When your home is tightly sealed against the elements, you may be keeping out the cold, but you may still be letting in allergens and other particles that contribute to poor indoor air quality and can lead to respiratory problems. With windows closed for weeks or months at a time, these particles have no easy way out and can cause a number of health issues.
You can protect your indoor air quality from many common causes of poor air with these simple steps:
Your HVAC system’s air filter should be changed every 30-90 days, depending on how quickly it fills up. This is a simple, inexpensive step that makes a huge difference to your indoor air quality by making sure that dust and other airborne irritants can be trapped rather than recirculated throughout your home. It also maintains the cleanliness and efficiency of your system.
Air ducts carry the heated and cooled air throughout your home. If they have leaks or cracks due to improper installation, dust and other allergens, as well as mold, can accumulate and be spread throughout your home as well. Have your air ducts professionally cleaned to ensure they are circulating clean, fresh air.
If allergies are a consistent problem, an air purifier can help. Ionic purifiers can capture the irritants that trigger allergy symptoms.
Carpets, drapes and upholstery all attract dust and dirt. Hard floors can be less of a magnet for allergens than carpet, but can still develop a build up of dust. Bedding contains dust mites and should be washed weekly. Use dust-mite-proof covers on pillows and mattresses. Dusting and vacuuming frequently can also cut down on the accumulation of particles that cause allergy symptoms and other respiratory issues.
Pets are a source of hair and dander that are triggers for allergies. Those that spend time outdoors also track in dirt.
You may be surprised how much dirt outside your home gets brought inside your home on your shoes. To cut down on the dirt spreading throughout your home, remove your shoes at the entrance.
One of the easiest ways to refresh your indoor air is by letting in fresh outdoor air. Occasionally open windows to create a cross breeze.
Maintaining your HVAC equipment by regularly changing the air filters and scheduling annual professional maintenance is the best way to keep your indoor air quality healthy and safe.