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Preventing Poor Indoor Air Quality

indoor air quality

Your indoor air could be more polluted than the outdoor air, which is a problem because you likely spend most of your time indoors. Your Montgomery, Alabama, home is likely affected by dust, dirt, mold, pest droppings, and other contaminants. These pollutants can cause asthma attacks, aggravate allergies, and produce flulike symptoms, headaches, and more. People with respiratory problems, children, and the elderly are more vulnerable. You can prevent poor indoor air quality by cleaning your home regularly, using a dehumidifier, avoiding harmful household chemicals, and taking care of your HVAC system.

Clean Your Home Regularly

You can keep pollutants from accumulating in your home with regular cleaning. Wipe dust away from your air registers and ceiling fans with a damp cloth. To clean your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, turn off the power, remove the covers, and wash them with soap and water. Remove leaves, branches, grass clippings, pollen, and other debris from your outdoor HVAC unit to keep allergens out of your home and save energy.

Make sure your vacuum cleaner has strong suction, rotating brushes, and a good filter that can keep dust and dirt from escaping through the exhaust. Vacuum at least twice per week and wash the filter regularly. You should vacuum regularly trafficked areas more often, especially if you or a family member has asthma or allergies. Put large floor mats at all doors to keep dirt and contaminants from being tracked indoors on shoes.

Use a Dehumidifier

Too much moisture in your home encourages mold growth and attracts pests like dust mites and cockroaches. Many people are allergic to insect droppings, and some molds produce mycotoxins that can cause health problems as well. Mold and pests can live inside your heating and air conditioning system’s ductwork, and these problems will eventually spread to the rest of your home.

Use a dehumidifier to keep the moisture levels in your home under control and prevent mold and pest problems. A dehumidifier also makes you feel cooler and more comfortable in summer. It helps you to save energy since you won’t have to use your air conditioner as much. Portable dehumidifiers work well in small areas like basements or attics. They’re also less expensive. A whole-home dehumidifier connects directly to your ductwork so it can work on your entire home.

Avoid Household Chemicals

Air fresheners, hair products, cleaners, detergents, pesticides, paints, and varnishes often contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Many of these chemicals can cause cancer and other health problems in animals. Since most products don’t list all the chemicals they contain, it’s difficult to know what’s safe. You should avoid using household chemicals as much as possible.

Instead of making the air fresher, commercial air fresheners mask unpleasant smells with synthetic fragrances or coat your nasal passages with a numbing agent. To keep your indoor air quality high, use an air freshener that has natural essential oils instead of chemicals. If a vague term like fragrance is on the label, then the air freshener probably has VOCs.

You should also avoid aerosols and use unscented detergents and cleaners when possible. If you use solvents and paints, make sure the work area is well-ventilated, and go outside if you feel ill. Don’t use particle board or fiberboard in living areas. The glues used to make them contain formaldehyde, a carcinogen.

Maintain Your HVAC System

You should have your HVAC system inspected by a professional at least once a year to keep it working at maximum efficiency and to protect your indoor air quality. Check your air filter once a month and change it at least every three months. An air filter monitor will let you know exactly when to change your filter. Some models can even send messages to your smartphone. You should also empty and clean your dehumidifier on a regular basis.

Air Conditioning by Luquire can help you with all your HVAC needs, including preventing poor indoor air quality. We also offer plumbing services. Call us anytime at 334-230-5870 for expert service.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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