Winter has arrived in the Northeast and you are more than likely finding yourself spending spending a great deal of time indoors. Your thermostat is turned up, your windows are closed tight, and an unexpected guest may be finding its way indoors: air pollutants!
As a homeowner, you are likely concerned about rising heat costs and are taking the necessary precautions, such as eliminating window drafts and improving insulation, to ensure your heat stays indoors. And while the energy-saving benefits of eliminating drafts and insulating your home are apparent, these necessary and important home improvements may be impacting your home’s overall air quality.
Bad air quality caused by dirty ductwork, inefficient filtering, and poor air circulation by an outdated heating or cooling system could be causing your family harm. Common indoor air pollutants include:
1. Carbon monoxide
4. Tobacco smoke
5. Household products
Luckily, there are easy ways to improve your home’s air quality and keep your family safe and healthy, no matter the season.
1. Change or clean your filters
HVAC equipment air filters need to be regularly maintained to ensure your system continues to work at its most optimal level. Not only does this prolong the life of your HVAC system, regularly checking and cleaning your equipment’s filters will ensure that unwanted air pollutants are not impacting your home’s overall air quality.
A yearly heating or cooling system tune-up will include checking and replacing any filters that are impacting your home’s air quality, so be sure to schedule your upcoming tune-up with a trusted HVAC technician as soon as possible.
2. Keep it clean
While cleaning your home may never be the most exciting chore, regularly and thoroughly cleaning your home can help improve the quality of the air you and your family breathe by reducing dust, pet dander, and mold.
Harvard Health suggests focusing on vacuuming carpets and area rugs at least once or twice a week with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter, regularly cleaning bedding and other fabric, such as pillows and curtains, to reduce allergens, and reducing clutter.
3. Check your air ducts
Air ducts may be a necessary part of your home’s heating and cooling system, allowing air to circulate throughout your home. However, they may also be hosting and distributing pollutants, such as dust, dander, or mold, throughout your home. Much like your HVAC filters, regular cleaning is needed to maintain clean air within your home.
4. Control humidity
Humidity and moist air conditions can increase the likelihood of mold and mildew growth within your home. Mold and mildew can cause a number of health conerns, including respiratory issues such as asthma. Be mindful of humidity levels, such as in bathrooms, and invest in dehumidifiers and ventilation fans to reduce moisture.
Further, a dehumidifier can be placed in your basement to prevent mold growth during the warmer summer months.
5. Invest in an air purification system
If you or a family member is allergic to a particular air pollutant, such as dust, investing in an air purification system can help reduce the pollutants that may cause unwanted symptoms. While an air purifier will not entirely eliminate the presence of air pollutants, these devices, such as ionic purifiers, can help improve overall air quality.
As your family heads indoors this winter, indoor air quality is important to consideration to ensure the health and safety of those you love most. If you have concerns about your home’s air quality, contact a trusted HVAC system company, such as National Refrigeration, to evaluate your home’s HVAC system and determine if your current system is impacting your home’s air quality.
And, if your question isn’t answered here, contact the National Refrigeration team and we’ll find your solution.
Whether you need 24-7 emergency service or advice on improving your everyday air quality and comfort—at home and at work—call us at 401-737-2000 or email us.