How To Improve Indoor Air Quality
Dust, mold, mildew, pet dander (even if you don’t own pets) and odors in our homes can cause headaches, scratchy throats and itchy eyes. In this mix of household irritants you’ll may also find lead, formaldehyde, fire retardants, radon and volatile chemicals from common household cleaners. And lets not forget about one of the more major culprits of allergies — microscopic dust mites.
So how do you protect your loved ones? There are several things you can do to minimize and control the quality of air in your home.
Clean Heating and Cooling System Ducts
HVAC systems drop dust particles on along the duct walls. You should have your ducts professionally cleaned at least once every five years as part of your regular home maintenance routine. Clean ducts reduce the amount of animal dander, dust and other allergens as well as remove carbon monoxide, nitrogen gases and remove odors. Having clean ducts will also increase air circulation and ventilation increasing the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Choose the Right Filter for Your HVAC System
To remove large airborne particles such as dust, pollen pet dander and insect allergens use a pleated filter. Pleated filters have a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 1 to 4 and do an excellent job of removing these larger particles. Pleated filters should be changed monthly.
To remove large particles AND smaller airborne particles such as mold, viruses, and bacteria, use a media or electrostatic filter. These filters have a MERV ratings of 5 to 13 and are adequate for most homes. The need changed every three months.
If someone in your home has sever allergies or a compromised immune system then a HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air) may be the best choice for you.They have a MERV rating of 14 to 16. HEPA filters should be changed monthly for best results.
Let Your Home Breathe! Open the Windows
On dry, warm sunny days that aren’t too hot, or in the evening when the sun is setting, open the windows. Fresh circulating air will help remove stale smells and lower indoor humidity which helps reduce the growth of mold and mildew.
When taking showers or doing laundry in smaller enclosed spaces such as bathrooms and laundry rooms, turn on a stand alone fan or ceiling fan to keep those rooms dry. In the kitchen, turn on your cooking appliances fans to exhaust humidity and odors from boiling or fried foods outside.
Kiwi AC & Heating can perform a check up on your heating and cooling systems and make recommendations to help control indoor air quality in your home.