When we think of air quality, we might think of outdoor air right away, but not indoor air. We spend a lot of time, maybe too much time, indoors, and specifically in our own house. This makes the indoor air quality (IAQ) in our home very important. It can greatly affect the health, comfort and safety of our family. It can have a larger impact on children and seniors. Indoor air can have more contaminants than outdoor air, plus it’s all in a concentrated place, so we breath more of it in. There are some easy steps to take and keep up with which will improve indoor air quality in your home.
While your home’s HVAC system controls the temperature and climate inside, its job also includes cycling and filtering the air in your home. It’s designed to keep air clean and filter out pollutants. A functioning, good HVAC system should give you good air quality along with the heating and cooling you expect.
Contaminants, dust, pollen, hair and so on can gather in air filters over time. This makes the whole house have poor air quality. You can get odors, allergens and other issues over time. This can also
harm and decrease the span of the HVAC over time. Other IAQ issues may be mold, asthmatic issues, irritations and other health or illness problems.
You or a professional should switch out filters, or clean filters if they are reusable filters, regularly. This may need to be done as often as once a month. This will help your HVAC system be more efficient and the overall air quality of your home with one pretty simple chore.
This is another easy suggestion. You can improve the indoor air quality by opening a window or two, or screen door, once in a while. Fresh outdoor air will move the air in your home. It can help with any fumes, pollutants, chemicals from cleaning products, pet odors and so on.
There are some exceptions to this idea. Opening a window on a very high pollen day might bring in more particulates and allergens than it lets out. In some urban areas, air might be more polluted or unpleasant smelling and you don’t want to let it go all over your home. The heat and humidity in a Carolina summer is also a factor.
There are times, especially in the early morning or later evening, when it’s a good idea to open a window, even for just a few minutes. Fresh oxygen will help you feel better in your home and better airflow helps air quality.
A Clean Home
A cleaner home, with less dust, dander and dirt, will have cleaner air. When you clean around the house, think about what’s effective at getting rid of mold, mildew, dirt and dust – especially pet hair and dander. Mold and anything animal-related are big causes of allergies and other irritations.
You should vacuum carpets and rugs at least once a week and more often if you have pets. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is a definite plus.
If you can change or remodel your home to more hard-surfaced floors than carpeted rooms or floors, it could be a benefit to air quality. Less “stuff” stays on wood, laminate, tile or hard-surfaced floors compared to carpets and rugs.
Washing bedding, window coverings, rugs and more large items which may attract and hold dust, dirt, mold and more is a help. Anything people or pets are on for long periods of time – bedding, cushions, blankets, pillows – needs to be washed regularly.
Plants may be nice scenery or even neat hobbies. They can help your indoor air quality, too. Plants can be natural air filters. Palm trees, ferns and some flowers are known as good filters. They also help a space’s oxygen flow.
Know the Temperature and Humidity
While thinking about the HVAC, check out the temperature and overall climate settings you’ve set. A home which is too warm and too humid can lead to more mold, bacteria and contaminants. Controlling the temperature and humidity – keeping humidity in a house to under 60% – can help combat allergies and asthma.
You don’t want wet, warm, dark places in your home. Bacteria and mold can grow, then grow out from, these areas.
If you think you need to take more steps to keep your house at the right humidity, consider:
- Getting dehumidifiers for the most humid rooms or areas
- Make sure vents, as in from a dryer, are open and functioning correctly
- Check the drip pans of the AC unit and dehumidifiers
- Fix leaky pipes
- Fix any ducts which may be leaking, cracked or kinked
- Use fans, vents or open windows while cooking, showering, dishwashing, or anything using heat and moisture
An air purifier will help clean and distribute air in your house. Air purifiers take in air, run it through multiple filters, then release it back out. This will combat allergens, pollen, hair, dust and, depending on the product and filters, even microscopic stuff down to bacteria and viruses. When buying and setting up an air purifier, it’s good to know what you’re getting for you and your family’s needs. There are HEPA, carbon and other filters. The delivery or airflow rate, and area coverage rate, are good to know as well.
At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.