Like most people, you spend a lot of time in your home. However, you may not realize that the air inside your house could be up to five times more polluted than outside. Poor indoor air quality can cause various health problems, including allergies, asthma, and respiratory issues. Here are 11 tips to improve the air quality in your home and help keep you and your family healthy and comfortable.
1. Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Air filters trap dust, pollen, and other airborne particles but can’t do their job effectively if they become clogged. A dirty air filter can also strain your HVAC system, contributing to higher energy bills and costly repairs.
We recommend frequently changing your air filters every 90 days or more if you have pets or allergies. You can purchase air filters at your local hardware store or order them online. Be sure to choose a filter with a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating to trap the most particles.
2. Keep Your Home Clean
Dust and other particles can accumulate on surfaces and be circulated through your home by your HVAC system. Regular dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning can help remove these particles from your house.
In addition to keeping your home clean, we recommend using natural cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals. Many cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds that can contribute to indoor air pollution.
3. Use an Air Purifier
Air purifiers are devices that help remove pollutants from the air in your home. They work by drawing in air and trapping pollutants in a filter or using a technology such as UV light to kill bacteria and viruses.
When choosing an air purifier, look for one with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. These filters can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
4. Increase Ventilation
Adequate ventilation is essential for maintaining good indoor air quality. Opening windows and doors increases the free flow of air into your house. Although this may be difficult in extreme weather conditions, opening windows daily for a few minutes is advisable.
Consider installing a heat or energy recovery ventilator if you have a central HVAC system. These devices can help bring fresh air into your home while reducing energy costs.
5. Control Humidity
High humidity levels in your residence can lead to mold growth, worsen indoor air quality, and cause respiratory problems. To control humidity levels, use a dehumidifier in damp areas of your home, such as basements and bathrooms.
In addition, be sure to fix any leaks or water damage as soon as possible to prevent mold growth. If you notice mold in your house, it’s essential to have it removed by a professional to prevent further damage to your home and health.
6. Test for Radon
Radon is a radioactive gas that can seep into your home from the ground. Exposure to high radon levels can cause lung cancer, so it’s essential to test your home for radon. A radon test kit can be purchased at your local hardware store, or hire a professional to test your home.
You can take steps to reduce possible exposure to radon. Some practical ways to reduce radon levels include sealing cracks in the house’s foundation, installing a radon mitigation system, and increasing ventilation.
7. Invest in Indoor Plants
Some examples of plants that are particularly effective at purifying the air include snake plants, spider plants, and the peace lily. These plants also contribute to the natural beauty of your home.
Indoor plants can remove harmful pollutants from the air by absorbing them through their leaves and roots. For example, the snake plant, commonly known as the mother-in-law’s tongue, can remove toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. The spider plant is easy to maintain and effectively removes pollutants such as formaldehyde and xylene. At the same time, the peace lily is a beautiful plant that effectively removes airborne pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
When choosing indoor plants for air purification, it’s essential to consider the plant’s ability to purify the air and its care requirements. Some plants may require more sunlight or water than others, so choosing a plant that will thrive in your home environment is essential. You can consult a local nursery or plant expert for a suitable option.
8. Install UV Lights in Your HVAC System
A technician can install ultraviolet lights in your HVAC system to kill bacteria, viruses, and other harmful particles. UV lights can also discourage the growth of mold and mildew, which can thrive in dark and damp places like your HVAC system. Mold and mildew are notorious contributors to poor indoor air, producing a musty smell. Installing UV lights can improve air quality and help keep your house healthy.
9. Be Careful When Remodeling
Renovations and remodeling of your home can adversely affect indoor air quality. Common renovations such as painting, sanding, and refinishing wood surfaces may release harmful chemicals into the air.
If you plan to renovate, taking precautions to ensure good indoor air quality is essential. Use paint and other products designed specifically for low-emission, such as non-VOC paints. Ensure that your contractor follows appropriate safety protocols, like using exhaust fans in well-ventilated areas and wearing protective gear.
10. Block Out Outdoor Pollutants
While opening windows can improve ventilation and bring fresh air into your house, it can also let in pollutants like pollen, dust, and smoke. If you live in an area with high pollution levels or near a busy road, keeping your windows closed can prevent such pollutants from entering and making your home uncomfortable.
11. Weatherize Your Home
Weatherizing your home can help reduce energy consumption and improve indoor air quality. Weatherizing includes caulking and sealing cracks around windows, using insulation, and installing storm doors. This helps prevent pollutants from entering the house and reduces drafts that would otherwise bring in outdoor air.
12. Test Your Air Quality
Finally, it’s a good idea to periodically test your home’s air quality to ensure that the measures you’re taking to improve it are compelling. You can purchase an air quality monitor online or at a home improvement store to test for dust, mold, and allergens. If your air quality is still poor despite your efforts, you may need to call in a professional HVAC contractor to assess your system and make recommendations for improvement.
Improving air quality in your home is essential for maintaining good health and preventing respiratory problems. Following these tips can improve ventilation, reduce pollutants, and create a healthy and comfortable indoor environment for you and your family.
Contact Your HVAC Partner
With over 25 years of experience, our team has been delivering quality services for Antelope Valley, CA residents. We offer several services, including air conditioning and heating, ventilation, remodels, indoor air quality, and more, all at an affordable cost. As a homeowner, you’ll always receive premium service and lasting results from our crew. Contact Affordable Air & Heating today if you’re a resident of Antelope Valley or a surrounding area to schedule an appointment.