You may not always be aware of it, but the quality of the air you’re breathing in your home can have real effects on your physical health and comfort. The presence of irritants like dust, pollen and pet dander can cause a variety of discomforts and problems, and you might not even know that it’s happening. With the coldest time of year right around the corner, there’s a good chance you’re going to be spending a lot of time inside the house for the next few months. For this reason, it’s especially important that the indoor air quality of your home is consistently good. Fortunately, improving the quality of your air doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful, and we’ve put together a handful of useful tips for doing so.
1. Have Your Ducts Cleaned
Most likely, you’re going to be running your heating system quite regularly during the winter months, and your furnace relies on the ducts in your home to circulate warm air. However, if these ducts become too dirtied or clogged up with things like dust, dirt and other loose debris, it can have a real negative effect on your home’s air quality. Before the weather gets harsh and you start relying heavily on your heating system, make an appointment to have local professionals conduct a thorough cleaning of your ductwork. This will not only ensure that your furnace is circulating clean air, but it will also allow your HVAC system to operate more efficiently.
2. Clean Your House Regularly
It may not be noticeable, but if you don’t clean the surfaces of your home on a regular basis, there’s a very high likelihood of dust and other irritants building up. When these particles accumulate, it’s inevitable that at some point they’re going to be kicked up into the air you’re breathing, which can result in respiratory issues as well as irritation of the eyes, nose and skin. Make it a point, preferably at least once a month, to wipe down any dusty or dirty surfaces in your home with a damp cloth. Additionally, take any rugs or cushions outside and shake them out or beat them together. This will force most of the dust and dirt to come loose, safely removing it from your home before it can worsen the air quality.
3. Occasionally Open Your Windows
During the winter, part of what causes indoor air quality to become stagnant is the fact that homes are regularly sealed up tightly with the furnace running. Since you need to stay warm, this is difficult to avoid. However, making it a routine to occasionally open up some windows, even if only for an hour or so, can freshen up the air in your house quite a bit. Outside air tends to be of a significantly higher quality than indoor air, so allowing fresh air to make its way into your home and blend should result in cleaner air for you and the members of your household to breathe.
4. Schedule Furnace Maintenance
Believe it or not, the health of your heating system actually has a significant effect on the quality of your indoor air. Keeping your furnace operating on a consistent basis puts a lot of extra strain on the appliance, and without regular tune-ups, it will become harder and harder for it to do its job. When your heating system is having to work harder to circulate warm air, it becomes much more likely that irritants like dust and dirt will be picked up during the process and circulated around your household. By scheduling professional furnace maintenance at least once a year, you will not only have a healthier, more efficient furnace, but the warm air it spreads throughout your home will be much cleaner. If you’re located in or near San Marcos, our technicians at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning would be happy to perform this service for you.
5. Use a Humidifier
In many ways, air that’s too dry can have as many negative effects as air that’s filled with irritants or pollutants. Air typically tends to have significantly less moisture during the winter months, and this can lead to dry skin, respiratory issues and even damage to your floors or furniture. By investing in a humidifier, you can greatly raise the moisture level of the air inside your home, which will create a healthier and more comfortable environment. In addition to those benefits, the moisturized air will also be able to transfer heat more effectively, which will make your home feel warmer and take much of the pressure off your heating system.
6. Use Air Purifiers
Since you’ll probably be spending quite a bit of time indoors during the winter, it’s important to make sure that as many of the pollutants and irritants as possible get removed from the air you’re breathing. One of the easiest solutions for this is purchasing one or more air purifying devices to set up inside your residence. If you choose the small, relatively inexpensive kind, consider purchasing one for every area or room of the house that is regularly occupied. These air purifiers are able to automatically trap any irritants or pollutants that are present in the air around them. There are many different types of air purifiers available, and some of the more modern ones even contain sensors that can detect the quality of the air and automatically adjust their fan speed to whatever level is necessary. These devices are an excellent option for improving indoor air quality, mainly because they’re not only effective but also low maintenance and easy to set up.
You might also opt for a whole-home air purification system. Our team at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning can set one up for you.
7. Decorate With Indoor Plants
Did you know that many types of plants, when placed around your home, can actually remove pollutants and improve your overall air quality? Studies have shown that certain plants are able to achieve this by converting the pollution in the air into new plant tissue. On top of improving the quality of your home’s oxygen, these plants can also be a nice aesthetic addition to your household. Using indoor plants is one of the only ways you can improve indoor air quality while also improving the overall look of your home’s interior. There are a variety of plant species that can remove pollution, but a few options are the spider plant, devil’s ivy, and peace lilies.
Our team at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning has been providing the residents of the San Marcos area with exceptional heating, cooling and indoor air quality services since 1998. We have remained a family-run business for over two decades. Because of this, we recognize the importance of family, and we always strive to treat our customers as such. While our technicians are always friendly and laid back, they also take your comfort and household needs very seriously. When you hire us for a job, you can rest easy knowing that our skilled experts will always handle it correctly and for an affordable price.