Indoor air quality (IAQ) has become more important than ever before. It is estimated that the average American spends approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. You’re probably thinking that means you’re breathing better air, right? Well, not quite. Indoor concentrations of many pollutants are often 2-5 times higher than outdoor concentrations. It may seem like an impossible cause if all of the air we breath – even that inside our home – is filled with harmful pollutants. But that’s not the case. In fact, there is a lot you can do the improve the air quality in your home and we’ve got some tips right here to get you started!
Air Purifiers Improve Indoor Air Quality
An air purifier is any device designed to remove unwanted particulates, gases, or chemical vapors from the air inside your home. These devices can take on a number of forms including electronic air cleaners and UV lamps. They can also be whole-house ventilation systems like heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs).
The three most common types of Air Purifiers are:
- HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) which use fans to draw polluted air into it, filter out the particles using a filter, and then pump the air back into your room.
- UV Technology can be a stand-alone filter or something connected to your HVAC unit. These work by targeting airborne microorganisms and using UV light to break down their chemical bonds – killing bacteria and viruses.
- Ionic Purifier Systems work by causing ions to become negative, stopping them from floating in your air, and making it easy to wipe them off the surfaces around your home.
Avoiding Strong Scents
Strong scents, like household cleaners and fresh paint, can be an issue when it comes to indoor air quality. Those chemicals can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat—as well as those of your family members. To ensure air quality in your home is up to par: avoid strong scents or use products that are free of hazardous chemicals. Instead, focus on essential oils; they’re great alternatives to harsh cleaning agents because they’re natural, chemical-free aromatherapy.
Air Filters are Imperative for Good Air Quality
Not changing air filters means dust, mold, other particles entering air and reducing air quality. The American Lung Association recommends replacing your filter every 1-3 months and changing them more frequently if you have allergies or live in a dusty environment. Some high-efficiency air filters are good enough to last 6 months and up to a year. If you’re interested in cutting down on costs with efficient air filters, it might be worth buying higher quality models that cost less over time because they’ll stay cleaner longer. Always choose HEPA (high efficiency particulate arresting) type filtration – not just HEPA style – for maximum indoor quality.
Open Windows for Fresh Indoor Air Quality
Just like you leave windows open when it’s warm outside, your indoor air quality can benefit from a little natural light and fresh air. Open windows during non-winter months to get fresh air into your home without running fans or a/c, which can help you save on energy costs in addition to improving your health. Opening windows is also an easy way to give off-gassing products (like new furniture) time to dissipate, so you don’t have to worry about chemicals in your home affecting your air quality. Another thing worth mentioning is that opening windows at night is a great way to cool down rooms naturally before bedtime, and opening them early in the morning helps bring cooler morning temperatures inside when you get ready for work or school.
One of your most important weapons in fighting indoor air pollution is ventilation fans. In addition to lowering indoor concentrations of pollutants, you can also control ventilation fans to circulate fresh air into different areas of your home at different times, depending on where people are located. A bedroom fan can draw fresh air from a window into a bedroom and exhaust stale air through a window in another room.
Regular HVAC Maintenance is Our #1 Indoor Air Quality Tip
One of the biggest contributors to indoor air quality issues is your HVAC system. Homes that haven’t had regular maintenance performed on their HVAC systems are more likely to suffer from poor indoor air quality. Think about it; when was your last maintenance visit? If it’s been a while since your system has had a professional tune-up, the air quality in your home could be at risk. Give us a call today to schedule a time for our team to come out and evaluate your system. You’ll be surprise how much healthier your home will be afterwards.