Cleaning Tips for Better Indoor Air Quality
Spring has officially sprung! The grass is getting greener and trees are budding, making many yearn for the outdoors. Unfortunately, it still too cold out to start planning our picnics and trips to the park. We’re stuck indoors, for now.
But look on the bright side! You may as well use this time indoors to clean up and improve the quality of your indoor air. Even though most of us think of outside air when we hear the word “pollution,” indoor air is almost always more polluted than the air outside, about 2 -5 times as polluted, according to the EPA.
Spring and summer are the worst times of year for your indoor air quality because of the added pollen and other allergens. And considering that we spend about 90% of our entire lives indoors, it is especially important to be aware of indoor air pollution and how to improve it. In fact, indoor air quality may be the single most important health factor in our lives. Instead of buying lots of allergy medicine and suffering through the season, follow our 5 tips for improving the quality of your indoor air for year-round comfort.
Spring Cleaning Tips: Indoor Air Quality Edition
1. Change Your Air Filter
- Your air filter helps trap indoor air pollutants, keeping dirt, dust, and debris from being recirculated around your home. It is your home’s purification system and keeps your heating and cooling system from getting clogged or backed up. Set a reminded on your fridge or phone to check your air filter on the first of every month.
- Most filters needs to be changed every 30-90 days, but it is important to check it every month. If your furnace or air conditioner goes out unexpectedly, the cause may be a clogged air filter. Before you do anything else, change your air filter. This step will improve your indoor air quality more than anything else.
2. Vacuum and dust regularly
- Dust, pet hair, and other dirt and debris should be cleaned and vacuumed regularly. Clean all of your overhead light fixtures and ceiling fans. While you are cleaning, remember to get behind furniture, under beds, and other hard to reach places where dust and dirt accumulate.
- While you are at it, make sure that none of your furniture or drapes are blocking any HVAC air vents. It is important to keep all your vents open for proper airflow and ventilation.
- The best way to combat mold and mildew growth around your home is to have a humidification system work in tandem with your heating and cooling system. We recommend keeping humidity levels below 55%. If you or a family member frequently experiences bloody noses, allergies, dry, itchy eyes, sore throats, or dry skin, you can minimize all of the ill effects of dry and moist air with a whole-home humidification system.
- Fungi grow in damp environments like your bathrooms and basements. If you suspect structural issues with your basement or roof, or have any plumbing leaks, take care of those immediately.
- The air ducts in your home work to bring air to and from your heating and cooling system. As the air passes through your duct system, all kinds of dust, dirt, pollen, mold, bacteria, viruses, and other irritants get trapped and passed along. The buildup of debris in your air ducts negatively impact the quality of your indoor air and can affect your heating and cooling system’s cycles and lifespan. It’s not the places in your home that you can see that need the most cleaning; it is the places that you can’t see.
- To see if you need a professional duct cleaning (we recommend doing it about every 5 years), take your flash camera or smart phone and take a picture of the inside of one of your ducts. You may need a screwdriver to open one of your air vents. Stick your hand deep inside and snap a couple photos. If they look anything like this, you should seriously think about scheduling professional duct cleaning:
- Get a natural filtration system for your home by having several houseplants in your home. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, many common indoor houseplants provide a natural way of removing toxins from the air, helping to alleviate “sick building syndrome.” They call these plants “nature’s life support system.”
- In the study, it is suggested that to achieve effective air purification, you should have 1 potted plant for every 100 square feet of home or office space.
- Houseplants are the cheapest and most beautiful way to improve your indoor air quality. When you start your garden this spring, don’t forget to bring some of those plants inside. They will not only look great, but will at the same time be filtering out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Aloe Vera is a hardy, useful, and also great for improving your indoor air quality. See this article for a list of Top 10 NASA Approved Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality.
Some other suggestions to combat poor indoor air quality in the spring include keeping pets off of couches and beds, washing drapery and stuffed animals, buying hypoallergenic bedding, and replacing carpet with hardwood flooring.
For more tips on improving the quality of your indoor air this spring and summer season, read Love and Indoor Air Pollutants Are In the Air.
Over the years, VOCs, dirt, and debris can build up and negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality every time you use your furnace or air conditioner. This is the time to call Cassel Home Comfort at 217-689-4522 or make an appointment online.
Don’t forget to schedule your annual air conditioning tune-up for maximum air conditioning and cleaning efficiency.
If you feel like you are getting sick from your indoor air, call a doctor right away.
For more information on Indoor Air Quality, contact the IAQ experts at Cassel Home Comfort!
The good thing about poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is that we can do something about it. There are ways to cut back on the pollen, dirt, pet dander, dust mites, bacteria, viruses, mold and more. Just give us a call for a licensed and trained IAQ expert to assess your home and provide guaranteed solutions.
We’ll Get Your Castle Comfortable Again!