People have been paying more attention to indoor air quality lately, and with good reason! There are tons of uncontrollable factors that affect your health on a daily basis, so why not at least take charge of the air that you breathe in your own home?
If you’re unsure of how to go about improving your own indoor air, read on for some great info that will help you get started.
What makes indoor air quality so important?
Poor indoor air quality can greatly decrease your level of comfort in your own home, especially if you’re dealing with undesirable levels of humidity. Alongside a feeling of general discomfort, poor indoor air quality can result in more obvious symptoms like throat and eye irritation, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, and aggravated allergies.
This especially holds true during seasons when pollen is more widespread. If you don’t have a good system in place to maintain ideal indoor air quality, then allergy seasons are bound to be way worse!
Alongside organic irritants such as pollen and dust, chemical pollutants in the air can easily make their way indoors as well. Pollution from car exhaust and nearby buildings or production plants doesn’t stop at your doorstep--unfortunately, you’re just about as likely to inhale them indoors as you are outside.
As if that weren’t enough, carcinogens such as radon can make their way inside and build up in your home as well, posing a further threat to your health.
Sub-par indoor air can also exacerbate the symptoms of pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic migraines, making them far more troublesome to deal with. Ongoing exposure to airborne pollutants can increase your risk of falling prey to respiratory infections as well.
What are some other signs that my indoor air could use some improvement?
Do you find yourself getting irritated by a persistent clammy or sticky feeling when you’re at home? If so, this is a sure sign that you’re dealing with undesirably high levels of indoor humidity. Additional signs of high humidity include stuffiness and difficulty keeping your extremities warm even if the temperature feels like it should be comfortable.
Another red flag is a musty or noticeable smell once you walk in the door. This can be caused by high humidity and, in severe cases, a resulting mold problem. However, odd smells can also be attributed to byproducts of everyday activities that make their way into your indoor atmosphere, such as cooking smoke or candle soot.
So, what can I do to get things back on track?
There are a number of different things you can do to improve your indoor air quality and make your home cleaner, safer, and more comfortable.
For starters, make sure you have a high-quality HVAC system installed in your home and stay on top of maintenance. Many people tend to view their HVAC system like a wind-up toy: They have it installed and then ignore it, allowing it to run on its own without interference. However, maintenance tune-ups and cleaning are still extremely important when it comes to your indoor air quality.
In between scheduling professional maintenance appointments to keep your HVAC system’s performance top-notch, make sure you’re doing your part by changing out your filters regularly. If you’re sensitive to allergens or have a respiratory condition, you can improve your air even further by getting specialty air filters for your unit.
My HVAC system is tuned up and doing great. What’s next?
Alongside making sure your HVAC system is performing at its best, there are several other measures that you can take to maintain optimal indoor air quality on a day-to-day basis.
One of the best ways to maintain an ideal atmosphere indoors is to take a deliberate and systematic approach to ventilation. For instance, while it’s important to air out your home every now and then, you should avoid doing so on humid days since this can affect the humidity levels in your home.
Additionally, it’s wise to avoid opening your windows whenever your local plant life is in peak bloom since the perforations in standard window screens are still wide enough to let pollen enter your home. While it might be tempting to open up your windows on crisp spring and autumn days, make sure you aren’t inviting allergens into your home by doing so. Air out your home in consolidated sessions, preferably right before you change out your air filters.
You can take further steps to control indoor humidity by turning on the bathroom fan and closing the door while you shower to control steam, and by running your clothes through the dryer or hanging them outside instead of letting them air-dry indoors.
Many people don’t realize it, but indoor air quality is central to your ability to relax and enjoy your home. Poor indoor air quality as a result of undesirable humidity levels can result in general feelings of discomfort and an increased risk for house mold, while pollen and airborne pollution can result in all kinds of unwanted respiratory conditions.
In order to avoid discomfort and an increased likelihood of undesirable health conditions, start by making sure that your HVAC system is fully tuned-up and maintained. Keeping on top of maintenance will ensure that your air ducts are clean, decreasing your risk of inhaling irritating dust and other impurities.
On top of making sure your HVAC system is set up for success, be strategic about how you manually ventilate your home. Airing out your home is important, but it should be done methodically in order to avoid messing with your indoor humidity levels and letting allergens inside.
If you need help with your HVAC system or have questions about what you can do to improve your indoor air quality, then contact us online at Elite Heating & Air or give us a call at (941) 214-4441 so that we can help you bring out the best in your home!