Outdoor air pollution gets a lot of coverage in the media. However, it’s not the only place where you can breathe bad air. The air inside your home can also have irritants. Many things cause indoor air pollution. This includes gases from fuel appliances, household chemicals, and personal care items. Also, mold, mildew, and pet dander can add allergens to the air. Here are eight ways to improve your indoor air quality this winter.
1. Invest in an Air Purifier
Air purifiers are designed to remove irritants, allergens, and other pollutants by pulling air from the room through a filter. Continuous exposure to pollutants can lead to long-term health issues. These purifiers can be placed in line with your HVAC system, or you can buy standalone units for individual rooms. Many smart purifiers have air monitors that detect particulate and/or VOC levels. They will use that information to decide when to run and at what power level.
2. Get Your Ducts Cleaned
Your home’s ducts work hard for your HVAC system to help it circulate warm or cool air. When the ducts get dirty, the circulating air will start picking up dust and debris, lowering indoor air quality. When too many irritants fill the air, family members can begin having respiratory issues.
Combat the problem by enlisting the help of a ductwork professional. A trained ventilation expert can inspect the ductwork with camera scopes and determine where you need re-sealing, replacement, or cleaning.
3. Get Your Furnace Serviced
Good indoor air quality depends on a clean, adequately maintained furnace. A heating system that hasn’t been maintained consistently must work harder and burn more energy. This results in poor circulation and increased particles of irritants in the air. Many professionals offer annual maintenance plans that also provide discounts on additional services if you need them.
4. Maintain a Clean Home
Regularly keeping your home clean counts towards better indoor air quality. Dusting furniture and running a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter over the floors frequently helps rid your home of dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, and other irritants. If you have everyone take off their shoes when they enter your house, this is also a great way to keep dirt out of the home.
5. Use a Humidifier
Sometimes, especially in the winter, the reason for respiratory issues is dry air. Gas furnaces will bring dry outdoor air into your home as a part of the combustion process. This air is then warmed and distributed throughout your home. A lack of humidity can cause symptoms like itchy eyes, nose, and throat. Like air purifiers, humidifiers come in standalone and whole-house models. Most humidifiers have air monitors to keep your humidity at a comfortable level.
6. Store Chemicals Safely
Some cleaning products can emit different VOCs that irritate the eyes and nose. Oven cleaners are notorious for this issue, but even natural cleaners like Simple Green recommend ventilation when you use them. If you are sensitive to cleaning fumes or fragrances, note which cleaners are difficult to handle in your home. Always store chemicals in their original containers and keep them in a well-ventilated space away from living areas.
7. Invest in an Air Quality Sensor
If you’re concerned about your indoor air quality because of the health of family members, invest in an air quality sensor for real-time monitoring and measurement. A sensor can identify particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and help you find their sources. Some smart thermostats include air monitoring. Others can pair with certain brands of air quality sensors.
8. Open a Window
If you live in an area with clean outdoor air, you can always open a window or two for a few minutes. This ventilation method is most effective if you choose two opposing windows and create a cross-breeze. A breath of fresh air in your home will also help reduce humidity levels and reduce the growth of mold and mildew.
At Queen City Heating & Cooling in Springfield, we install, repair, and maintain heating, cooling, and indoor air products. Our team of professionals can help you develop a plan to help restore healthy indoor air to your home. We can install dehumidifiers, humidifiers, air purifiers, and more. Contact us today with all your indoor air quality needs or questions.