The indoor air pollution in many homes is worse than the outside air and summer conditions cause indoor air quality to be even worse than during other seasons. The higher ozone levels of the summer air as well as mold spores and moisture can negatively affect indoor air quality and the warm temperatures allow these pollutants to hang around longer in the air. A 2008 survey done by 3M found that only 40 percent of participating homeowners are concerned about their indoor air quality despite the fact that it is generally worse than outdoor air. It is important for homeowners to reduce the pollution and improve the quality of their indoor air by following these tips.
- Check Air Filter: Every air conditioner, whether it is a central air conditioner or window unit, filters debris from the outside of the house such as pollen and smog as well as debris collected from the re-circulated air inside the house such as dust. This filter should be checked and cleaned or replaced regularly.
- Moisture Control: The high humidity of the summer leads to an increase in moisture and condensation throughout the home. Excess moisture leads to mold growth that pollutes the indoor air with mold spores which is why it is important to control the moisture level in your home. You can keep the moisture level down by cleaning up condensation and putting a dehumidifier in high moisture areas.
- Improve Air Circulation: Better air circulation throughout the house will help improve the air quality by increasing the air exchange rate between the inside and outside air. Open your windows on dry, mild days to let in fresh air but make sure to keep them shut on humid or rainy days to avoid letting in extra moisture. When you shut your windows, the air conditioner will circulate the fresh air and remove the pollutants that came in with it from outside.
- Maximize Energy Efficiency: Maximizing the energy efficiency of your home can help improve indoor air quality while also lowering your energy bills. Check the air duct system to make sure that it is properly sealed throughout because air leaks will decrease the system’s efficiency and allow more pollutants to enter the breathing air unfiltered. Having your air ducts professionally cleaned will greatly improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality.
- Regularly Vacuum or Mop the Floors: The dust, dirt, and other debris that enter the home from the outside settle on the floors and carpets. Other pollutants such as household chemicals can bind to the dust and dirt which makes it even more dangerous to breathe in. By removing this debris regularly with vacuuming or damp mopping, you can eliminate these contaminates from your home before they are inhaled.
- Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals for Pest Control: Problems with pests such as ants and other insects are more common in the spring and summer but typical ant sprays contain chemicals that can cause headaches and nausea. Using less toxic chemicals such as boric acid will result in less harmful effects for your indoor air while implementing pest prevention methods such as sealing entry points and keeping food and garbage properly sealed will help prevent pests without contributing to indoor air pollution.
If you follow these tips through the rest of the summer, you can help significantly improve your indoor air quality. Indoor air pollution on average is much worse than outdoor air pollution and improving your indoor air quality will help make your home cleaner and healthier. Hiring a professional to clean your air ducts can also greatly improve your indoor air quality as well as your heating and cooling efficiency. Contact Green T Air Ducts if you believe a professional air duct cleaning service could benefit your home.