Indoor air quality can be an issue at any time of year, though it typically worsens in cooler weather when windows and doors are closed and fresh air cannot circulate freely. When air quality is poor, it aggravates allergies and causes other health problems. The good news is that the air inside your home can be improved with a few simple changes. The following article offers suggestions to improve indoor air quality in your home.
Improve Airflow Through Ventilation
Ventilation fans keep air moving throughout a home. It is so important that forced air systems include both air ducts and cold air returns. Ducts are located higher while cold air returns are found lower. The idea is to constantly circulate air throughout the home.
In addition to ducts and air returns, houses are built with external ventilation. This forces the air inside the home to be changed several times per hour. A lack of appropriate ventilation impacts air quality. Any plan to improve air quality should begin with checking ventilation to make sure it is working as it should.
Improve Indoor Air Quality by Cleaning
A clean home generally has better air quality. Make a practice of cleaning regularly. Vacuum carpets and area rugs at least a couple of times per week. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to help remove even the smallest contaminants. Along with vacuuming, sweep your wood and tile floors every day or two.
Regular dusting helps control pollutants as does regular laundering of bed linens and window treatments. Vacuuming furniture cuts down on dust and pet dander. If you have ceiling fans, clean the blades every week or two. They collect dust and circulate it back into your home’s air when the fans are in use.
Check the HVAC Filters
An HVAC filter is designed to remove dirt and debris from the air to keep it from circulating within the system. If a filter is allowed to go too long without being changed, it’s not as effective. This leads to stress on your HVAC system and more contaminants in your air.
HVAC filters should be checked on a monthly basis. If you can see dirt and debris covering the surface of the filter, it’s time for a replacement.
Improve Indoor Air Quality by Addressing Mold
Indoor air quality is greatly diminished by the presence of mold. Unfortunately, mold can easily grow in a home without anyone realizing it. Keeping mold at bay requires an effort to look for it, identify it, and properly remove any mold found in the home.
The bathroom is a good place to start. Allowing mold to grow around the tub and shower impacts air quality. Keep the tub and shower clean. Check under the sink every couple of weeks. Mold may grow inside the cabinets if there’s moisture, even from a small leak.
Inspect under the kitchen sink for mold as well. Visit the attic and basement every few weeks and check for damp spots that could encourage mold growth. You might notice darker areas of the wood or damp insulation, indicating places conducive to mold.
Improve the Air with a Purifier
Last but not least, you can improve indoor air quality with an air purifier. HGTV recommends a true HEPA purifier capable of trapping most of the particles known to cause air quality issues. A purifier with a HEPA filter enhances all of the other strategies you use to keep the air in your home clean.
Good quality air inside a home is no accident. It is the result of proven strategies based on good ventilation, cleanliness, and air purification.