Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality | Air Conditioning Service
During the winter, cold reduces our time spent outdoors, and results in homes being tightly closed, preventing fresh air from entering the indoor environment. This reduces indoor air quality until warmer temperatures arrive. When your HVAC system is contributing to indoor air pollution, contact our certified technicians to receive heating and air conditioning service. Read the following for tips to improve indoor air quality.
While air pollution is typically associated with outdoor air, according to the EPA, indoor air pollution can be up to five times higher than outdoor levels, and in some cases as much as 100 times higher.
It pays to take action to improve indoor air quality, as your family’s health is at risk.
Where Indoor Air Pollution Comes From
Modern homes are designed to be energy efficient with little if any air exchange between indoor and outdoor air. Without ventilation and other measures, it is likely that you are breathing polluted air.
Common sources of indoor pollutants include:
- Air fresheners (a number of these products contain VOC’s)
- Building materials
- Cabinets or furniture made of pressed-wood products
- Cigarette Smoke
- Central air conditioning and heating systems – Providing routine heating and air conditioning service will ensure the proper operation of the HVAC system, reducing any potential contaminants from the system, and aiding it in filtering contaminants from the home’s air.
- Combustion sources of fossil fuels (oil, gas, kerosene, coal and wood)
- Hobby materials (glues, epoxy, spray paints, paint strippers, etc.)
- Household cleaning products
- Personal care products
Common complaints related to biological pollutants include allergic symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, and shortness of breath. Additional symptoms include fever, digestive problems, eye, nose and throat irritation, fatigue, headaches, and dizziness.
Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality
The following tips will assist you in minimizing indoor air pollution:Reduce the Sources: Avoid spraying pesticides, chemical cleaners, air fresheners and other potential pollutants in your home. Look for products with low or zero VOC labels.When purchasing furniture, carpeting, cabinetry or flooring, look for those made of green building materials, as these won’t release VOC’s. Check for low-VOC or zero-VOC labels.
Increase Ventilation: Few heating and air conditioning systems provide fresh air in the home. Newer homes may have air-to-air heat exchangers, which bring outdoor air into the home while providing energy efficiency. Providing professional annual heating and air conditioning service will ensure the proper operation of your home’s system. Furthermore, professional duct cleaning will improve the indoor air quality. Together, these services will ensure your homes HVAC system isn’t contributing to indoor air pollution while ensuring an extended service life, and reducing the need for repair and additional heating and air conditioning service.
During warm weather it is easier to provide ventilation by opening the windows or using window or attic fans. During cold weather use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, and change your HVAC systems filter once per month, unless otherwise directed by the manufacturer. Routine filter changes extend the system’s service life, provide cleaner air, maintain a cleaner HVAC system and reduce the need for air conditioning service and repair.
Furthermore, ensure you use the recommended filter type to avoid stress upon the system, increasing the need for air conditioning service and repair.
Test Your Home for Radon:
Radon is an insidious toxin, and is undetectable unless the home is tested for it. Consider testing your home, and if detected take the appropriate steps.
Maintaining a humidity level between 30-60 percent will help to keep dust mites, mold and mildew under control. A Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning technician can provide the professional installation of a whole house humidifier.
Reduce the moisture level in the bathroom by providing adequate ventilation with a quality exhaust fan. Allow it to run for 20 minutes after showering to thoroughly dry accumulated moisture preventing mold and mildew.
Provide Routine Cleaning: Routine dusting and vacuuming of your home will help to control dust mites, pollen, dander, and other biological air pollutants.
Consider an Air Cleaner:
Air filters and cleaners will assist in removing contaminants from the home’s air. A whole house system will be the most effective. Circulation rate and the efficiency rating are important factors to consider when selecting an air cleaner. A Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning professional can assist you in the selection of a system that will be efficient for your home.
Preventing Dry Winter Air
Forced-air heating systems lead to dry winter air in homes. The dry air irritates the mucous membranes of the nose and throat, causes dry itchy skin, nosebleeds and chapped lips.
Furthermore, cold, dry air promotes the flu viruses which flourish in cold, dry air facilitating its spread and the length of contagion. A humidity level of 30-60 % will help to keep the side effects of dry air – and the flu at bay. Ensure humidifiers are kept clean with fresh water added each day to prevent the growth of mold and microorganisms in the humidifier.
If your HVAC system hasn’t received heating and air conditioning service in a year or more, schedule service today to ensure its proper operation and maximum efficiency.
These tips to improve indoor air quality will assist you in achieving cleaner air in your home. Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning’s certified HVAC professionals provide experience and expertise for reliable heating and air conditioning service, installation and repair. Contact us to receive the cleanest indoor air quality possible for your home. We serve Katy, Plano and the surrounding areas.