Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Spring
Spring is in the air and it is time to start thinking about spring cleaning. After a winter with the windows closed, adding the air you breathe to your cleaning list is a great idea. According to the EPA, indoor air can actually contain 2 to 5 times more pollutants than outdoor air. Making the air cleaner inside is key to your home’s overall cleanliness and the health of your family. It’s great to throw the windows open and shake out all your rugs on a sunny day, but there is a lot more you can do to improve indoor air quality in the spring. Here are a few tips.
- Filter – no matter what time of year it is, making sure that your HVAC filter is changed regularly is important for your health and for the overall function of the system. A clogged filter is not filtering out irritants and it can also cause stress on the HVAC system. Most filters should be changed about every 3 months but the packaging will tell you how long the filter should be good for. If you don’t want to remember to change the filter, you can sign up for a delivery service. So when the new filter arrives in the mail, you know it is time for a filter change. If you live with someone with respiratory issues, spending a little more money on a higher quality filter can really improve the quality of the air in your home. Changing the filter is easy and it is something you can do on your own. If you aren’t sure how to, ask your HVAC specialist the next time they are over. You can also ask them about which filter would be best for your home if you want to upgrade to a higher quality one.
- Duct Cleaning – the air ducts are the passageways that cooled and heated air is moved throughout your home. If an air duct is clogged or dirty, it means that whatever particles are in the duct are potentially being pumped into your home and you are breathing them in. Ducts can be a breeding ground for mold or mildew, among other irritants. Regular cleanings every year or two can greatly improve the air quality in your home.
- Plants – Whether you have a green thumb or not, investing in a few plants can help to clean the air you breathe. Some plants are especially good at removing pollutants (including formaldehyde) from the air and they are pretty easy to keep alive. These include: english ivy, pothos, spider plants, peace lilies, and rubber plants. Just in time for spring holidays, you could take a live plant, such as a peace lily, as a hostess gift, rather than a bouquet of cut flowers. Not only will it look gorgeous, it will also help clean the air.
- Air Purifier – while plants are beautiful, they are not for everyone. If you really want to step up your game and improve the indoor air quality of your home, you can look into investing in an air purifier. There are portable as well as whole-house purifiers available, depending on your needs and your budget. Whole-house purifiers can run anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 and they work as part of the HVAC system. Portable air purifiers are also a great option. If you spend a lot of time in a certain space, like your bedroom or an office, a portable purifier might be the answer. They range anywhere from under $100 to over $500 – depending on size and quality. If you aren’t sure what is right for you, talk to your HVAC specialist to decide what fits your needs and budget.
- Maintenance – having regular maintenance completed on your HVAC system is key to the health of your family and the health of the system. Most specialists recommend maintenance be performed twice a year – once in the spring, before turning on the air conditioning, and once in the fall, before switching over to heat. This makes sure that the system is operating efficiently and that there are no issues. If a problem is discovered it can be fixed before it becomes something bigger and more expensive. The HVAC technician will also check to make sure that everything is clean and ready to go. Checking the furnace will ensure that no carbon monoxide is leaking. Looking at the ducts, filters, and other components will check for mold, poor filtration, and any other issues that might reduce air cleanliness.
Some reports state that more than half the air a person breathes in a lifetime is air that comes from their home. During an average day, only 10% of the air we breathe comes from outdoors. It is really important to make sure that the air you and your loved ones breathe is as clean as possible. Adding a clean air component to your spring cleaning list is something that can really improve your health. We don’t really think about breathing because it is something we do all the time, unconsciously. Air is just as important (if not more) as water and you wouldn’t want to drink contaminated water, just like you shouldn’t breathe contaminated air. Make an appointment with Weather Crafters today to talk about how you can improve the air quality in your home, in a way that works for you.