As temperatures begin to rise, doors and windows shut. Air conditioners rumble to life, and the gentle hum of an HVAC indicates a comfortable home.
What happens, though, when your HVAC system is pumping unclean air throughout your home? You may be more comfortable, but your indoor air quality is suffering.
Keep reading to learn about how higher temperatures lead to poor indoor air quality and the ways you can solve this critical problem.
Why Indoor Air Quality Matters
A growing body of evidence in recent years has indicated that many individuals suffer health problems from indoor air pollution. With an increasing number of people working desk jobs indoors, more individuals are prone to the problems that stem from poor air quality.
The symptoms may be annoying at first, like irritated eyes, scratchy throat, burning nose, and maybe the occasional headache or dizziness. Perhaps you’ve had these symptoms and attributed them to other causes. You blame seasonal allergies, a lack of sleep, or stress.
Truthfully, your indoor air could be causing these issues.
Long-term exposure can lead to chronic health problems such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and even cancer.
Summertime makes us especially exposed to indoor air pollutants. Yes, you can be outside for tolerable amounts of time if the weather is nice. But when temperatures reach uncomfortably hot ranges, most people seek the comfort of an air-conditioned home that’s sealed up tight for maximum cooling.
The constant running of an HVAC system will circulate allergens and debris caught in the ducts and air without any fresh air introduced to the home.
Thankfully, you can affect your indoor air quality positively with the following measures.
Circulate Fresh Air
As much as possible, circulate fresh air into your home. Open windows at night when the temperatures dip into comfortable ranges. Use fans to move air contaminants from your kitchen when you’re cooking.
When you open your windows, you immediately reduce the carbon dioxide levels in your house. You also dilute the concentration of chemicals that are in your space.
Change Your Filters
HVAC filters are supposed to keep allergens from infiltrating your air system. High-quality electrostatic filters will stop dust and other airborne irritants from recirculating through your home.
When you do not change your filters regularly, dust clogs them. Your HVAC system ends up working harder than it should, and dust will eventually continue to circulate. In the summer months when your system runs daily, change the filters monthly instead of every three months.
This simple act will save wear and tear on your HVAC system and improve your air. New filters are the simplest products to quickly improve air quality in the home.
Upgrade Your Filters
You can also take your filter game up a notch by upgrading the filters you have. Filters come in all degrees of efficacy. The higher the efficiency rating, the more pollutants the filter will catch. Some high-efficiency filters, like a MERV 13 filter, will catch up to 90 percent of the allergens in your home.
You can also upgrade your system to a germicidal ultra-violet filtration system or UV light system. The UV light systems claim to destroy pathogenic toxins as well as unpleasant odors.
Dust circulates more readily in the summer than in the winter. When you reduce dust in your home, you immediately improve your indoor air quality. Focus specifically on eliminating mold, dust, and pet dander.
For example, you should vacuum your area rugs and carpets once a week. You should also clean your linens regularly. Drapes and bedding in particular tend to trap allergens. Put dust mite-proof covers on your mattresses, box springs, and pillows as well.
If you have shedding pets in the home, regularly grooming them outdoors will reduce the pet hair and dander released into your home.
After you’ve done your own home cleaning, call in an expert to clean your ducts. These quiet places house thick accumulations of dust and allergens. A professional duct cleaner will ensure that you’re air pathways are clean.
Add Some Foliage
One way to improve air quality is to get something that naturally cleans the air. That’s where houseplants come in. After all, they release oxygen into your home, reduce airborne contaminants, and even reduce static electricity.
When adding plants to your home, be sure to keep an eye out for the signs of mold. The mold on indoor plants is typically white, but it can be gray or even dark green and black. Watch out for these unhealthy spores.
Treat Your Air
If your water was making you sick, you’d begin purifying it. The same goes with your air.
If you have polluted indoor air, invest in an air purifier. You may have several things in your home that trigger your allergies such as pollen or pet dander.
In particular, look for an air purifier that utilizes several filters, including a HEPA filter. The more levels of filtration in an air purifier, the better the air quality will be where you use it.
If you have a damp area that is prone to mold growth, invest in a dehumidifier. Start with the basement, which is usually a damp area. A dehumidifier will lower your risk for mold growth and lessen the number of mold spores in the air.
Check your bathrooms for proper ventilation. Have ventilation fans installed in your kitchen and bathroom if they are not already present.
Breathe Easy in Hot Temps
If you’re enjoying the cool air from your A/C, but haven’t taken measures to improve your air quality, it’s time. Your solutions might be as simple as replacing a filter. These basic steps will lead to cooler, healthier air in your home.
So as the temperatures begin to rise, you can rest easy knowing that you’re breathing healthy air.