would likely not fit into a typical home HVAC system.  Also, the useful life of these filters may be short.

Pollutant Destruction air cleaners use ultraviolet (UV) light technology to destroy biological pollutants, such as viruses, bacteria, allergens, and molds. These air cleaners are called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) cleaners and photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) cleaners. Ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners intentionally produce ozone gas, a lung irritant, to destroy pollutants. These all have their limitations and draw backs.

UVGI filters are designed to prevent build-up of biological polutants on the HVAC equipment and are not meant to clean the air for an entire house. There is no standard measurement for the effectiveness of UVGI cleaners. The UV light produced by these filters is not strong enough to kill all bacteria and mold because they tend to be resistant to UV radiation and require more light or longer time of exposure, or both, to be killed, and in any event dead mold spores can still trigger allergic reactions.

PCO cleaners are designed to convert VOCs into harmless gases but they do not remove particulate matter. There is no standard measurement for the effectiveness of PCO cleaners, and they are generally considered ineffective because the catalysts currently used are not capable of destroying all VOCs and indeed can create new ones.

Ozone is a lung irritant that can cause adverse health effects, and at safe concentrations ozone has little effect in removing most indoor air contaminants. Ozone also can react to chemcials found in household cleaning products and produce ultrafine particulate pollutants. Thus, ozone generators are not always safe and effective in controlling indoor air pollutants.