Winter is the time to bundle up and stay indoors away from the cold. No one wants to be cooped up in a home with unhealthy amounts of airborne debris. Your indoor air quality plays a more significant role in your family’s quality of life than you may realize. Too many airborne contaminants can put your household’s health and comfort at risk. Thankfully, there are several easy ways you can keep your air quality healthy throughout the year. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when increasing the quality of your home's breathing air this season.
Signs of Poor Air Quality
Air quality is determined based on the concentration of airborne pollutants in a specific location. Modern homes today are built to be as efficient and closed-off as possible. While this helps your HVAC system function more effectively, it can also trap contaminants inside. External pollutants like car emissions and other industrial fumes can then make their way into your home and become trapped. Other airborne debris that impacts your air quality includes pollen, dander, mold spores, dust mites and more. Constantly breathing in these particulates causes coughing, sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and fatigue. You may find it impossible to rest or sleep peacefully at home. It can feel like your family is perpetually sick or under the weather.
These effects are typically more harmful to children, the elderly and those who are immunocompromised. Your health is at greater risk if your indoor air quality is suffering from a gas leak. Carbon monoxide poisoning can make you feel dizzy, confused, tired and weak. Poor air quality can also impact your property and belongings. High moisture levels warp wooden objects like furniture, cabinets, floorboards and bookcases. You may suddenly have a mold infestation in your basement or bathroom. Excessive debris can wear down your HVAC system faster, resulting in more frequent maintenance and wear and tear. On top of increasing your energy costs, you’ll also use up air filters faster.
Tips for Effective Improvement
You likely want your home to be as sealed as possible to prevent your valuable heat from escaping. However, locking yourself up with various indoor allergens can make it hard to feel cozy this season. Start tackling the airborne debris in your living spaces by implementing these easy tips.
Clean More Frequently
Don’t underestimate the value of dusting and vacuuming your home more frequently. Hair, dust and grime can settle on every table, shelf and counter. These particulates are then swept around until they end up in your HVAC system. Remove debris from your furniture and rugs before it can accumulate and worsen. You should vacuum and dust at least once a week. If you have pets, you may need to clean twice a week at least to remove all that hair. Don’t forget to clean out under your furniture and along the walls of every room.
Improve Household Habits
Many homes are plagued with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are the harmful chemicals and fumes that come with cleaners, paints, new furniture, hairspray and more. Breathing in large amounts of VOCs can cause respiratory distress and even long-term diseases. Improve your family’s habits by limiting your use of chemical aerosols.
Avoid smoking in the house or burning candles without efficient ventilation. Limiting the creation of new airborne contaminants keeps your family safer.
Change Your Air Filters
Make sure to change your HVAC filters on time. Disposable filters often need to be switched out every month. If you invest in higher-quality pleated options, they may last up to three months. However, the habits and makeup of your family will have an impact on the filter’s overall lifespan. Pets in the home will significantly decrease a filter’s usefulness. It’s best to monitor your filter to determine the perfect replacement schedule for your household. While determining your ideal air filter schedule, consider replacing your current filters with improved options. Filters with higher MERV ratings can pull more debris from your breathing air. They’re also more efficient at removing smaller particulates. Residential homes often utilize filters with MERV ratings between eight and 14. The higher your MERV rating, the better your air quality will be. Check with an HVAC technician to make sure your filter choice is compatible with your heating and cooling system.
Test Your Air Quality
It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what’s causing your unhealthy air quality. The best way to determine the root cause is to schedule an air quality testing appointment with a professional. While there are do-it-yourself testing kits available at many home improvement stores, they can be inconsistent with their results. They may give you wrong readings or not work at all. Know exactly what’s going wrong with your air quality by trusting an indoor comfort expert. The technician will pull air from different rooms and areas to quickly find the source of the issue. They can then recommend helpful solutions that fit your family’s comfort needs.
Invest in Air Purification
Air purifiers are perfect for households that live in high-pollution areas. These systems are installed right alongside your furnace and air conditioner. They’re able to clean all of your breathing air before it’s pushed through the vents. Air purifiers are especially helpful if you have children in the home or family members with respiratory sensitivities like asthma or allergies. Count on an experienced technician to install your UV lights, air scrubbers or humidifiers. Working with a professional also gives you access to the best air purification systems available on the market.
Ventilation is an excellent way to bring fresh air into the home. Ventilation systems are energy efficient and a great alternative to air conditioning during the summer. They remove stale air from the home along with VOCs and other contaminants. These systems are great at reducing any unpleasant lingering smells that come with cooking, cleaning or smoking. They also reduce your chances of mold and other side effects of excessive moisture.
Service Your HVAC System
The state of your heating and cooling system can also impact your air quality. Contaminants may have built up in the system over time, decreasing its efficiency and ability to provide temperature control. These particulates can pass into the ductwork, where they build up and further impact airflow. Excessive moisture in the ducts leads to problems with pests, rust and mold. Calling for annual maintenance stops debris from affecting your HVAC system and keeps your monthly utility bills down.
Locally Trusted Indoor Comfort Team
Simply Cooling, Heating and Plumbing is an exceptional indoor comfort team serving families in and around Las Vegas, NV. We offer 24/7 emergency repair services for all your HVAC and plumbing needs. Rely on us to maintain, repair or install your furnace or air conditioner. We can also upgrade your thermostat, service your ductwork and improve your air quality. Don’t forget to check out our extensive range of plumbing repair and replacement services.
Contact Simply Cooling, Heating and Plumbing in Las Vegas to learn more about our honest and affordable services today.