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4 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
We meander in and about our homes. We cook dinner and tend to laundry. We text people we care about and relax at the end of the day with music or a good book. Rarely during these daily occasions do we stop to think about the indoor air quality of our abode.
We assume that the air we’re breathing is healthy, or healthy enough. Maybe we could dust more and we’ll need to make sure to change our filters, but is there really anything we could be doing to improve the air we’re breathing?
In fact, we’re here to tell you that there are indeed steps you can take to ensure a cleaner air space. There are even air quality experts who, with just a phone call, can implement measures that will provide the following benefits:
And while dust and allergens are contaminants you should try to rid from your home, it’s even more essential to work with your local HVAC air quality specialist, as your region may be prone to seriously damaging gas compounds. Homes in Clark County, Washington, for example, have a higher probability that the radon in the air is too high, which, over time, can cause health problems including cancer.
This sounds dramatic, but homes often recycle the air within, so if you’re not confirming with an expert that your indoor air quality is safe, then it’s best to check and rectify any issues.
Here are four steps you can take to ensure your home has good air quality.
1. Ask for a Home Performance Test
The best HVAC companies will approach these systems holistically. The experts will not address your air conditioning unit without looking at the duct system and the heating system as well. This is because to function best it needs to all work in tandem and fit specifically to your house.
When you request a home performance test this will not only inspect at your HVAC system, but your entire home. The experts will look for unsafe levels of carbon monoxide and radon, as well as mold and mildew. They will also check to see if any windows or doors are causing air leaks and ensure each room is properly ventilated. They’ll look for areas of weakness and come to you with solutions so you can update your home and live in a space that is cool in the summer, warm in the winter, energy efficient, and provides you with top-notch air quality no matter the circumstances.
2. Have Your Ducts Cleaned and Sealed
If your HVAC system runs through ducts than you know that dust and debris can build up in that tubing. It’s completely normal, but does reduce your air quality over the years. For that reason, it is strongly recommended that you maintain your system by calling in an HVAC company for routine cleaning.
Similarly, ducts are also prone to leaks, which means that even if your HVAC system seems to be working well, it’s not working efficiently, which is costing you money every day.
The best solution to this problem is duct sealing. If you choose to seal your ducts with Aeroseal, this can eliminate up to 95% of leaks. It is a low-cost solution that will not disrupt your household during application and can be completed in just a few hours.
Most households could benefit from duct sealing and all will benefit from duct cleaning, so make your appointment today and know that your family will be breathing in healthier air tomorrow.
3. Opt for a Central Vacuum System
Another great way to improve your indoor air quality is to limit the amount of dirty recycled air. While it may not be obvious, vacuuming your carpets often causes this. Certainly vacuuming is an essential household chore and does clean the floor, but a surprising amount of the dust and debris end up back in the air and, once again, settle onto the floor or other surfaces.
This cannot be prevented when using tradition vacuums, no matter how expensive your machine, but there is a solution—a central vacuum system.
If you choose to add a central vacuum system into your home, it works by having ducts run through your walls and collects the dust and debris in a large container often stored in an attic, basement, or garage. Then, when you want to vacuum, you attach your hose to an outlet on the wall and suck up the contaminants. The materials flow through the hose, through the ducts, and into the container, where it is stored until seasonal removal.
A system like this often traps 99% of debris, reducing your allergens, keeping your family healthy all year long by keeping your air as clean as possible.
4. Bring in an Air Purifier or Dehumidifier
A top recommendation by Harvard Health Publishing to improve your indoor air quality is to purchase either an air purifier or dehumidifier. Ultimately, there will be times when the pollen count is so high outside that it’s impossible to control all of the variables inside. That’s when this is a great solution, says Dr. Nicholas BuSaba, associate professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School.
When an air purifier is placed in a central location, especially one that is an ionic purifier, it can help reduce allergen triggers. Even if you can’t remove all the offenders, limiting allergens can downgrade the symptoms.
Similarly, a dehumidifier is a welcomed addition to moist locations like the basement and will help prevent mold and mildew growth. Keep bathrooms well ventilated as well, added Dr. BuSaba.
If you are looking to improve home air quality, you can’t address just one thing in your home. Instead, think of your home as a living being that needs to be cared for completely and not always one room at a time. Taking these four steps will get you closer to your goal and keep you at ease knowing you’ll never have to think about your air quality again—or at least until next spring.