Summer is here, and that means spending more time breathing in the fresh outdoor air. But what about the indoor air quality in your home?
Poor indoor air quality in your home can lead to immediate health effects like eyes, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Over time exposure to pollutants in poor indoor air quality can cause or worsen asthma. In the long term, poor indoor air quality can even lead to respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer.
With all the health implications, safe indoor air quality is essential to a healthy and happy home, so to improve your indoor air quality, make sure to follow these 13 tips.
Install the Right HVAC Filters
Not all HVAC filters are created equal, and since the job of your air filter is to trap pollutants and to keep them from entering your home, picking the right HVAC filter for your home is essential to indoor air quality.
Different HVAC filters have varying efficiencies, MERV ratings, durability, and more, which all impact the indoor air quality in your home. Installing the right HVAC filter for your home is especially important for people with allergens. Plus, the right HVAC filter also keeps your system running better for longer.
Change Your Filters
Not only is it essential to install the right filter, but it’s also necessary to stay consistent with changing your filters all year round. As you run your AC system this summer, your filter will be working hard to trap air pollutants, and over time the filter will fill or clog up.
If you don’t change your air filter regularly, not only will the indoor air quality in your home suffer, but you’ll also be putting added strain on your HVAC system, lowering efficiency, increasing your electricity bill, and shortening your system’s lifespan.
Clean Your Vents
Dirty vents mean the air flowing through them into your home is also dirty and carrying unwanted pollutants. In fact, if you go too long without cleaning your vents, you risk the growth of mold, which can significantly reduce your indoor air quality.
It’s best to have your vents cleaned professionally once a year, and the best time to have that done is early summer before you really kick your AC unit into overdrive.
Bring in Some Plants
Plants naturally purify the air, and they also add a pop of color and welcoming decor to any room of your home, so bring some greenery indoors. The best part about using plants as a natural way to purify the air in your home is that there are plants that work for all spaces and places.
You can get plants that thrive in rooms with tons of sunlight, or ones that hardly need any. Plus, if you don’t have much of a green thumb, there are still plants that are so low maintenance you hardly need to lift a finger to enjoy their air purification perks.
Avoid Synthetic Fragrances
Synthetic fragrances might smell great, but they’re horrible for indoor air quality. Instead of using synthetically scented air fresheners or chemical laden candles, opt for natural products like all natural soy or beeswax candles or diffusers with essential oils.
Manage Mold and Mildew
On top of being unsightly, mold and mildew can jeopardize indoor air quality leading to health issues, especially for anyone who has respiratory problems. Make sure to clean and remove any mold and mildew in your home, and take preventative measures like fixing any plumbing issues or using a dehumidifier to prevent further growth.
Use Eco-Friendly and Natural Cleaning Products
A clean home is more likely to have safe indoor air quality, but what you clean with matters. Many conventional cleaning products are full of chemicals and toxic residue that can lower indoor air quality and be harmful to the health of everyone in your home.
Instead, opt for using natural cleaning products that get your home clean while keeping your air pure too.
Use Cooking Vents
Believe it or not, many air pollutants come from your kitchen. Your stove emits dangerous contaminants including carbon monoxide, even electric stoves emit harmful pollutants, though in smaller amounts. To improve the indoor air quality in your home, always turn on cooking vents when you use your stove.
Have Your HVAC System Maintained Regularly
There are many things you can do yourself both to improve the indoor air quality in your home and to keep your HVAC system running efficiently and lasting longer, but some things are better left to the professionals.
Year round the air that enters your home is circulated by your HVAC system, so scheduling regular HVAC maintenance is essential to keeping the indoor air quality in your home clean and pure. Routine HVAC maintenance is also one of the best ways to save on your energy bill, improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, increase the lifespan of your system, and solve small problems before they turn into huge headaches.
Keep Your Rugs and Carpets Clean
Rugs or carpets are great for keeping your home comfortable, but they also accumulate allergens and pollutants, and if they aren’t cleaned regularly, then these particles can reduce the indoor air quality in your home.
Clean your carpets and rugs regularly, preferably with a vacuum with a HEPA filter, especially if anyone in your household suffers from allergies. Hardwood floors and tiles don’t trap pollutants at the rate that carpets and rugs do, but they still accumulate some and should also be cleaned regularly.
It’s also helpful to have people remove shoes before entering your home, to prevent additional pollutants from being carried in and getting stuck to your floors.
Let in Some Natural Air
Keeping windows closed during the summer and winter while your HVAC system is working to keep your home warm or cool can lead to energy savings, but it also traps in indoor air pollutants. Believe it or not, even in most urban areas, indoor air can be more contaminated than outdoor air.
So to improve indoor air quality, make sure to open your windows when you get the chance and have some fresh air circulate through your home.
Humidity can lead to a lot of problems in your home like mold and mildew growth, the accumulation of pollutants, pest infestations, and more.
Take control of humidity by checking the most sensitive parts of your home (attic, basement, crawlspaces, closest) for signs of humidity and keep humidity out of all parts of your home by sealing up cracks and gaps in your insulation. Using a dehumidifier is also a great way to manage the humidity in your home.
Have Your Fireplace Flues Inspected
Your fireplace flue works to carry away gas exhaust from the fire and out of your home, and if there are any leaks in the flue, these gases can seep into your home damaging indoor air quality. In worse case scenarios, it can even lead to a dangerous carbon monoxide leak.
It’s best to have these flues inspected occasionally to ensure they’re in good condition and working well. The same goes for furnace, water heater, boiler, or generator flues).
Working to improving indoor air quality is a big part of keeping your home and family safe and healthy, and taking care of your HVAC system is essential to safe indoor air quality. For routine HVAC maintenance and anything else you need, contact AirXperts today, and let’s keep your home at its best!