Indoor air quality might just be the most overlooked part of your quality of life. We spend quite a bit of time inside our homes—well above 70% of our lives, in fact! You hear plenty about air pollution from cars and power plants, but what you may not hear enough about is your indoor air quality. According to the EPA, your home is likely 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. That’s right, that highway by your home might have safer, cleaner air than in your living room! Why is that? For starters, modern homes are designed to be airtight to improve efficiency. That’s all well and good, but it can mean that whatever is introduced into your air supply is pretty much trapped inside. We’ll look at what you can do to keep your air clean and healthy for you and your loved ones below.
Change Your Furnace Filter
You wouldn’t drive your car for years without having your filter changed, would you? Of course not. Your furnace is the same, but its filter does more than just keep your furnace running efficiently. If you use a central forced-air furnace and air conditioner, the air in your home is circulating through your air ducts as your home is heated and cooled. On each pass-though, the air travels through your furnace filter. During this important step, a clean, properly sized furnace filter will do a pretty good job of catching many of the larger airborne contaminants and trapping them before they are recirculated for you to breathe in. There are even media filters to consider with high MERV-filtration for improved air quality.
If you aren’t sure when the last time your furnace filter was checked, you can consult your manufacturer’s user manual to learn where the filter is located, how to access it, how often it should be changed, and more. Of course, our team at Leith Heating & Cooling is happy to help you select a furnace filter right for your home and design a filter change schedule that is best for your unique needs.
Is Your Home Ventilated?
As we mentioned before, the airtight design of our homes as well as the fact that we often keep windows and doors closed during temperature extremes to keep the treated air in means that ventilation isn’t always ideal. Airborne contaminants aren’t just introduced from things like cigarette smoke, either. Many common cleaning supplies, paint toner, pet dander, mold spores, and even the bacteria your children track inside on their shoes can all wind up being in the air you breathe. With no place to escape, these contaminants will keep circulating in your air supply.
You can do some small things such as opening a kitchen window while cooking, and opening up windows and doors as weather permits, but oftentimes it just isn’t practical. At Leith Heating & Cooling, we can help you customize a solution for ventilating your home that doesn’t mean sacrificing your comfort.
Control Indoor Humidity Levels
Humidity affects more than how the temperature inside your home “feels”. While high humidity means sticky, sweaty conditions during the summer, it’s also an invitation to lots of icky bacteria and mold to flourish in your home. Having a quality whole-home dehumidifier can greatly improve not only your indoor air quality levels, but even your comfort and utility bills! Most homeowners find that with the proper humidity levels, they can turn the thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and still feel just as cool.
Clean Your Carpets and Rugs
Did you know that dirty carpets and rugs can increase air pollution in your home? While carpets and rugs are great for ambience and comfort, they also trap dust in their fibers. Cleaning your carpets and rugs frequently will help you improve your home’s indoor air quality levels. In general, a cleaner home will impact your air quality quite a bit—and that’s more than just your carpet!
Buy Some Indoor Plants
Plants are more than just decoration—they are also nature’s air filters! Introducing some plants into the décor of your home can improve air quality and even improve the enjoyment you experience while going about your daily life. Lilies and ferns are great options, and your local nursery is a good place to get some recommendations for indoor plants that will work well in your home.
Generally, plants are known to be natural air filters. Having some indoor plants might help you improve your home’s indoor air quality. Additionally, indoor plants will help you enhance your house’s decor. Plants like lilies and ferns work best in improving the air quality in your home.
Call Your Local IAQ Experts
In addition to these helpful tips, Leith Heating & Cooling has a wide array of IAQ solutions to help you make your indoor air as clean and safe as possible. We’re experts when it comes to ventilation and humidity control, and we also carry highly effective whole-home air cleaners we can install for you. These air cleaners provide 24/7 air purifying power, constantly trapping and eliminating many of the problematic airborne pollutants that would otherwise bring your IAQ down.
If you’d like to learn more about the IAQ services and solutions we provide local homeowners in Elgin and the surrounding areas, we’re glad to be of assistance. Simply give us a call today!