Spring is a great time to boost your indoor air quality before you start using your air conditioner. Your home has been sealed up from the outside world for months, circulating old pollutants, hair and dander. There may be a lot of dust collecting on various surfaces and in corners. You may even be struggling with persistent cold symptoms that last weeks at a time. Here are several effective ways to improve your indoor air quality this season.
1. Improve Household Habits
Your air quality may be suffering if you smoke indoors, use harmful cleaners or neglect to clean as often as you should. Common household aerosols like bleach, air fresheners and glass cleaners are full of harsh chemicals that irritate your lungs and sinuses. Always provide ample ventilation when cleaning and opt for cleaners free of harsh chemicals. You should also frequently use your kitchen range hood and the exhaust fan in your bathroom to pull moisture out of the home and limit unpleasant odors.
2. Test Your Air Quality
Poor air quality can manifest as a range of health problems like sneezing, coughing, trouble sleeping and general fatigue. If you or members of your family struggle with intense allergy or respiratory issues, consider scheduling an air quality test. Your home may have a significant gas leak or something going wrong in the ductwork. Do-it-yourself air quality tests may be widely available, but they’re not as reliable or comprehensive as relying on experienced HVAC technicians.
3. Invest in Better Air Filters
HVAC air filters can easily be found in your local grocery or hardware store. However, even though this accessibility makes it effortless to find a replacement, these options aren’t always the best for your home. The most carried variety is fiberglass filters with MERV ratings of around eight. Upgrading to improved pleated or washable filters with higher ratings can lower how often you need to switch them out. They’ll also be more efficient at removing smaller particulates like spores, mites and dust that would otherwise slip through into your ductwork. Always choose air filters that are the right size and designed to work with your HVAC system. Instead of waiting until it’s time to replace your filter, consider ordering in bulk or setting up a subscription to ensure you have what you need when you need it.
4. Take Care of Your Pets
Most households in the United States own at least one furry companion. Unfortunately, pets like dogs and cats are full of allergens like hair, dander and whatever particulates they drag in from outside. They shed onto your furniture and rugs, allowing those contaminants to circulate and eventually block up your filter. Take the time to regularly brush and bathe your animals outside or arrange to have them professionally groomed. Consider vacuuming at least once a week to pick up hair before it reaches your HVAC system. You should also choose a higher-quality filter that can handle the number of pets in your home.
5. Install Air Purifier
An air purifier is one of the best ways to control your air quality throughout the year. You have your choice of air scrubbers, germicidal lights or high efficiency particulate absorbing purifiers. Germicidal lights, for example, have recently become popular for being able to neutralize the DNA of harmful viruses and bacteria. For small spaces like offices or bedrooms, individual units can make a huge difference when you’re resting. Whole-home purifiers are installed inside your HVAC system and control the air quality of every room. They can remove contaminants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pet dander, spores and even smoke.
6. Consider a Dehumidifier/Humidifier System
Unlike air purifiers, dehumidifying or humidifying systems only directly address your airborne moisture level. Excess vapor can impact your air quality when you have a substantial water leak or an air conditioning problem. Most mold and mildew problems start in basements, which are typically more humid due to their position underground. A dehumidifier is an ideal option if you live in a particularly damp environment or near a body of water. Humidifiers are great in dry areas and for families with health concerns.
7. Schedule HVAC Maintenance
Even if you routinely switch out your air filters, grime will still slowly build up on the coils and motor. On top of dropping the system’s efficiency, this also pushes more debris into your home. A seasonal tune-up at least once a year allows an expert to check for any damages and complete a full wipe-down. We’ll vacuum out any hair or dust and check for pests, corrosion or rust. Catching the early signs of mold or mildew can save you from dealing with a massive infestation later.
8. Limit Indoor Allergens
Prevent allergens from invading your space by keeping your windows and doors closed. If you want fresh air, you can install a ventilation system or put your thermostat on the “ON” setting. This will keep the fan running continuously, constantly filtering the air coming inside. Regularly wash your rugs, curtains and bedding to eliminate dust mites. After dealing with any mold, be sure to replace the carpet, drywall or wood where it was found. After any indoor construction or remodeling project, schedule an indoor air quality testing.
9. Boost Ventilation
Ventilation systems provide you with better control of the air entering your home. They pull out the old air and replace it with cooler, cleaner air. In addition to reducing radon gas and VOCs, these systems can also be used to boost your home’s energy efficiency. They limit humidity, which can put an unhealthy strain on your air conditioner. During the mild spring and fall, ventilation systems may even be used in place of traditional temperature control to lower your energy costs.
10. Keep Plants Outside
You’ve likely heard that keeping plants in your home can naturally improve your air quality. Depending on the plant, they can often cause more problems than they solve. Plants will quickly become a source of mold and pests. They’re prone to bacterial growth that can spread to other nearby objects and harm your pets and children. Instead of lining your shelves or counters with these potential hazards, consider keeping them out in your sunroom or on your porch or balcony.
All Pro Air is dedicated to delivering superior heating and cooling support in Riverside, CA and the surrounding areas. Our NATE-certified technicians have experience working on all types of top-of-the-line, energy-efficient systems. We offer satisfaction guarantees as well as free estimates to help you make the best home comfort decisions. Count on our skilled team to repair or maintain your furnace, heat pump, air conditioner or ductless system. We’ll have no problem setting you up with a new smart thermostat or air purification system. Don’t forget to keep us in mind for all your seasonal HVAC maintenance needs. Call All Pro Air today to learn more about our indoor air quality services.