“Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations,” says the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The quality of your home’s air is very important because it can lead to adverse health effects; more on that later.
Air pollution doesn’t just exist in large cities, it can happen within newly constructed suburb homes or remote cabins as well. Indoor allergens include dust, pet dander, and mold. Pollutants from outdoor air, such as pollen and smoke, can enter your home through open windows and through small cracks. It is important, however, to let in clean, fresh air so that the allergens, smells, and pollutants don’t just recirculate.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to improve the air quality inside your home. Here are a handful of quick tips:
1. Clean Smarter
Physically removing any dust, dirt, pollen, or other pollutants from your home on a regular basis is essential to enjoying clean air. Consider a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter especially if you live with friends or family who have asthma, allergies, or lung conditions. HEPA-filtered vacuums are highly effective at removing pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and smoke because they trap the particles instead of releasing them back into the air like a conventional vacuum.
2. Monitor Humidity Levels
Keep your home’s humidity levels at or below 50 percent. If the air in your dwelling becomes heavy with moisture, the space becomes a breeding ground for dust mites, allergens, bacterial growth, and even mold contamination. If this is an issue for your home or climate where you live, we suggest that you use a dehumidifier.
3. Be Mindful with Windows and Added Scents
Being mindful of the air and scents that are allowed indoors can go a long way. If you use candles or encounter strong scents such as harsh cleaners be sure the area gets adequate air ventilation afterwards, rather than thinking it will automatically resolve itself. Opening windows is a great way to increase air flow – but limit the exposure if seasonal pollen or smoke is present outdoors.
If you use a weather app on your phone, the outdoor air quality is likely to be shown along with the temperature. If it’s fire season and you can’t visibly tell if it’s smokey outside, you can check the air quality index by phone or broadcast before opening a window.
4. Invest in an Air Purifier
Air Purifiers effectively clean the air indoors by pulling air through their filtration system. Not only do they catch airborne allergens such as pollen, mold spores, and smoke – they can even halt the movement of bacteria and viruses. Be sure to get an air purifier that is adequate to filter the space you intend to use it; you may want to place more than one throughout your home.
5. HVAC Maintenance
HVAC technology offers a variety of ways to mitigate air pollution and improve indoor air quality. Good ventilation design, keeping the duct system clean, and replacing air filters are just some of the ways in which HVAC maintenance helps to improve indoor air quality. Taking care of these heating, ventilation, and air conditioning factors will have an effective impact on air quality since air is pushed through these systems almost every day, whether the furnace or AC is being used.
Check Your Home’s Air Quality if You Notice These Symptoms
Do you know your home’s indoor air quality index score? If you aren’t sure and you or other household members experience any of the following conditions be sure to investigate and correct any indoor air quality issues right away.
- Irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat
- Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue
- Respiratory strain or a cough that doesn’t go away
- Allergy symptoms
- Asthma attacks
- Signs of mold exposure
The HVAC professionals at Maki Heating and Air Conditioning can help you test your home’s Air Quality Index (AQI) and make recommendations to help purify the air within your house. We are also experienced in providing air quality services to restaurants, offices, and other commercial buildings.
Call Maki Heating and Air Conditioning Today
It’s always a good idea to proactively monitor the air quality in your home and take steps to improve. Our ultimate goal is to provide a safe, temperature-controlled environment for your home and improve the health and wellbeing of those you care about. Call us today to schedule an appointment to assess the air quality of your home at (530) 885-3449.