As the temperatures continue to drop and you spend more time indoors, it’s essential to ensure the air you breathe is ideal for good health. Ingesting toxic, polluted air can adversely affect your ability to function well. Additionally, it can make you susceptible to sickness and intense allergic reactions. Therefore, to avoid an unsafe indoor air quality environment, it’s crucial to consider ways to keep your home and family protected.
1. Use an Air Purifier
Investing in an air purifier for your home can be a smart decision. Choose either a whole-home air purifier or portable ones for single rooms. If you opt for a single-room air purifier, it’s advisable to place it in the area with the highest foot traffic. For instance, if your living room or family room is the most frequently used space, it’s best to put the air purifier there. Additionally, placing it near the front door or the garage door entrance you and your family use the most can be helpful.
By strategically positioning your air purifier in a particular space, you can reduce the accumulation of allergens like dust, pollen and mold. This helps ensure a cleaner, healthier atmosphere. Moreover, an air purifier can be especially beneficial if you have pets.
It’s also advantageous to use an air purifier during the winter, which is considered cold and flu season. Whether someone in your family has a cold or COVID-19, these viruses can spread through the air. By having air purifiers installed throughout your home, you’ll have a powerful ally in the fight against these viruses since they’ll reduce the spread and support your goal of keeping your family healthy.
2. Decrease Indoor Air Pollutants
It can be difficult to determine the level of indoor air pollution in your home since it’s not something you can see. However, certain habits can help reduce indoor air pollution. If anyone in your home smokes, it’s best to quit. If the habit persists, they should smoke outside. If you love using air fresheners, plug-ins, or highly scented candles, it’s recommended you decrease or eliminate their usage entirely.
Instead, natural sources such as essential oils and diffusers are much safer for the indoor air. If you prefer burning candles, avoid burning them for more than three hours, and opt for environmentally friendly waxes. When cleaning, be mindful of the products used. Look for cleaning products that have cleaner ingredients. Challenge yourself to make your own cleaning products using ingredients like vinegar, fresh lemon juice and baking soda.
To reduce indoor air pollution, use a hood when cooking as it will allow odors to dissipate quickly. Additionally, when cleaning or cooking, opening a window or door can help circulate fresh air.
3. Change Your Air Filters
It is crucial to change your air filters regularly as this has a direct impact on air quality and energy bills. The air filter works by trapping dust, debris, and allergens that may be circulating in your home.
Once the filter is full, it needs to be replaced. Failure to replace it means the air will have a harder time moving through the filter. This makes it difficult for air to circulate throughout your home at the desired temperature. If you’ve turned on the heat and it still feels cold in your home, a clogged air filter might be a part of the issue. This will reflect a higher energy usage on your bill as more energy is required to move air past the filter.
The frequency at which you change your air filter depends on a few factors. For instance, if anyone in your home has allergies, you may need to change the filter once a month. Similarly, if you have pets, changing the air filter once a month is advisable. However, if you don’t have any allergies or pets, you can go for as long as three months (90 days) before replacing your air filter.
4. Increase the Humidity
Especially during the winter months, the air tends to be dry. When the air is drier than usual, it also affects the indoor air quality. When the indoor air is too dry, it can lead to respiratory issues. It’s not uncommon for people to face challenges with their breathing or nosebleeds due to dry air. To combat this, create opportunities to increase the humidity in your home.
For starters, you can invest in a hygrometer that monitors how much humidity is in your home. While you need humidity, you don’t want too much as it can lead to mold and other issues. In addition to a hygrometer, you can also invest in a humidifier. Get one for every room or floor in your home. If you rely heavily on your voice for your job, humidifiers are great to keep on while you sleep. Sleeping with a humidifier is also helpful for promoting healthy, supple skin.
Another habit to cultivate for increasing humidity involves that warm, steamy shower you take. Open the bathroom door when taking a shower. If you’re using hot water, steam naturally disperses through the air. Keeping the door open helps the air move throughout the area near your bathroom. You’ll also avoid the collection of too much humidity to the point of mold development.
5. Let the Fresh Air In
When it’s chilly outside, it’s normal to crave warmth inside. As a result, you’ll enter the house quickly and shut the door quickly to keep the cold air out. However, it’s a good idea to let some fresh air in and circulate throughout the house on a regular basis. Even if you only open a window for 15 minutes each day, make it a habit. This is crucial for maintaining clean air and proper ventilation.
Especially when cooking dishes with a lot of spices, oils and strong smells, it’s important to maintain this habit. Many people fall prey to nose blindness because when you spend long periods of time in an environment, your nose becomes desensitized to the odors present. Allowing air to circulate daily helps reduce the likelihood of accumulating harmful and unpleasant odors over time.
6. Inspect Your HVAC Ductwork
To ensure clean air in your home, it’s important to pay attention to the ductwork of your HVAC system. The HVAC system is responsible for circulating the air throughout your home. If the ductwork has dust and allergens in it, these will disperse throughout the air. This is where a professional comes in.
By getting an HVAC ductwork inspection or cleaning, you’ll be able to ensure that the source of the air is clean. Additionally, you’ll save on your energy bill because a clean HVAC system can operate at a higher capacity and doesn’t require as much energy. The quality of air you breathe is paramount to the quality of life you live. By taking care of your HVAC system, you’ll directly impact your family’s ability to breathe safely and enjoy a healthy environment.
Always remember that professional support helps eliminate questions of whether your HVAC system is contributing to your ultimate goal of maintaining a healthy environment for yourself and your family. By partnering with the qualified technicians of Air Authority, A Riteway Service Company, you’ll have access to services including air duct cleaning and indoor air quality optimization in addition to heating and cooling services. In order to learn how we can provide you with the services you need, contact us today.