Combatting Phoenix Air Quality: Our Tips on How to Clean the Air In Your Home
Contrary to what you may think, our indoor air quality tends to be lower than our outdoor air quality. Due to limited ventilation and more, our homes can accumulate more dust and bacteria. As such, air pollution in our homes can be 2-5 times higher than outside. This, of course, isn’t a constant. When Arizona weather whips up a haboob, of course the Phoenix air quality is bound to be lower than indoor. With the air quality in Phoenix AZ fluctuating — more so in some parts than others — its important to know how to clean the air in your home so you are breathing easy even in the height of haboob season. Especially considering that pollution levels in Phoenix tend to exceed the federal health standard for air quality, the urgency is even greater. So, here are our top tips on how to clean the air in your home.
Know The Culprits
- Fuel-Burning Appliances
- Tobacco Products
- Building Materials
- Household Cleaning Products
- HVAC devices
- Outdoor Air Pollution Sources
A lot of these — such as fuel-burning appliances and tobacco products are pretty much common sense but let’s talk about cleaning products and HVAC devices.
They are supposed to clean your home and indeed they do a great job scrubbing away and killing accumulated bacteria. But a lot of chemical cleaning solutions contain high levels of volatile organic compounds that — if your home is not properly ventilated, can get trapped for a long time. Some of the associated issues include breathing problems and even smaller finer particles can lead to various heart and/or lung diseases.
The Solution? 1. Opt for chemical alternatives. These can include DIY cleaning solutions or buying eco-friendly and organic cleaning solutions that won’t break the bank — but also won’t pose a threat to your home’s indoor air quality. 2. Open windows. Give the solution the chance to escape and maybe even have a fan blowing to lead air out.
Wait… isn’t our HVAC unit supposed to clean our indoor air quality? Among other things, yes that’s the purpose of your HVAC unit. But just like any piece of technology, improper management of your HVAC unit can result in distributing more pollutants than it reduces. For instance, reusing air filters (especially trying to wash and reuse air filters) creates a breeding platform for pollutants to grow and spread. Punctures in your air ducts can create a place for pollutants to enter and/or escape, avoiding all filtering initiatives.
The Solution? If you’re looking for how to clean the air in your home, you need to engage in regular HVAC maintenance and cleaning. Here are ways to maintain your HVAC unit for summer and poor Phoenix air quality. One key thing to note is that your air filters are going to be the main source of scrubbing and cleaning in your HVAC system. When you opt to replace them, make sure to invest in HEPA as they are better able to catch smaller pollutants regular filters can’t otherwise get.
In addition to your home ventilation, consider spot ventilations — which include localized exhaust fans to spout out poor air quality at their source. A lot of spot ventilations are centered around the kitchen area and bathrooms (as they tend to be more… pungent than other rooms in your room). Check to see if they are already part of your home. If not, see if they would be a good addition to your home.
Additionally, consider cracking open the windows when you can. Arizona does hit record high temperatures seemingly every year but at night (on a cool night) check to see if opening a window is an option. Even blowign a fan outwards with a slightly cracked window can do your home some good — not everyday per se but every once in a while.
Invest in House Plants
Plants breathe by inhaling CO2 and emitting H20. Okay, so maybe they don’t breathe the same we do, but that’s the main idea. There are a number of houseplants that are ideal for removing pollutants such as the dracaena, spider plant, and even bamboo palms, you can’t go wrong when it comes to buying a house plant.
If your indoor air quality is still not what you’d like it to be — or if you feel something off about your indoor air quality, feel free to reach out to Donley! We fight comfort disasters before they arrive!