When it comes to your home, nothing is more important than having air that is clean and safe. Dirty air can lead to both long and short-term health issues. It’s vital that all homeowners take the right steps to keeping their air clean and free of pollutants. Here are some tips that will help you understand indoor air pollution and what you can do to keep your home’s air clean and safe.
7 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
1. Change Your Air Filters
Your air filters collect dust, dirt, and other debris from the air — and over time, this build-up can create a blockage — disrupting airflow, reducing AC efficiency, and ultimately leading to an overall decline in your home’s indoor air quality. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend homeowners replace their air filters about once a month, though there are factors that can affect the recommended frequency.
2. Clean & Dust Regularly
As much as some of us may dread it, cleaning significantly improves indoor air quality. In fact, medical experts say a clean home is the first step in maintaining a healthy home. That’s because without regular cleaning and dusting, dirt, debris, and other pollutants will take over your home — increasing the risk of mold, allergens, and germs — all of which pose a serious threat to your health. Do you have trouble finding the time or motivation to clean? Making a cleaning checklist with daily, weekly, and monthly items can help you remain organized and focused, so you can quickly tackle what needs to be done.
3. Reduce Your Use of VOCs
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are harmful chemicals that are found in many products you use to furnish, clean, and maintain your home. When VOCs are in your home, they “off-gas” into our air — releasing chemicals that greatly reduce the indoor air quality. VOCs can be found in various sources, including carpet, couches, paint, air fresheners, cleaning products, cosmetics, and more. While your nose may not always be able to detect VOCs, your body may react adversely. VOCs can cause acute respiratory illness symptoms, worsening asthma, and headaches. And if the acute symptoms weren’t frightening enough, long-term exposure to VOCs can be potentially life-threatening — increasing your risk of cancer and organ damage. Fortunately, reducing your use of VOCs is a feasible step you can take in preserving your health and indoor air quality. Reduce the VOCs in your home by taking the following measures:
- Have your indoor air quality tested to assess the level of VOCs
- Occasionally open your home’s windows and doors for fresh air
- Use natural cleaning products
- Control the humidity in your home, using a dehumidifier if necessary
- Store unused chemicals in a shed or garage, away from your family
- Look for low-VOC options of paint and furniture
4. Decorate with Air-Purifying Houseplants
Plants are beautiful and add a nice decorative touch to your home. But, house plants can do more than just sit there and look pretty — some can actually improve your home’s indoor air quality. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been researching the effects of plants on air quality for decades. Their findings? Common houseplants can indeed act as natural air purifiers. Here’s a list of some air purifying house plants that you can put to work in your home.
- Aloe Vera (Great for treating a sunburn too)
- Elephant Ear Philodendron
- English Ivy
- Peace Lily
- More Air-Purifying Plants
5. Maintain Your AC
In order to have an AC that performs its best year-round, maintenance is a must. Regular AC maintenance not only reduces energy costs and prevents breakdowns, but it also keeps your air clean and safe. In addition to ensuring your air conditioner is clean and efficient, your HVAC technician will be able to alert you if your indoor air quality needs improvement.
6. Schedule an Air Duct Cleaning
Your air ducts are an important part of your system and require regular maintenance. Over time, air ducts can accumulate debris like dust, dirt, pet hair, mold, and pests — all of which can infiltrate your home’s air, making it unsafe to breathe. For this reason, we recommend having your air ducts professionally cleaned once every five years. Learn more about the benefits of air duct cleaning.
7. Invest in an HVAC UV Light
UV light offers numerous benefits for your air conditioning system, including better airflow, increased efficiency, and improved indoor air quality. UV light’s sterilization properties remove VOCs and other harmful chemicals from the air — purifying the air in your home. In addition to removing VOCs, UV light can also eliminate and prevent mold. Learn more about the benefits of UV lights in HVAC systems.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality with Complete Air Mechanical
If your home is experiencing indoor air quality issues, we can help. Contact Complete Air Mechanical today to find out how our team of experienced and friendly technicians can help serve any and all of your HVAC needs.