The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consistently ranks indoor air quality among the top five environmental health risks. On average, Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors and for too many people, the air pollution indoors is a lot worse than outdoors.
Poor indoor air quality affects our health, comfort, productivity, and well-being. Here are four tips to improve your home’s indoor air quality:
Fresh Air Filter
Replace Dirty Air Filter – Indoor Air Quality TipsIn addition to compromising your system’s efficiency and reliability, dirty air filters also lead to poor indoor air quality and shortened equipment lifespan.
Make sure you are checking your air filter every month and changing or cleaning it as needed. The frequency of your air filter changes depends on the cleanliness of your home, the number of people and pets in your household, air leaks, and how often you run the AC system. Set calendar reminders and write the date of replacement on the filter itself so you remember this important home maintenance task.
If improved indoor air isn’t incentive enough, keeping filters clean can also cut your utility bill by 5 to 15 percent. Repairs and utility bills will go down and indoor air quality will go up.
If you want to keep pollutants out of your respiratory system, make regular cleaning a part of your daily routine. It should become a habit, so you can keep clutter, dust, and dirt to a minimum.
Use a good vacuum, preferably with HEPA filtration, to clean your floors, carpets, and furniture. Make sure you clean or replace the filter as directed. Scrub non-carpeted floors. Wet dusting and mopping are better than dry dusting and sweeping. Establish a no smoking policy inside your home. Dispose of garbage and food waste promptly and properly.
It’s important to clean and dry any damp materials within 24 hours to prevent mold growth. Keep all areas clean and dry. If you notice mold growth in your home, contact a professional.
If your indoor humidity is below 30 percent or above 50 percent, you can use humidifiers and dehumidifiers to adjust the humidity. Speak with a professional HVAC technician about installing a whole-home humidification system to keep the entire home at the ideal humidity level. Many models also offer ventilation and air filtration.
Leaky Air Ducts
If you have a lot of cracks or gaps in your ductwork, pollutants can get sucked in and distributed throughout the home. Your air filter may be doing its job, but if the duct system is pulling in air from a dirty basement or attic, it won’t matter.
Ideally, you want no leaks at all in your duct system. Your air ducts are critical for maintaining healthy indoor air, so speak with our experts to seal your air ducts and make sure they are sized properly. Not only will this improve your air quality, but you’ll also save money every month on your utility bills.