We spend a lot of time indoors. In fact, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors. What makes this concerning is that research has shown that the air quality of some homes can be worse than it is in large industrial cities. The good news, however, is that indoor air pollution is something we can control.
In today’s blog post, Comfort By Nature would like to share with you a few ways you can improve your home’s air quality. If you are in or around Greeley and in need of commercial or residential HVAC maintenance, checkups, repairs, inspection, and more, we’d love to help. Learn more about our services and contact us here.
Bring The Outdoors In
Sure, opening your windows and doors is a great way to improve air circulation, remove stagnant air, and replace it with fresh cool air. But what do you do in the summer when facing extreme heat? How about a nice houseplant? Believe it or not, houseplants can greatly improve air quality. Plants take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. Bringing plants into your home can filter the air and create more oxygen.
Below is a list of popular indoor plants that are great air filterers:
- Aloe Plant
- Bamboo Plant
- Rubber Tree
- Snake Plant
- English Ivy (rated by NASA as the best plant for filtering air)
Change Air Filters
The air filter in your HVAC system is the first line of defense against poor air quality. Every day your HVAC unit is running, the entire air volume in your home passes through this single filter multiple times a day. Keeping your filter clean helps remove airborne particles. When your filter is dirty, it can actually worsen air quality by acting as a reservoir for dust and dirt that will constantly get circulated into the air. Changing your filter is a simple task that can prevent this, as well as save you money and energy. Filter changes should be done monthly and as dictated by the specifications of your individual HVAC unit.
Keep Ventilation System Clean
The goal of ventilation is to balance the air, to keep the stagnant air in check by combating it with fresh, filtered outdoor air. This dilutes the contaminants and pollutants of the air, helping to create a cleaner and healthier indoor space. Although for many older homes this wasn’t a problem — since leaks, cracks, gaps, holes, and no insulation were a standard part of their construction — with modern homes, proper ventilation requires some human intervention. Incorporating heat recovery ventilators (HRV) into your home is a common and dependable way of improving your ventilation system.
Reduce Humidity And Mold
The EPA recommends indoor humidity levels between 30 and 60 percent. If this number gets too high, your indoor space could become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which can trigger a number of health issues. The optimal level will ultimately depend upon your individual preferences. Using a dehumidifier is a simple and effective way to control the humidity level in your home, whether it’s a portable dehumidifier or installing a whole-house dehumidifier inside your HVAC ductwork. The latter will control the humidity level in your home day and night and can be controlled by a humidistat, similar to the thermostat that controls your heating or cooling system.
No matter how clean our homes are, they are still susceptible to tiny particles of dust, a leading indoor pollutant. Dust and dust mites not only dirty up your home, but they also pollute your home and lungs. While we can’t completely eliminate all of the dust, we can reduce its presence and mitigate its effect.
The following are some effective ways of combating dust:
- Vacuum regularly
- Use a dehumidifier
- Encase mattresses in allergen-impermeable covers
- Wash bedding once a week in hot water
- Replace wall-to-wall carpeting with bare floors
- Remove dust with a damp cloth — dry cloths will only stir up dust
While we are on the subject of dust, why not jump over to another common source of dirt in the home? Pets are great. However, their shedding is not so great. Not only can dog hair and fur balls clog up your air filters, but they also infuse the air with pet dander, which is a common allergen. What’s worse is that because ductwork is made of metal, pet hair and dander naturally attracts to it, allowing a mix of dander and hair to blow through your HVAC system and then to your lungs.
Get Your Greeley HVAC Inspected
If you have never had your HVAC system inspected, get it inspected by a professional technician. Although you can purchase a DIY kit to test your indoor air quality, these tests often miss contaminants and the test will likely only indicate whether or not you need to contact a technician for a professional test. Trained HVAC professionals will be able to inspect your air ducts, and recommend any necessary cleanings, HVAC maintenance, repairs, etc.
If you are in Greeley, contact Comfort By Nature! We have been providing Northern Colorado with superior HVAC services since 1994. We are a fully bonded, licensed, and insured heating and cooling company that can handle all of your residential or commercial heating and cooling needs. Call us at 970-373-4494 today to learn more or to get your free quote.