As the leaves start to turn, it’s time to think about preparing your home for cooler weather. You will likely be spending a lot of time indoors over the next few months, so it’s a good idea to work on your indoor air quality.
Good quality air in your home can improve your health, productivity, energy level, and comfort. Try these 15 tactics to improve your indoor air.
1. Hire a Duct Cleaning Service
Throughout the year, dirt particles and harmful microorganisms build up in your air ducts. No matter how clean you keep the rest of your home, a certain amount of mildew, mold spores, bacteria, pollen, dander, and plain old dust will end up in your air ducts over time and circulate around your home.
Getting duct maintenance done by an HVAC professional at least once a year will eliminate harmful particles in your air, creating a cleaner and healthier environment for everyone in your home.
2. Replace Your Air Filter
Just like with air ducts, dirt and dust tend to build up in air filters over time. It’s a good idea to change the filters on your HVAC system once a year to pull those particles out of your air.
Changing your air filter also extends the life of your furnace and reduces your energy bills. Don’t skip this one!
3. Use Air Filtration and Purification Products
Air filtration products can kill many of the yucky particles in your air, like allergens and mold. For optimum effectiveness, use a whole-house filtration system or a combination of UV lamps with an air filtration product.
4. Try Some Humidity Products
Non-optimum humidity levels can not only cause discomfort but also contribute to conditions that promote mold or bacteria. Try using a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep your home humidity between 30 and 50 percent.
5. Open Windows
In the Pacific Northwest, we are lucky to have relatively moderate weather. When you can, open your windows to bring in fresh air that will improve circulation in your home.
6. Get an Air-purifying Plant
Several varieties of plants are known to break down toxic gases in the air. Peace lilies, for instance, filter carbon monoxide and formaldehyde for you. Adding plants to your home can also help reduce stress and create a more relaxing environment.
7. Use Heat or Energy Recovery Ventilators
Sometimes it’s just too cold or hot to keep your windows open. Luckily, there are other options for bringing fresh air into your home, like heat recovery ventilators. These products are a great way to get rid of pollutants, smoke, and unpleasant smells.
8. Keep Household Chemicals Outside if Possible
Paint, gasoline, antifreeze, and many cleaning supplies are important to keep around, but may not be good for your indoor air quality. If possible, keep these products outdoors or at least in well-ventilated areas.
9. Have Radon Levels Tested
Parts of Snohomish, King, and the surrounding counties have high levels of radon. This naturally occurring radioactive gas is invisible and odorless, but definitely not harmless. Radon exposure is linked to lung cancer and other health problems.
Any home could have unsafe levels of radon. Without a radon rest, you’d never know you had a problem. You can buy a home test kit at a hardware store or online to find out if you need to take action to remove radon from your home.
10. Make Sure HVAC Appliances are Working Efficiently
Have a professional clean your chimneys and air ducts to minimize dust and debris. If you have a furnace or any other HVAC appliance with a filter, change the filter to make sure your heating runs efficiently as the weather cools.
11. Eliminate Mold
Mold is terrible for your air quality and health. If you see any mold in your house, remove it as soon as possible.
Give your showers, toilets, and other areas that accumulate moisture a good scrub to remove anything that might be building up. This is especially important here is Washington state, where mold can take over quickly.
12. Clean Regularly
Cleaning is not just important for appearances and keeping out pests. By washing sheets and towels frequently in hot water, vacuuming, and taking shoes off when in the house, you can remove dirt particles and improve your air quality.
13. Limit Use of Scented Candles
Candles may make your home smell nice, but they also produce harmful particles and smoke that can clog up your air. Try to limit your use of candles to special occasions.
If you do choose to burn candles often or for long periods of time, take measures to clear your air afterward, like opening your windows. Many candles have chemicals that are released into the air, lowering air quality.
14. Install a Range Hood for Your Kitchen or Fan for Your Bathroom
Kitchen ranges often have a hood for a reason: these devices remove fumes, smoke, and airborne grease. Bathroom fans remove moisture from the air after you shower, preventing mold and mildew growth. If you don’t already have these ventilation devices, consider installing them.
A range hood does nothing if you don’t use it. Try to incorporate it into your cooking routine. It’s best to run your hood for at least 10 minutes after cooking, even if you cook something small.
15. Run the Fan for 10 Minutes After Showering
Run the fan in your bathroom for at least 10 minutes after showering or taking a bath. It’s a bit like using an electric hand dryer after washing your hands in a public restroom: it might not remove all the moisture, but it will remove most of it. And the more moisture you can remove from your walls, the less mold will grow. This is especially important in the winter when colder temperatures and less ventilation traps moisture in your home.
If you keep your home clean, perform regular maintenance, and pay special attention to your air ducts, you’re likely to have stellar air quality in your home. Your lungs will thank you!
DuctVac Northwest specializes in providing cleaner and healthier indoor air for your home or business. We serve clients throughout King, Snohomish, Pierce, Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, and Kitsap counties.
With over 20 years of HVAC experience serving customers just like you, you can trust us to do the job right. Contact us today to get $75 off air duct cleaning and a free quote.