Spring is here, and that means so is the pollen and other allergens that may be causing serious allergies for you or your loved ones. You likely know that outdoor air can exacerbate allergy symptoms, but you also need to be aware of what’s floating around inside your home. In fact, your home’s indoor air quality often can be worse than that outside.
However, if you follow these 10 tips, you can boost your home’s indoor air quality significantly:
- Keep up with dust, dirt and other particle buildup with regular dusting and vacuuming. Vacuum upholstered furniture as well as carpets, and wash bedding and drapes regularly.
- Change your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) filters often, and consider upgrading to high-efficiency filters. Look for filters with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating, which indicates that they can trap more and smaller particles from the air. The higher a filter’s MERV rating, the smaller the particles that it can trap. MERV ratings range from one to 16.
- Minimize the use of aerosols, perfumes and sprays in your home. Check the labels when you buy cleaning products to make sure they are nontoxic.
- Make sure heat-producing and combustion appliances are properly vented outside your home. These include stoves, ovens, fireplaces, clothes dryers, boilers and furnaces.
- Maintain air flow throughout your home. This can be accomplished by allowing a small gap between your walls and furniture, running ceiling fans on a low setting, and opening windows when the weather permits.
- Remove your shoes when you come indoors to avoid tracking contaminants inside. If you suffer from allergies, it’s also a good idea to change your clothes when you come inside during the allergy season, and even shower quickly, to remove pollen and other allergens that may be on your skin and hair.
- Never smoke inside your home.
- Introduce plants into your house. Houseplants actually thrive on some of the same airborne chemicals that humans find irritating, and they can quickly remove them from the air.
- Have your air ducts cleaned and sealed. The ducts that carry air from your furnace and air conditioner can accumulate a substantial buildup of mold, dust and other particles. Sealing your ducts also eliminates the leaks and loose connections that can potentially let contaminants into your air.
- Minimize moisture in your home to prevent mold growth. Run a vent fan while you shower, fix leaks quickly, and don’t let wet items lay around for more than 24 hours.
To learn more about how you can improve indoor air quality, contact Paschal Heat, Air, Geothermal & Generators. We’ve been serving the Northwest Arkansas area for more than 40 years, and can help you with all of your heating, cooling and air-quality needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about improving indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.