October is here and for most that means falling leavings, chilly nights and Halloween frights. But October is also the month we as a nation celebrate indoor air quality, and for good reason, this is the time of the year families start spending more time indoors. Who doesn’t want to be healthier and more comfortable at home?
Worry not, some simple preventative maintenance and a call to your friendly HVAC specialist and you are on your way to clean, fresh, indoor air. Now, before we get started on our, all-encompassing guide to clean air, you should know the most common causes for a less-than-fresh home.
Indoor air pollutants can be anything from your everyday contaminants brought in on clothing or pets, to the much more foreboding gas leak. For example, carbon monoxide is a common air pollutant that can get very dangerous when left undiagnosed. Bathrooms and kitchens can accumulate moisture, causing mold and mildew particles to be released into the air. Also, older homes can have more damaging problems as well, from asbestos to even the dreaded lead particles. The list goes on! But your fears need not. Simply follow these steps and you can rest easy in clean, safe air.
1| FILTER CHECK! Calling all filters!!!
First off, the HVAC filter is a necessity. If you have a forced-air heating system, be certain to change the filter a minimum of twice a year or more often if you have pets or someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma. A clogged filter won’t trap airborne irritants, but rather recirculate them throughout your home.
The others: when we say all, we mean all, check the filter on your vacuum, your clothes dryer, even the kitchen vents. Anything with a filter, check it. If these things aren’t doing their jobs your air quality will pay the price.
2| DUCT CHECK! Just the one type
I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Whaaat, I just checked my filters, I have to clean my ducts too??” Ducts are a different beast. While they do require less maintenance, it is suggested to have your ducts cleaned every three to five years depending on the quality of your indoor air and the overall health of the people living in your household.
3| PURIFY IT! Is a very aggressive way to say “invest in a whole-home air purifier”
Whole-home air purification systems are a highly effective way to filter out the tiniest of particles, allergens and irritants that may be lurking in your indoor air. Some specialized air filtration systems even have the capability of neutralizing odors and killing viruses and contaminants.
4| KEEP IT CLEAN! The floors, that is
Three things: vacuum it, mop it, and mat it. So many of the most common contaminants in our home are brought in by us. Keep the carpets and floors clean and put a large floor mat at every home entrance to avoid people tracking in the unfriendliest.
5| VENTILATE! Let the fresh air roll
Modern homes are built to be air tight, meaning unless you open your doors or windows outdoor air stays out and indoor air stays in. This standardization is great for energy efficiency but not so much for maintaining healthy indoor air. During the summer months it’s easy to open the windows and let the fresh air roll in. But what about the winter? Whole-home ventilation systems create an exchange of indoor and outdoor air, making sure your home always has a healthy balance of both.
The road to clean air in your home is simple, just follow these steps and consider consulting with an HVAC expert. We would be glad to aid you on your quest for clean and healthy indoor air.