Your home should be your sanctuary. It should be a place where you’re free to rest and relieve your stress in the best way you know how without having to worry about your safety. That’s why you have to be wary of your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) because it can affect the health of everyone in your household.
However, this can prove to be difficult if you’re not aware that the poor quality of air inside your home is what’s making your family sick. This can lead to expensive hospital bills and prescriptions for medications in the long run, most of which could have been prevented if you prioritized your IAQ.
So don’t make the mistake of breathing stuffy or stale air just because you forgot to change your HVAC filters. There are plenty of ways to avoid having poor IAQ, you just have to find out which ones work best for you. Here are five ways you can maintain a good IAQ to get you started:
1. Clean Your Ducts Regularly
Since you rely heavily on your HVAC system for your cooling and heating needs, you’ll have to be more proactive when it comes to its maintenance. This is because the air ducts can be home to dirt, bacteria, mold spores, pet dander, dust, pollen, and other contaminants that are invisible to the naked eye.
You may not be able to see these particles, but they can affect your or your family’s respiratory system and trigger allergies. Although it might not be that urgent at first, it can lead to chronic respiratory problems later on. So make it a habit to do regular air vent cleaning to avoid this from happening in the first place.
2. Pay Attention to Your Carpets
If you have pets in the home, it could also be causing the poor quality of air in your home, especially if you don’t clean at least once or twice a week. That’s because their dander—or dead skin cells—and fallen hair may have sought shelter in between the fibers of your carpeting, which can’t be removed by simple vacuuming.
That’s why it’s important to deep clean your carpets every month or so to avoid the accumulation of contaminants. Aside from pet hair and dander, there can also be dust, bacteria, pollen, and other particles within your carpet fibers, so it will be best to get rid of them regularly.
3. Be Wary of the Humidity Levels
Mold and mildew often breed in humid places. This can appear in any place that remains wet or moist for a long time, particularly if air doesn’t reach them. These molds can release spores that can affect your family’s health, which is why you must prevent them from developing in any way you can.
Of course, you can always clean up the mold and mildew with simple cleaning solutions when you see them appear. But it’s better if you can be one step ahead of them by placing dehumidifiers in strategic locations around the house. Or you can also do it manually by controlling your thermostat depending on the time of day, whichever is more convenient for you.
4. Crack Open a Window
It’s one thing to have your house well-insulated to help control the internal temperatures, but it’s another to seal off your house from the outside completely. Of course, this is not to say that you shouldn’t go weatherstripping in addition to insulation, but it won’t hurt to crack a window or two once in a while.
This will allow the outside air to enter and circulate through your house. Not only will this let fresh air inside, but it can also push the poor indoor air outside. If your house is poorly ventilated, consider cracking the windows open at least once a week to cleanse the poor air from inside your home.
5. Avoid Using the Fireplace
Since winter is almost here, you might be tempted to use your fireplace a lot while you sip hot chocolate. Besides, it can be such a picturesque scene that’s perfect for the holidays. However, you have to remember to open the flue inside your chimney to let the gas and smoke go outside instead of in.
Although it’s nice to enjoy the warmth coming from your wood-burning fireplace, you might be harming your family’s health in the process. The smoke from your fireplace can be hazardous to your respiratory health, especially if you or someone in your family has a lung problem. So, the next time you decide to open the fireplace, consider using your heaters instead.
Maintaining the indoor air quality of your home can prevent you and your family from developing serious health concerns in the long run. So, although it might be a pain to remember all these tips, it can be beneficial not only to your family’s health but also to your pockets since you won’t have to spend on medical expenses.