With the central AC cycling on endlessly, it’s easy to miss the fresh air fall and spring bring to a home. While it may not be cool enough to open windows and let the breeze in, there are steps you can take today to improve the quality of your indoor air.
Whether your bathroom exhaust fan is nonexistent or simply very under-used, now is the time to start using it regularly. This seemingly insignificant little fan packs a powerful ventilating punch. In addition to improving indoor air quality by exhausting out stale or smelly air, the most important function it has is exhausting humid air from showers, baths, and running faucets. This air is a huge problem if left trapped indoors. As this publication from the Home Ventilating Institute explains: “During a bath or shower, humidity levels rise significantly creating the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew and microorganisms that can negatively impact health.”
Keep a healthy level of humidity. A dehumidifier can work wonders on indoor air quality, especially if your home does not have central AC. Keeping the air in your home less humid is an excellent measure to control allergens, which thrive in humid environments. Dehumidifiers are especially effective in places like basements and laundry rooms, which experience less air circulation. Controlling the humidity in these rooms ensures that moisture (and allergens) do not spread to other areas of your home.
Dust mites and mold love moisture. Keeping humidity around 30%-50% helps keep them and other allergens under control. A dehumidifier (and air conditioner during summer months) helps reduce moisture in indoor air and effectively controls allergens, Lang says. An air conditioner also reduces indoor pollen count — another plus for allergy-sufferers.
This tip is the easiest and quickest way to improve your home’s indoor air quality. Though most people know they should be changing heating and AC system filters regularly, they aren’t. Filters may seem unimportant, but they directly impact the quality of your indoor air… and your health. Michele Dawson, writing for Angie’s List, expands on this: “Dirty air filters worsen the air quality and can exacerbate [allergy] symptoms. If you have pets, it’s even more important because pet dander will accumulate in the system and then spread allergens throughout the household. It’s an easy fix to replace your filter and prevent air quality from deteriorating.” In addition to improving your air quality, regularly changing filters will keep your HVAC systems running as efficiently as possible.
While you’re at it, change (or clean) your vacuum filter, too!
Bonus #1: Bring Nature Inside Many plants are great for filtering toxins out of our home’s air. The ficus, spider plant, and peace lily purify pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and other VOC’s from the air.
A good tip, as long as you are not allergic to the above listed plants!
Bonus #2: Vacuum your house frequently – especially if you have heavy foot traffic and/or indoor animals). Don’t forget to remove your shoes when you enter the house! Use an upholstery brush on your sofa and chairs, and remember to remove cushions and pillows, and clean these with the upholstery brush as well.
Bonus #3: Use microfiber towels while cleaning indoors:
• When dusting use microfiber towels and dusters as they attract dust and cause the dust to cling to the fibers
• Clean blinds weekly with microfiber dusters or run a lamb’s wool duster across the blinds.
Bonus Tip #4: Go Fragrance-Free Avoid cleaning products with harmful chemicals.Opt for fragrance-free laundry soaps, and air fresheners that actually kill the root of the smell, not just mask it.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people spending a significant about of time indoors. 69% is spent at home and an additional 18% is spent at work or other locations, totaling 87%.
NJ LIC. NO.13VH01727600
Robert W. Vaughan,
Master HVACR Contractor Lic. # 5842
Thomas J. Weaver,
Master Plumber Lic # 9521