Did you know that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside? Mild indoor air pollution can irritate those with allergies and asthma, while severe indoor air pollution can cause respiratory diseases and other illnesses. To keep you and your family safe from the effects of air pollution, these seven steps you can take to keep the air in your home clean and fresh.
Houseplants aren’t just for home décor. They can also improve the air quality in your home by removing common air pollutants that are produced by carpet, cleaning products, and paint. A study conducted by NASA in conjunction with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America revealed that placing one house plant every 50 feet can effectively remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute the air. Thus, significantly improving indoor air quality.
Plants that were named in the study include:
While houseplants can improve indoor air quality, it is important to make sure you select the right one for your home. For example, both English Ivy and Peace Lily are toxic to cats and should be avoided if you have any. But also be cautious with those in your household because certain plants can also trigger symptoms in people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions.
Even if you live in a dry desert climate like Arizona, humidity can still become a potential problem in your home. In some cases, the level of humidity in your home can exceed the level of humidity outdoors. To keep the humidity in your home from reaching uncomfortable levels, there are a few steps you can take.
Try to always close the door before showering to keep the moisture contained and run your bathroom fan for at least ten minutes after to remove moisture from the air. Additionally, use the vent fan in your kitchen whenever you’re cooking on the stove. If your home doesn’t have a fan or vent system, opening a window can work as well.
If your home is especially humid, your air conditioner may be to blame. An air conditioner that is too big for your home may contribute to higher humidity, as frequent and short cycles aren’t sufficient for removing moisture from the air. The best solution to an oversized AC system is having the correct size installed. If you suspect your home’s air conditioner is too big for the job, contact the experts at Chas Roberts. As part of our replacement services, we provide free in-home estimates after examining your system, so you’ll know exactly what needs to be done to it.
Increasing the amount of fresh outdoor air that enters your home can counter the effects of poor indoor air quality. This is especially important when it comes to activities that generate potential air pollutants—such as using paint or cleaners with ingredients like bleach or ammonia, as well as cooking certain foods. Opening a window or a door is an easy way to improve ventilation when the weather is nice. When it is not, you can rely on the fans and ventilation systems in your bathroom and kitchen to get the job done.
When you clean your home, you are cleaning the air as well, and removing any opportunities for pollutants to move in. Instead of using harsh cleaners containing ingredients like ammonia and bleach, try using milder cleaning solutions. For example, a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar can clean windows, countertops, and more. Additionally, keeping up with tasks like laundry and dusting on a regular basis can greatly reduce the amount of dust and debris in your home’s air.
Vacuuming regularly is another simple and easy way to cut down on airborne particles in your home. This is especially important if your home has carpet, which can hold more contaminants than hard flooring. Certain vacuums also contain HEPA filters, which can provide an extra layer of protection against dust and other airborne contaminants. HEPA filters are specially constructed to filter out 99.97% of particles in the air, including mold spores, bacteria, and more.
While you may not think about your air ducts when it comes time to clean your home, they should be front and center in your home maintenance schedule. Air ducts can harbor mold, mildew, and moisture if they are not regularly cleaned and maintained. When air blows through the ducts, the mold spores can be released and circulated in your home. To avoid this, have your ducts cleaned annually by a qualified company. It is important to leave this job to the professionals, as attempting to clean your ducts on your own can be dangerous.
If you live in an older home, especially one built before the late 1970s, there’s a chance it may have been constructed with materials that are now known to be hazardous—such as asbestos and lead paint. Asbestos, in particular, can become hazardous when airborne and released in the form of dust. If you suspect your home contains asbestos or other hazardous materials, your best course of action is to contact a qualified specialist. The EPA maintains a list of states that administer an asbestos program, which you can use to find the contact information you need.
Regular maintenance helps your HVAC system continually operate at peak performance. The tests and inspections that come standard with our exclusive 26-point maintenance plan can help keep the air in your home as clean as possible. For example, we check the air filter size to make sure it is not too big or too small. Improperly sized filters can allow more contaminants to circulate throughout your home.
Sometimes, a repair or replacement is necessary, especially if you try other methods and don’t notice any improvement in your home’s air quality. In warm climates like Arizona, your system only has a lifespan of around 9-12 years. After that, you’ll likely experience problems such as poor air quality and temperature variations, as vital parts of your system continue to decline.
Wondering about the air quality in your home? Considering an HVAC repair or replacement? Whatever your question, Chas Roberts has the answer. Keeping Arizona families safe, happy, and secure in their homes by providing quality service has been our goal for more than 75 years. Contact us today for all of your HVAC needs.
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