If you’re concerned about the quality of the air in your home, you’re not alone. Poor indoor air quality can cause serious health risks, including respiratory issues, allergies, and even cancer in extreme cases. It can also make your house feel stuffy and uncomfortable while contributing to unpleasant odors.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve the quality of the air in your household. Here are five ways to improve the air quality in your indoor environment.
1. Change Your Air Filters Regularly
The air filter in your central AC and heating system is designed to capture dust, dirt, and other particles from the air before they enter your home. But over time, these filters can become clogged and are no longer effective at catching pollutants.
By changing your air filter regularly, you can help to reduce the amount of dust and other particulates that can accumulate in the air. The frequency of filter changes will vary depending on the type of filter you use, so be sure to refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines. Your HVAC technician can also help you determine the best type and frequency of filter changes for your house.
There are a few other appliances in your home with air filters that should be changed regularly as well. These include:
- Gas furnaces
- Clothes dryers
- Vacuum cleaners
- Range hoods
- Air purifiers
- Over-the-range microwaves
2. Use a Kitchen Vent
Cooking is a major source of air pollution in the home. The smoke from cooking can be full of toxins that linger long after the meal is finished, including nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. Fumes from nonstick cookware can also be dangerous. When these pollutants enter the air, they can enter the bloodstream via the lungs and cause a variety of health problems.
Fortunately, installing a dedicated kitchen vent can help significantly reduce the number of pollutants that are released into the air. The vent will draw the smoke and other pollutants out of the home, keeping your air clean and fresh.
Be sure to use your kitchen vent whenever you’re cooking in order to get the full benefit. Even if you don’t see or smell smoke, there may still be pollutants present in the air that can impact your health.
If you don’t have a kitchen vent, there are other ways to reduce pollutants from cooking. For instance, you can open the windows and doors while you cook to allow fresh air in, or you can simply run the ceiling fan to keep the air circulating. While these methods may not be as effective as using a dedicated kitchen vent, they’re still helpful at improving your indoor air quality.
3. Keep Humidity Under Control
Humidity levels that are too high or too low can greatly disrupt air quality in a house. High humidity can create an ideal environment for mold, mildew, dust mites, and other pollutants to thrive in, while low humidity can make airborne particles more potent. While you can’t control the humidity outdoors, you can control the humidity in your home.
The ideal relative humidity level in a house is between 30% and 50%. If your home’s humidity levels are outside this range, investing in a high-quality humidifier or dehumidifier can help you control the humidity levels in your house and maintain an optimal environment. These appliances can often be installed in the HVAC system to automatically adjust the humidity levels as needed. You can also use a standalone humidifier or dehumidifier in areas of the house that need additional humidity control.
It’s also important to address the cause of the humidity problems. If high humidity is an issue in your home, be sure to manage any moisture issues you may have. Check for water leaks and areas of standing water, repair leaky faucets, and keep the kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans running when cooking or showering. If low humidity is causing problems, check your house’s air supply for a possible blockage, and make sure your windows and doors are correctly sealed.
4. Opt for Electric Appliances
Gas-powered appliances such as stoves, ovens, water heaters, and furnaces can release pollutants into the air, including formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide. This is especially true if they’re not regularly serviced and maintained. For this reason, it’s best to opt for electric appliances if possible.
Although electric appliances do emit some pollutants, studies estimate that the emissions are cut in half when compared to gas-powered appliances. If there are vulnerable people in your household, such as children, seniors, or people with chronic respiratory diseases, this reduction in emissions can make a major difference in their health.
Furthermore, electric appliances often require less maintenance and are more energy-efficient, helping to reduce your carbon footprint. You’ll save money on energy bills and won’t have to deal with the hassle of servicing gas appliances. It’s a win-win situation!
5. Get an Air Purifier
Making sure your home is well-ventilated, controlling humidity levels, and eliminating gas-powered appliances are all great ways to improve indoor air quality. But if the air in your house is still polluted, you may want to consider investing in an air purifier.
Air purifiers work by filtering out pollutants and trapping them in a particle filter. This helps to reduce the number of pollutants present in the air, which can have a significant impact on your health. Air purifiers can also remove odors from your home, helping to keep the air clean and fresh.
When shopping for an air purifier, look for models that are certified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), as these have been tested to meet certain minimum standards. It’s also important to choose the right size for your house so that it can adequately filter rooms. For best results, you should place the air purifier in a central location, near where you spend the most time.
The filter will need to be changed every few months, and you’ll want to choose your filter wisely. It’s often best to choose high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. This type of filter can remove 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, making it an excellent choice for trapping small particles like dust mites, pollen, and pet dander.
By following these tips, you can improve the air quality in your home and create a healthier environment for yourself and your loved ones. While it may take some effort to make changes, the payoff will be worth it in the long run — and you don’t have to do it alone. The team at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help you find the best solutions for all of your indoor air quality needs. As one of the top heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality service providers in San Marcos, CA, we have the experience and expertise to help you create a healthier, more pleasant home. Contact us today to get started!