Air quality and airborne pollutants are often discussed in the context of the outdoor environment, but it’s easy to forget that we need to consider our indoor air quality as well. Since we spend so much time in our houses, indoor air quality is even more important to pay attention to. Unfortunately, the air inside your house is probably not as clean as is ideal for the health of your and your family.
Did you know, indoor air can be even more hazardous to your health than the air outside? This is especially true if you haven’t been keeping up with tasks like getting your ducts cleaned regularly or changing the filter in your central air unit.
If you’re having symptoms such as a runny nose, dizziness, sneezing, or watery eyes, your indoor air quality is likely compromised. Long term exposure to indoor air pollutants can also cause or aggravate respiratory problems and diseases.
Luckily, there is plenty that you can do about it.
Follow these easy tips to improve the air quality in your home.
1. Increase Ventilation
An easy step that you can take toward improving your indoor air quality is to increase your home’s airflow. Sufficient airflow gets rid of stagnant air and allows fresher air to circulate in the interior of your home.
The simplest option is to open the windows to the outside to let fresh air in, and leave the inside doors open to allow the fresh air to pass through. However, if you live in a city with poor air quality, in order to benefit from open windows you should only leave them open during times of day with light traffic levels.
You can also invest in a trickle ventilator that allows outside air to enter the home through a filter. That way, you get fresh air without any pollutants that might come with it from the outdoors.
2. Reduce VOCs
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that are often found in the fragrances in cleaning supplies, air fresheners, laundry soaps, and other products used inside the house. Many VOCs have been classified as toxic and are hazardous to health. Since they are emitted as gases from the products that contain them, VOCs can affect the quality of air inside your home.
To avoid them, purchase fragrance free products. If you want to use up your regular products before switching to the scentless versions, make sure that you use them in a well-ventilated area, and don’t store them in an area that is accessed frequently.
3. Regularly Replace Your Central Air Unit Filter
It’s easy to let this task fall by the wayside, but it’s one of the most basic things that you can do to keep your indoor air clean. When you realize how important it is for the health of you and your family, it should be easier to remember to change your central air unit filter.
When you don’t change your filter every 30 to 90 days, dust and other particles build up and cause your HVAC system to have to work harder, in addition to causing the buildup of pollutants in your ducts.
4. Pay Attention to Your Filter’s MERV Rating
As I mentioned, it’s important to replace the filter in your central air unit regularly. However, it’s also important to make sure that you’re getting a quality filter that can screen out anything that might be hazardous to your health.
A filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating tells you how effectively it filters out microparticles. Aim for a filter with a high rating (on a scale from 1 to 16), as the higher the number, the better it is at filtering out small particles. Homes are usually fine with a filter rated between 7 and 12, while filters rated 13 and above are generally used only in medical settings.
5. Wash Bedding and Clothes Regularly
Since dust mites contribute heavily to poor air quality, it’s important to take steps to minimize them. Dust mites can irritate your nose and throat, causing many of the symptoms associated with compromised indoor air quality.
Since dust mites are found in fabric items like bedding, clothing, cushions, and curtains, making sure that you keep those items clean is an important step toward improving your home’s air quality.
Additionally, if you have pets, it’s a good idea to keep them off beds and couches, as their hair can build up and contribute to poor air quality.
6. Vacuum and Dust Often
Carpets and rugs are often filled with dust mites and other allergens. Vacuuming on a weekly basis will help to make sure that they don’t build up excessively.
A vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter will remove microscopic particles that affect air quality, so make sure that you invest in one of those.
It’s also important to remove dust from shelves, counters, and other surfaces prone to buildup.
7. Clean/Change Your AC Filter
Air conditioners can help to improve indoor air quality by reducing the humidity in your home, making it harder for mold to grow.
Additionally, most air conditioners have a filter to remove dust, spores, and other contaminants.
Just like your central air unit filter, your AC’s filter will lose effectiveness if it’s not cleaned or changed regularly. A dirty filter will cause the AC to work harder, reduces airflow, and may even cause it to overheat.
Make sure that you address the filter at the beginning of the cooling season or every 30-60 days if your air conditioner is in constant use.
8. Control Humidity
A humid environment is ideal for the growth of mold and mildew, as well as for allowing the spread of airborne viruses. Make sure that your home does not allow mold to thrive and contaminate the air that you breathe.
Ideally, indoor air humidity should be between 40 and 50 percent. You can find out what level of humidity you’re dealing with by using a hygrometer.
As we’ve seen, air conditioners can help with humidity in your home, but you may need to invest in a dehumidifier if you don’t have an air conditioner or if your home is still too humid.
9. Have Your Ducts Professionally Cleaned
This is one of the most important steps that you should take toward clean air in your home.
Your indoor air can be circulated up to seven times a day by your HVAC system. This means that any dust, microparticles, mold, or other pollutants are passed through the system, and will build up over time. Buildup of these contaminants in your ducts will severely impact the quality of the air that you breathe.
While many people attempt a DIY clean, the limited reach into the HVAC system greatly limits how effective such a clean can be. In order to really get rid of any pollutants, you need to hire a professional duct cleaning team to prevent unclean air from continuing to be breathed by you and your family.
The duct cleaning process involves cleaning the return and supply air ducts and registers, cooling coils, drip pans, diffusers, grilles, and other components of your air system. This is far beyond what the average person can do on their own, making duct cleaning experts a must for when it’s time to scrub out your system.
If you can see a layer of dust or film on the inside of your ducts, you will benefit from a professional duct cleaning. The average home should have its ducts cleaned by experts every three to five years.
Make Clean Indoor Air Your Goal
Breathing dust, mold, and other particles isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s also detrimental to your health. Dirty air ducts can cause allergies, sinus problems, and respiratory tract infections to develop, as well as aggravate asthma. Therefore, clean air inside your home is something that everyone should be aiming for.
If you have pets; someone in your home suffers from asthma or another respiratory problem; your house smells musty, especially when the furnace runs; or you haven’t paid attention to your indoor air quality in a while, the cleanliness of the air inside your home should particularly be on your radar. These are just a few of the indications that you need to take steps to improve the air quality inside your home.
While every tip here will take you a step closer to clean indoor air, the most important thing is to make sure that your HVAC system isn’t circulating air filled with dust, spores, microparticles, and other pollutants. Therefore, a thorough professional duct cleaning is a great starting place for those who want to breathe easy inside their homes.
We are Entire Duct Cleaning and we are here to provide you with professional duct cleaning services. Our team of trained and skilled professionals make sure that the air you breath inside your homes and offices is clean and pollutant free. We provide duct cleaning services for residential and commercial properties to help eliminate irritants and allergens such as pollen, smoke, dust mites, bacteria, etc. We service Toronto & the GTA and all cities within a 50 km radius of Toronto including Brampton, Mississauga, Milton, Oakville, Pickering, Ajax, Vaughan, North York, Richmond Hill, Scarborough.
We take great pride in our craft! Therefore, our highly experienced team uses specialized machines and tools to do a professional job! We are always striving to give our customers the best experience and are here to answer all your queries. You can contact us at (416) 278-7661 or fill in the form below for more information and to get a price quote.
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