Ways To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
If you think getting inside the comfort of your home can help protect you from bad air, consider that studies show indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. The reason is simple – air inside the house is more or less trapped. That is why indoor air pollution affects everyone in one way or another.
You can tell if your indoor air needs improving with signs like unexplained headaches, eye irritation, dizziness and throat and nose itchiness. More serious signs are difficulties breathing, heart palpitations, or skin irritations. If any of this sounds familiar, there are steps you can take to improve the quality of the air inside your home.
The 3 most reliable ways to improve IAQ are:
- Increase ventilation
- Remove pollutants or source of pollution
- Air cleaning
Air-conditioning can improve your IAQ. Although your air conditioning unit is not a source for pollutants, it can trap pollutants coming from smoke, mold, pet dander, cleaning materials, building materials, pesticides and radon. This is a very good reason for having a semi-annual cleaning of your HVAC system.
The age of your a/c unit will greatly affect IAQ also. Models older than 10 years old becoming breeding grounds for mold, allergens and other air pollutants. Especially units manufactured before the year 2000, as they do not have the technology that newer units have in filtration and humidity control.
Tips to Improving IAQ:
- Install an exhaust fan in kitchen and turn it on whenever cooking
- Remove old insulation
- Change filters monthly – invest in good quality filters
- Do not burn candles or smoke inside the house
- Remove clutter
- Be serious about Spring cleaning – and do it more than once a year – dust and mold don’t know what season it is
Also, make sure to keeping cooling vents on even in rooms that are not being used often. Humidity will breed dust, mold and mites. Keep your a/c unit on “auto” so it dehumidifies and circulates the air properly.