Love is in the Air: How to Improve Air Quality in Your Home
Date: February 14, 2019
HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY?
There is a growing consensus that the indoor home air quality is significantly worse than outdoor air quality. While surprising at first glance, it makes sense when you consider why. Because we are indoors more often than not, we are our own culprits when it comes to sources of airborne pollutants. Couple this with pets at home, the air quality significantly worsens. You should investigate how you can improve indoor air quality because it will ensure that you, your family, and your guests are healthier and happier. But don’t worry — this guide on how to improve air quality in the home will arm you with the knowledge you’ll need to live a healthier life!
Watch For The Sources
The EPA has named some of the biggest sources of air pollution impacting your home air quality. As a quick run-down, they include the following:
• Fuel-burning appliances
• Tobacco products
• Building materials
• Household cleaning products
• HVAC devices
• Excess Moisture
• Outdoor air pollution sources
Sources indoors as well as outdoors contribute to the air quality you breathe in. This is why ensuring you have great filtration systems in place is foundational.
You need outdoor air to enter indoors because this prevents pollutant accumulation. Air entering in and out of your home is key in raising the air exchange rate, which in turn filters pollutants out. With that said, you have to be cognizant of the fact that outdoor air also has pollutants.
Your home is equipped with a ventilation system which includes air ducts, fans, and air vents. If you want to know how you can improve indoor air quality, this is step one. Knowing where your vents and ducts are and frequently replacing the filters is critically important. This ensures the vents and ducts do what they are meant to do to their highest capacities to preserve great home air quality. Make sure to invest in the right filters. While prices vary, they vary with varying degrees of quality. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are the types you need. Especially if you have family members with allergies or weak immune systems, HEPA filters help get rid of harmful pollutants the best.
Minimize The Use Of Fuel-Burning Appliances
When looking into how to improve air quality in the home, look at fuel-burning appliances. It’s important to note air quality is not just the smell but the fuels on the microscopic level as well. Burning fossil fuels and/or coal releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. We all know the concerns when it comes to CO2 — impaired performance and decision-making among other concerns. We’re all aware that it’s never a good idea to leave the car running in a closed garage. It becomes lethal. In a more minimized way, using fuel-burning appliances for extended periods of time with poor ventilation options poses a huge risk to your family.
How To Improve Air Quality In-Home
The best thing to do is move towards electric appliances over fuel-based appliances. Not only are these going to be more energy efficient (pending the model), they don’t emit the same level of air pollutants as fuel-based appliances.
The alternatives are cracking open windows and doors to let air move about. Move your cooking outdoors, and/or again checking your ventilation systems.
Test Your Air Quality
Carbon Monoxide is a major issue that is odorless and seemingly undetectable. As an emission of burning gas, carbon monoxide (as well as other gases) should be tested for. Investing in a Carbon Monoxide detector, as well as getting your air quality tested helps combat odorless toxins and gases in your home.
Cut Out Tobacco Products From the House
Smoking tobacco products are known to pose many health risks to, not only ourselves but those around us through second-hand smoking. It’s best to avoid them altogether but at the very minimum, they should be done in isolated areas outside of the house where smoke can’t get trapped.
Test For Radon
This is another dangerous source affecting your health quality. Radon is the leading source of lung cancer for non-smokers and the second leading cause overall. Because it is odorless and difficult to detect, this is one of the major consideration points for ensuring you protect yourself and your family as best as you can.
Be Cautious Of Your Use of Paint
Redecorating our rooms is a fun experience, especially if we’re going for a big remodel. We’ve heard that it’s best to leave a room empty for a few days after painting to prevent inhaling gases; however, paints in general still release gas months after we apply them. This means that they too are odorless (are you catching onto a theme?). Make sure that you crack open a window now and then and have an extremely clean filter system after redecorating or remodeling a room (or home). Especially because building materials contribute to poor air quality, redoing your home releases more toxins than normal. Make sure your house is equipped to handle it.
Check Your HVAC System
One major ‘how to’ in improving air quality in the home is to employ proper HVAC maintenance. Air conditioners use hydrofluorocarbons which can present toxins and gases harmful to us and the earth’s atmosphere. While HVAC systems won’t release these toxins naturally, one with broken or malfunctioning parts may so it’s important to make sure they are up-to-date. It’s also important to note that in the process of heating air, your home uses whatever heating mechanism is in place. Furnaces use gas and/or oil to heat the air which may contribute to your in-home air quality. Knowing how your air gets heated tells you about potential sources of toxins and gases.
Use HVAC Less
You can try to minimize the use of HVAC systems. If the air is nice out, crack open a window. Again, make sure your filtration system is up and running.
Employ Air Purifiers To Improve Home Air Quality
It may also help to invest in an air purifier. There are many that run for different prices. We highly recommend HEPA purifiers as they aim to best trap pollutants. But note that while effective, they too need to have their filters replaced.
Ask a Professional
Because your family’s safety is vitally important, scheduling seasonal maintenance on your home’s HVAC system best protects your family from the odorless gases and toxins that may invade your space. Donley’s HVAC heroes are here to save the day. Schedule a service to see what we can do for you!