Your average American adult spends around 90 percent of their time inside. While that may prove a boon for your skin health, it also means breathing in a lot of shared air in confined spaces.
It’s no wonder that more and more people worry about indoor air quality at work and especially at home. After all, poor air quality can expose you to all kinds of things you’d rather not breathe, such as allergens, chemicals, and even carcinogens.
If you’re looking for ways that you can improve indoor air quality, keep reading for some key tips on making every breath a breath of fresh air.
Air filters offer one of the simplest methods you can use to improve air quality. Most HVAC systems have an air filter. The catch is that you must change those air filters on a regular basis.
The rule of thumb is that you should switch those filters out around every three months. In reality, you should check the instructions on the filter packaging. Some manufacturers recommend three months, but others may suggest switching them out once a month or every six weeks.
Following the recommendations for the brand of filters you use will do a lot to maintain or even improve your air quality.
If you haven’t already, you can also upgrade your air filters to HEPA air filters. HEPA filters generally filter out more particulates than other air filters, such as mold spores. They also tend to clog faster, though, so you must make a point of switching them out more often.
Poor ventilation is another big culprit when it comes to poor air quality, especially during the winter. When the weather is warm, it’s common for people to pop open a window to let in fresh air.
Once the temperature plummets down to the point that snow is possible, most people close up their doors and windows and leave them that way for months. In areas where high temperatures are common, people routinely take the same approach in the summer.
Unfortunately, that approach is a great way to keep contaminants in the air trapped inside with you. Good ventilation in your home helps to cycle some of the contaminants out as fresh air replaces stale air.
If your home lacks good ventilation and you’d like to keep the outside temperatures outside, you can look into options like energy recovery ventilators.
These systems bring in outside air, but adjust the air’s temperature to minimize strain on your HVAC system.
Microbial and mildew growth are unfortunately common on AC indoor coils and drain pans. Part of it is the moisture. Part of it is that the coils and drain pan are routinely in a dark part of your home, such as the attic.
That is an ideal combination for encouraging microbe and mildew growth. Believe it or not, though, you don’t need a lot of chemical treatments to deal with that particular problem.
It turns out that UV light does an excellent job of preventing mildew and microbes from getting a foothold. You can get UV lights installed near your AC coils and drain pan.
By preventing these kinds of contaminants from growing in the first place, they never get into your household air. It’s an automatic way to keep the air quality in your home good or even improve it.
An air purifier isn’t a standalone solution. Rather, you should think of it as giving your other air quality improvement solutions a hand.
A basic air purifier consists of a physical air filter and a fan. The fan draws in the air and pushed it through the filter. The filter catches particulates that the filters in your main HVAC system didn’t catch or that came in on clothes and shoes.
Most air purifiers are portable and only reduce the contaminants in a specific room. That being said, you can get whole-home air purification systems. These systems typically work best for those with serious respiratory conditions, such as asthma or severe allergies.
When most people think about humidity control, they think in terms of reducing humidity. After all, too much water content in your air can make it easy for mildew or mold to take root in your home.
If you live in a humid area or routinely have very wet spring and fall seasons, a dehumidifier is often a wise supplement. Preventing mold, and the mold spores it produces, will not only improve your air quality but also help keep your home smelling fresh.
Yet, too much humidity isn’t the only problem you face. The air is often particularly dry during the winter months, which your HVAC system can make worse.
If the air gets too dry, it can trigger a host of aggravating problems, such as:
- Dry sinuses
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
Dry air in your home can also make skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis worse.
For those with particularly dry air in their homes, a humidifier makes sense. You can opt for a portable humidifier.
These are often sufficient for a single room or a particularly small apartment. Although, you often lack good control over the amount of moisture they put in the air.
You can also get a humidifier system that connects with your existing HVAC system. These supplemental humidifiers can help maintain proper humidity balance in your home.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
There are several ways to improve indoor air quality. Always start with basics like changing out air filters or getting better air filters. These filters do a lot of the heavy lifting for your air quality.
Improving ventilation is another good way to improve air quality because it cycles air into your home that has fewer contaminants. Air purifiers can also help remove particulates from the air.
Humidity control can help as well by limiting mold and mildew growth and keeping the air from getting too dry.
Anton’s HVAC can help with indoor air quality systems. For more information, contact Anton’s HVAC today.