Did you know that an estimated 50 million Americans experience seasonal allergies? The symptoms are easily recognized—itchy eyes, sneezing, and even coughing. So, what can you do to improve the air quality in your home? We don’t usually think of the air quality in our homes much, unless there’s someone in the household with asthma, allergies, or other breathing-related concerns. There are many microscopic particles that float around in our homes daily that are entering our respiratory systems. Not considering your air quality could lead to uncomfortable periods of seasonal allergies or even more serious respiratory issues.
First off, you should know there are 3 categories of indoor pollutants that the EPA states have the potential to cause serious health problems:
Combustible Pollutants – Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, both of which are colorless and odorless. Combustible pollutants also include any gas or particles that come from burning materials. Objects like space heaters, gas stoves, and water heaters to name a few can emit pollutants depending on how well the appliance was installed, maintained, and the type of fuel it uses.
VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) – these are organic chemicals that are released as gasses from liquids or solids. Household cleaners, disinfectants, glues, paints, and many others fall into this category and can severely degrade your air quality.
Allergy/Asthma Triggers – These include things like mold, dust mites, pollen, second hand smoke, and pet dander. Regularly vacuuming and keeping your home clean can reduce the appearance of the triggers that contaminate the air quality in your home.
Secondly, there are things you can do with your HVAC system to improve your home’s air quality:
- Improve your home’s ventilation by opening windows often and using bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
- Change those air filters every 3 months! (Or as often as directed on the package)
- Keep your floors clean and fresh by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Don’t forget to vacuum walls, upholstered furniture, carpet edges and anywhere dust accumulates.
- Mopping also helps pick up any dirt left behind by the vacuum cleaner.
- Have door mats placed by the doors that lead outside. All sorts of chemicals and dirt gets tracked in on peoples’ shoes and a mat will reduce the amount of pollutants and pesticides that enter your home.
- Keep humidity to a healthy level with a humidifier.
- Make your home a no-smoking zone.
- Groom pets regularly.
Lastly, Keeping the air quality in your home at a healthy level is essential. Everyday things can be done around the house to make that possible. When that’s not enough, there are a variety of solutions your HVAC expert can easily implement to improve the quality of your indoor air, therefore, improving your health and comfort at home.