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How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

a plant and an air purifier

Homeowners spend a lot of time ensuring their houses are clean and tidy. But many forget to clean the most essential thing in their homes–the air. Many of us don’t realize that we breathe in millions of particles, including dust, allergens and irritants, every day.

Having clean air at home is important, especially if someone in your home has asthma or allergies. If you’re wondering how to improve indoor air quality, we have some tips and tricks that can help. But the best thing you can do is to call an HVAC specialist to ensure you have clean and fresh air at home.

Tips on How to Improve Indoor Air Quality at Home

If you find yourself breathing easier when you’re away from your home or experiencing headaches at home, your home’s air may not be as healthy as it should be.

So, what causes poor indoor air quality? While many think pollution only happens outdoors, it also affects the air in our homes. Indoor air pollution can result from mold, water damage, pests like cockroaches, dust, pet dander and cleaning supplies.

Here are some tips that can give you better air quality at home.

Ensure Your Detectors Are Working

Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and ensure they are working. Change their batteries if you haven’t done so in a while, and take note of the date. Replace them annually. These detectors are your first defense against indoor air pollution.

You can also test your home for other gases like radon. This radioactive gas has no smell, taste or color, making it hard to detect. If you want to play it safe, you can get a radon test kit from the American Lung Association for an affordable price.

Improve Ventilation

Air quality can be poorer indoors than outdoors because of the lack of ventilation. It’s easier for irritants to build up when there is no airflow. That means it’s time to open your doors and windows. Do this for ten minutes daily to allow fresh air to come in and dilute indoor pollution. It’s an easy, no-cost fix that instantly gives you fresh air.

Invest in a HEPA Air Cleaner

Unfortunately, some homeowners live near outdoor pollution sources like factories, freeways and coal-burning plants. Opening your windows and doors will do more harm than good if that’s the case. The next best alternative is to purchase a HEPA air cleaner for your home.

These trusty devices suck the polluted air from your space, capturing irritants, particles and other pollutants. It then releases clean air back into your home. Using a charcoal filter with your HEPA air cleaner will give the added benefit of neutralizing irritants and odors. Ensure you get the correct air cleaner size for the space you’re putting it in.

Clean Regularly

Cleaning your home regularly can lessen the load on your air filter. As long as we spend time at home, dust will always be inside. That’s because dust consists of our dead skin cells mixed with dust mite body fragments and droppings. You can use a microfiber or damp cloth to wipe down dusty furniture in your house. Then, you can vacuum your carpets and rugs.

If you live with fluffy loved ones, you might have to clean more often. Dogs, cats and other furry animals produce dander from their fur. The proteins in their dander stick around in the air for a long time, eventually settling on your carpet and furniture.

Contact an HVAC Specialist

You might think you can only call in HVAC specialists when your AC is malfunctioning. But they can also help improve the air quality in your home by conducting an indoor air quality evaluation to diagnose and solve any problems. They can also advise you on HEPA air filters.

an HVAC machine

Indoor Air Quality and HVAC: What Is the Connection?

We love our air conditioners for providing instant relief on hot and humid days. But did you know they can do more than cool us down? They can improve indoor air quality, helping you and your family stay healthy. If you’re wondering what the connection is, here’s how your HVAC system can give you clean air at home.

Enhances Air Circulation

Thanks to its blower motor, your AC circulates conditioned air throughout your space, improving airflow. Good circulation addresses several air quality problems, including indoor pollution, uneven temperatures and stuffiness.

Cleans the Air

You might not realize it, but your AC cleans the indoor air before cooling it. It has an air filter to trap dust, dirt and debris so they don’t circulate in your home. However, this filter will clog eventually, so it’s important to replace it regularly. Every three months is standard, but you might have to do so more often if you have furry members in the family.

If left for too long, dirty filters can hamper the airflow inside the AC, straining the system and causing AC problems.

Controls Moisture and Humidity

Excess moisture inside the home isn’t just sticky and uncomfortable. It can also damage furniture, walls, ceilings and even the structure of your home.

Fortunately, air conditioners can help control humidity. Air conditioners draw warm air inside your home through a vent. Inside the AC unit, there are coils filled with refrigerant. When the warm air passes over these coils, the refrigerant absorbs heat, which causes the air to cool down. As the air cools, the moisture in the air condenses into water droplets that collect on the coils and drip into a drain pan. Finally, the dehumidified air circulates back into your home.

That leaves you feeling comfortable and keeps your home protected from damage. Your HVAC system dehumidifies your home and can improve the air quality inside your home if it’s well-maintained. Let an HVAC specialist check your unit and ensure it’s in tip-top shape.

water condensation

What Factors Increase Poor Indoor Air Quality?

If you’re wondering why you have poor indoor air quality at home, ventilation, humidity and temperature have something to do with it. When there’s low ventilation, indoor airborne pollutants will remain in your home. Meanwhile, excessive humidity can encourage mildew and dust mites, worsening your home’s air quality. If your home is too hot, that further increases moisture in the air.

If these three factors are present in your home, you might notice signs indicating poor air quality. If mildew is growing somewhere, there might be a musty odor. If you’re dealing with high humidity levels, you might see condensation on the windows or warping on wooden furniture. Don’t worry, an AC and heating specialist can address issues with humidity.

The AC technician will do regular maintenance checks on your HVAC and ensure everything is working. A well-maintained system improves ventilation, removes excess humidity and controls the temperature, improving the air quality inside your home.

Want to Breathe Cleaner Air? Let a Professional Help

Clean air is the first step to a healthy home life, and you’d be surprised by how much your HVAC system contributes to air quality. Let an HVAC specialist assess your system and perform the necessary repairs, replacements and cleaning to ensure you have fresh air at home. They can also help you with other AC problems, like if your AC is cooling but not removing humidity.

ABC Can Assess and Help Your Home’s Air Quality

If you’re concerned about your home’s air quality, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Improve the air quality in your home by conducting an indoor air quality evaluation to diagnose and solve any problems. In addition, they can help you solve common problems like if you notice your AC is not cooling below 75 degrees.

Tom Riggs

Tom Riggs is the Division Manager for Mechanical Services, overseeing sales and operations for HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Appliance Repair and Water Quality for all ABC Austin branches. He joined ABC in 2014. Before ABC, he was an HVAC Service Technician, HVAC Comfort Advisor/Sales and Operations Manager. Tom attended Universal Technical Institute. He's an avid outdoorsman and enjoys country living with his wife and two sons.

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