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How To Improve the Air Quality in Your Vancouver, WA, Home

Health-conscious people spend a lot of time considering their diet and exercise routines. They take great care to ensure they eat plenty of nutrients, while reducing their intake of unhealthy sugars and sodium. Then they spend hours every week visiting the gym, hoping to stay in the best shape possible. Often, however, these same people don’t take time to consider one of the most important factors in their overall health: air quality.

Vancouver, WA, is generally known for having good air quality, however, if you don’t take steps to keep the air in your home fresh and clean, it can negatively affect your family’s health.

You don’t have to be a health nut to reap the benefits of good, clean air: a few simple steps toward improving air quality will go a long way toward increasing your quality of life.

The Benefits of Clean Air

While Vancouver is known for having overall good air quality, no area is completely free from the microscopic particles that are released into the atmosphere by cars, trucks, factories, and other sources of pollutants. These particles, invisible to the naked eye, can find their way into your home and become a source of ill health. Your home also produces its own pollutants and irritants, such as dust and pet dander. These can also negatively affect your family’s health.

Scientific studies have regularly demonstrated that reducing your exposure to these microscopic pollutants has a variety of positive effects: among these are reduced risk of respiratory illness and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that air pollutants contribute to approximately 17,000 preventable deaths each year. Improving air quality will reduce instances of heart disease, stroke, asthma, and other related diseases.

Improving your indoor air quality will also improve the quality of life for allergy and asthma sufferers. People who are particularly vulnerable, such as children and the elderly, will also benefit strongly from a home with cleaner air.

Keep Your Home Clean

How To Improve the Air Quality in Your Vancouver, WA, Home

Dust, dirt, pet dander, and mold are all common triggers for asthma and allergies. Keeping your home clean is the first step you can take toward keeping these triggers out of the air. Regular vacuuming is an obvious necessity. Make sure that the vacuum you have is equipped with a HEPA certified filter.

Regularly washing your bedding and drapes will prevent mold spores from taking hold there. Use a mild bleach solution to clean walls and wood floors—just be careful not to get it on your clothes, and make sure that air can circulate as the bleach evaporates. Also, avoid clutter as much as you can. Clutter can be a source of mold and trap allergens, so try to keep the home tidy.

Invest in an Air Purifier

An air purifier—one that comes with a HEPA certification—is another method of clearing allergens and other impurities out of the air in your home. These are especially useful if you have pets in your home. Fur and pet dander can be captured by a high-quality air filter, reducing the instance of pet-related allergies.

Control the Humidity in Your Home

The air quality in Vancouver, WA, is known for is partially due to relatively low humidity compared to other places. Moisture in the air strongly encourages the growth of mold, as well as dust mites and other harmful irritants. Conversely, overly dry air is also not healthy, so you have to find a good middle ground when it comes to humidity. It should be kept at around 30 to 50 percent, and no higher.

Your air conditioner helps to reduce humidity during the summer. It’s a good idea to get a dehumidifier for the colder months. Your shower and dishwasher can also increase humidity. Keep the windows open and fans on while they’re running.

Avoid Artificially Scented Products

While they may smell good, plug-in air fresheners can emit a lot of different chemicals into the air in your home. Similarly, scented laundry detergents and other cleaning products can negatively affect your home’s air quality. This is especially true for allergy sufferers, who can be sensitive to the chemicals these products are made from.

While artificial scents are generally unhealthy, this does not mean your home cannot smell nice. Make use of more natural products. For example, you can deodorize your mattresses, shoes, and even your kitchen with simple baking soda. Place some lemon slices here and there for a fresh and pleasant scent. You can also obtain a few houseplants, which can naturally help to purify the air. Although be careful: houseplants that have been overwatered can add to the humidity in your home. Plants can also become repositories for mold if not properly cared for.

Keep Your HVAC System in Good Working Order

Some of the pollutants and irritants in your home come from within; dust and pet dander are the most common. Others, however, seep in from the outside. While the quality of the outside air is beyond your control, you do have a security system of sorts to capture dust, dander, and other pollutants: your HVAC system.

HVAC—which stands for heating, ventilation, and cooling—is what circulates the air through your home. Your heater and air conditioner carry air from room to room, and that air can hold microscopic pollutants. Your first step toward improving the air quality in your Vancouver home is to ensure that your HVAC system is in good working order. This means regularly having filters replaced and having occasional inspections performed by a certified technician.

It’s also a good idea to bring in an HVAC professional to complete performance testing in your home. This will detect leaks and the passage of particles that might be negatively impacting your indoor air quality. Another helpful service your HVAC technician can provide is Aeroseal duct sealing. Leaky ducts can allow a variety of fumes, chemicals, and particles to enter your HVAC system and then your home, diminishing the overall air quality. The application of Aeroseal, which seals your ducts from the inside, prevents this exchange of pollutants, keeping the air in your home healthier.

The benefits of both performance testing and Aeroseal duct sealing go beyond improving air quality. They’ll also improve the energy efficiency of your HVAC system, saving you money on your monthly energy costs.

In the Vancouver area, some of the best certified HVAC technicians come from Entek. Contact them and request that they do a full checkup of your heating and cooling system. They’ll replace the filters, check all the electrical wiring, give your service valves and condensers a tune-up, and ensure that there are no leaks in the ducts. Regular maintenance work on your HVAC system will go a long way toward improving your home air quality.