How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

February 20, 2015

Indoor air impacts your health more than you realize. Without taking any measures to improve indoor air quality, pollution levels in your home could easily be many times greater than outside. You are probably particularly aware of this if you have asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems. Fortunately, you can take measures to improve indoor air quality and breathe easier all year round. Just follow these tips.

Change the AC Filter Regularly

The air filter traps dirt and debris every time you turn on the air conditioner. Over time, it becomes so clogged it restricts airflow, strains the cooling equipment and becomes unable to trap contaminants the way it used to. You end up with dustier, dirtier air that irritates your eyes, nose and throat.

To counter these problems, plan to change the AC filter every one to three months. It’s a small price to pay for cleaner indoor air.

Install a Whole-House Air Cleaner

You are probably familiar with portable air cleaners that remove contaminants from a single room. While this is a good solution, a whole-house air cleaner is an even better one.

This device replaces the media air filter in your ductwork and works many times more efficiently to remove some of the most minuscule particles floating around in the air, including bacteria and viruses. Following air cleaner installation, you only need to change the device’s filter about once a year, depending on your usage.

Have the Ductwork Cleaned

Since the ductwork is out of sight, it’s easy to forget how dirty it can become. While there’s no set timeframe for having duct cleaning performed, it’s recommended you have your ducts examined every couple of years for mold growth, rodent nests, or clogged ductwork. If your system has any of these characteristics, it’s time to have the ducts cleaned. The end results include better airflow and cleaner indoor air.

Maintain Proper Humidity Levels

Mold growth is possible all year round, but it’s especially prevalent during the summer when humidity levels are high. Mold releases spores into the air, which irritate your allergies. Running the air conditioner removes some moisture, but it might not be enough, especially on mild days when the AC doesn’t run much.

That’s why a dehumidifier might be right for you. This device can run independently from the air conditioner to remove excess humidity from the air and help keep mold growth at bay. You can also take other measures to lower humidity levels indoors such as running exhaust fans when cooking and showering.

Establish a Weekly Cleaning Routine

Much of the indoor pollution that irritates your allergies comes from dirt and dust. If you have upholstery and wall-to-wall carpeting, the dust levels in your home could be quite high. Keep this common allergen from accumulating by dusting, vacuuming, and mopping weekly.

Then, wash the bedding once every week or two in hot water to kill dust mites hanging out between the sheets. Wipe down the bathroom weekly as well to get rid of standing water and small mold colonies that have formed during the last seven days.

Make Your Home a Smoke-Free Zone

Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard, especially for children. If you smoke, take it outside. Consider breaking the habit for your own health. If your friends smoke, ask them not to do so in your home.

Contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling

To learn more about improving indoor air quality, please contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling. We perform air cleaner installation and duct cleaning to help you breathe easier. Our experience providing professional HVAC services to the Cincinnati area dates back to 1986.