Studies have repeatedly confirmed that air quality is a major contributor to human health and wellness. That’s why it’s essential we pay attention to not just the outdoor environment but indoor air quality as well. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, impurities in the air we breathe are major contributors to health conditions such as asthma, allergies, and chronic headaches. Poor indoor air quality may even contribute to major health problems such as heart disease and cancer.
Homes that don’t have easy access to indoor air quality services can often see an excess buildup of various irritants, such as dust, dirt, mold spores, pollen, and other impurities. This can overwhelm the fine-tuned natural defenses our lungs provide.
Fortunately, indoor air quality services are our specialty at All Weather Heating & Cooling. That’s why we’ve created this list of the top five ways to improve indoor air quality for a healthier home:
1. Schedule Regular HVAC Cleanings
Dust is a fact of life. All homes will eventually begin to see it accumulate since it’s generated by nearly every activity we perform. Indoor dust is made up of skin, hair, pet dander, fabric fibers, bits of carpet, and particles carried into the home by the wind. It’s really nothing to worry about, in and of itself. It’s only when it’s allowed to build up in an area that it begins to pose a health risk to the inhabitants of a building.
To prevent that buildup, make sure to schedule regular cleanings of your HVAC system. Your HVAC professional should clean (or replace) soiled air filters, as well as clean out the ductwork to prevent an excess amount of dust from being blown back into the home by your heater or air conditioner.
2. Ensure Proper Ventilation
Poor airflow is a major contributor to an unhealthy home because pollutants, dust, and impurities get trapped inside the building. An improperly ventilated home isn’t just a risk in the long term either. If toxic chemicals generated by heating and cooking, such as carbon monoxide, do not have an avenue of escape, they can pose a very real and immediate threat to the inhabitants.
All good indoor air quality services will place at least some focus on improving the ventilation in a home. There are many ways by which this can be accomplished: your HVAC professional may advise installing fans, new vents, or screen doors to increase the amount of airflow you have in your home.
3. Control the Humidity
Humidity refers to the amount of moisture that is present in the air in an area, and it has a direct relationship with indoor air quality. Air that is too humid may encourage the growth of mold, which will then release toxic spores into the environment. It may also encourage the breeding of cockroaches, dust mites, and other pests. Healthy air does require some humidity, however. Air that is too dry can cause sore throats, nosebleeds, dehydration, and other negative health effects.
The EPA recommends a humidity level of between 30 and 50 percent. Depending on your environment, you may need to invest in a humidifier to achieve this. Or, conversely, if your home tends to get toohumid, you may need to consider purchasing a dehumidifier. Often, you’ll need to buy both appliances, each of which will be used at different times of year. Your HVAC system may also have a humidifier and/or dehumidifier built in. You can check with your HVAC professional if you’re not sure if this is the case or how this function works with your unit.
4. Invest in Air Purifiers and Scrubbers
Air filters are excellent at capturing dust, but that’s because dust particles are (relatively) large. The average dust particle can be as large as 100 microns, which means it can easily be filtered out by a simple sheet of fiber. However, most filtration systems can’t catch bacteria or viruses, which are incredibly tiny. The viruses that cause colds, influenza, and other illnesses can be as small as 0.06 microns, meaning they’ll pass right through most air filters, leaving nothing to prevent them from infecting everyone in the home.
This is why we recommend investing in additional air-quality products, such as an air purifier or scrubber, for best results. These devices can be installed directly into your HVAC system and utilize modern technology to capture and destroy pathogens that are too small for a standard filtration system.
5. Keep Up With Regular HVAC Maintenance
The biggest measure you can take to improve your indoor air quality is to ensure that your HVAC system receives regular maintenance. At least once every year, an HVAC professional should provide a tune-up for all of the critical systems in your heating and air conditioning technology. This means ensuring that your ductwork isn’t leaking, your thermostat is functioning properly, and your ventilation is working effectively.
For maintenance to be effective, it needs to be regular, and it needs to be comprehensive. Your HVAC professional should have a checklist of each major component of the HVAC system that needs to be inspected and, potentially, repaired. Beyond improving air quality, regular maintenance will also help you save money, as it will ensure that your HVAC system is running efficiently without wasting energy due to leaks or mechanical issues. Preventative maintenance may also save money by avoiding the need for costly repairs later on.
How To Get Started Improving Your Indoor Air Quality
At All Weather Heating & Cooling, we provide comprehensive maintenance for every type of HVAC technology. We specialize in propane, gas, and electric heating, as well as air conditioning, heat pumps, boilers, and other methods of heating or cooling a home. Contact us today, and our indoor air-quality experts will quickly go to work making sure your home is healthier than ever.