Heating and cooling technicians don’t just make sure you have comfortable, warm or cool conditioned air in your home, but we also offer solutions for making that air cleaner and healthier to breathe. Poor indoor air quality can lead to aggravated allergy symptoms and respiratory illnesses, so to avoid health concerns and keep your family safe, schedule regular HVAC maintenance or repairs and use these other tips for improving the indoor air quality in your home.
Go All Natural
Incorporating natural products and elements into your home isn’t just thoughtful for the environment; it’s also beneficial to your indoor air quality. Here are a few steps you can take to live naturally.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Scented products usually contain hazardous chemicals that smell enticing but contribute unhealthy particulates into the air. Replacing aerosol products (deodorants, air fresheners, etc.) and toxic household cleaners with unscented and biodegradable products reduces the levels of chemicals in the air.
Candle lovers can improve their air quality by replacing petroleum-based wax candles with soy, beeswax, and other all-natural candles. And if you’re looking for a natural remedy to freshen up the kitchen, put an open box of baking soda in the fridge or a bowl of sliced lemon wedges on the counter.
Skip The Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaning is a convenient alternative to washing your clothes at home. But the dry-cleaning chemicals left behind on clothes can release noxious gases that degrade indoor air quality — not to mention the costs involved with dry cleaning. You’re better off setting aside one hour every week to do laundry at home. As a bonus tip: use unscented or organic detergents and fabric softeners.
Excessive carbon dioxide in the air can cause dizziness, fatigue, and even high blood pressure. To keep carbon dioxide at a healthy level, add more houseplants. Plants absorb carbon dioxide to convert it into energy — as they grow lusher, your home’s air becomes cleaner.
Don’t Smoke Indoors
This almost goes without saying, but secondhand smoke is unhealthy and doesn’t belong inside your home. If you’re a smoker, it’s best to take it outside. As for vaping, the jury is still out on the long-term health effects, but to be safe, vape outdoors, as well.
Let In Fresh Air
There’s no substitute for fresh air. In major metropolitan areas, air pollution can make opening the windows a bad idea. Fortunately, Auburn and the surrounding areas have high outdoor air quality, so open away! The best times to open the windows are when you’re cooking, painting, or doing other activities that involve fumes. But refrain from opening the windows while the air conditioner or heater are running, or you could run up the energy bill.
Use A Swamp Cooler
Swamp coolers are similar to air conditioners in that they help cool your home. However, swamp coolers use a natural, chemical-free process known as evaporative cooling to create cold air. A swamp cooler isn’t a replacement for an AC unit, but adding an evaporative cooler to your HVAC system is a smart way to achieve moderate relief from the heat without sacrificing indoor air quality.Schedule Service
Take Safety Seriously
While some airborne particles are unhealthy, others are downright dangerous, particularly when they appear in high amounts. To keep your home safe from the most noxious airborne substances, perform the following measures.
Add Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Breathing in small amounts of carbon monoxide can cause headaches and dizziness, while large amounts can lead to respiratory tract infections, unconsciousness, and even death. A particularly dangerous quality of carbon monoxide is that, as an odorless and invisible gas, it’s virtually undetectable to humans. That’s why installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home is imperative to ensure safe indoor air quality.
Test For Radon
Radon is a noxious gas created from decaying uranium in the soil that infiltrates homes through cracks in the foundations. Its side effects include flu-like symptoms. Even though radon is a rare gas to find in your home, it’s appearance is not so unlikely that you shouldn’t test for it. Have your home checked at least once a year. A radon test only takes a few minutes, and it just might save your life.
Check For Asbestos
Asbestos was once a common element in home insulation. Yet because of its health risks — when inhaled, asbestos scars the lungs and makes breathing difficult — it is no longer used construction materials. But homes that are 20 years old or older could still have asbestos in the walls and floors. To avoid hazardous particles polluting the air in your home, have a home inspector perform a check.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
One way that air is circulated through your home is the HVAC system. An air conditioner or furnace works by pulling in outside air through a filter, heating or cooling that air, and then distributing the air through ductwork and vents into multiple rooms. Scheduling regular HVAC maintenance is a reliable way to ensure a clean system that produces healthy air. Here are several maintenance tasks to keep in mind.
Change HVAC Filters
Filters in an HVAC system have two purposes. The first is to stop debris from damaging the system’s internal components. The second is to filter out hazardous particulates from the air. Clogged filters not only strain the HVAC system’s operations (often causing breakdowns that necessitate repairs), but dirty filters also allow dust, hair, and mold spores to be recycled around the indoor air. We suggest changing your filter every three months at least. If you need assistance changing the filter, feel free to contact our HVAC company in Auburn, CA.
Clean Air Ducts
The same air ducts that distribute crisp and refreshing air throughout your home might have dirt, pollen, and even insect or rodent remnants accumulating inside of them. That’s why you’ll want to make air duct cleaning a part of your regular HVAC maintenance. Wipe off the grates and areas near the air intake, and call a technician to reach inside the air ducts. We have special vacuums and brush tools designed to clear away dirt from every nook and cranny of air ducts, leaving them sparkling clean, just like the air that flows through them.
Monitor Humidity Levels
Humidity is a measurement of the percentage of moisture in the air. The proper humidity level for a home is between 30 percent and 50 percent. Any higher and the air feels heavy, sticky, and uncomfortable. High humidity also contributes to mold growth by allowing moisture to fester on wood, fabric, and even HVAC components, such as filters and inside of air ducts. Since some mold spores are toxic when inhaled, it’s important to remediate mold growth indoors. One solution is a central-home dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air and deposit it into containers for easy disposal. But unlike portable dehumidifiers, which only affect one room at a time, central-home units work with the HVAC system to regulate humidity throughout the home.
Well-cleaned homes aren’t just appealing to look at and live in; they’re also healthier in terms of air quality. Add these smart cleaning habits to your routine to make sure the air is healthy to breathe.
Carpet and rugs are like sponges for soaking up dust particles. Vacuuming weekly with a HEPA-filter vacuum helps eliminate dust, hair, pet dander and other debris that might otherwise be blown through the air by your heating or cooling system.
Remove Pet Fur
Living around pets every day, you grow accustomed to their habits, sounds, and, yes, fur. Finding patches of animal hair under the couch or in room corners might not bother you after a while, but for the sake of your indoor air quality, don’t become too used to the sight. Instead, treat pet fur on the floor like it’s a glass of spilled wine — clean it up right away. This helps prevent dander, pollen, and other particles attached to the hair from degrading the air.
Dust & Mop
Though it’s easier to spot on a hard surface, dust is also more likely to be blown loose from that low-friction surface. That’s why we recommend dusting and mopping hard floors. A time-saver is to use a tandem duster-and-mop with disposable cleaning pads.
When was the last time that you washed your bedsheets or the blanket on the couch? If the answer eludes you, it’s time to head to the laundry room. Like carpeting, fabrics absorb particles in the air and then transfer them back. Imagine that every time you fluff a comforter in the bedroom, you could be slingshotting dust into the air you breathe. Be sure to regularly wash fabrics and blankets scattered throughout your home.
Keep indoor air comfortably clean with professional HVAC services in Auburn from Spoor’s Heating & Air Conditioning. Contact us to schedule HVAC appointment!