Your indoor air quality is easy to overlook simply because you can’t see it. But you can certainly feel it. When your air quality is compromised, symptoms such as sneezing, dizziness, runny nose, and watery eyes often develop. Poor indoor air can even lead to severe respiratory issues.
This year, resolve to breathe cleaner air. Here’s how:
Take Off Shoes
In addition to mud, grass, and other debris, the soles of your shoes might also have trace amounts of pesticides. There’s no sense tracking that stuff into your home to foul up your indoor air quality. Have family members and guests remove shoes at the door and place them in a shoe rack or boot tray.
Vacuum at Least Weekly
Rugs and carpeting trap allergens, so vacuum high-traffic areas at least weekly to keep pollutants down. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which removes microscopic particles. And make slow passes with the vacuum, so you don’t stir up dust.
Check Your Furniture
Furniture made of lacquers and varnishes may give off harmful chemicals, especially when brand new. If you can’t avoid new furniture made with formaldehyde, at least let the tables, sofas, and other pieces air out in a garage for several days before bringing them inside.
Use Zero VOC Paints
Conventional paint contains volatile organic compounds, which continue to off-gas long after they’re applied. Most paint manufacturers now offer a low- or no-VOC finishing option.
Damp spaces breed mold and mildew and allow airborne viruses to spread. In contrast, dry air can cause paint, wood floors, and wood furniture to crack.
Your ideal indoor humidity level should be between 40 and 50 percent. A hygrometer is a simple way to gauge humidity levels. That way, you can determine if you need to use a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Choose Green Label Carpets and Rugs
In addition to harboring pollutants, carpets and rugs can also give off emissions. That’s why you should seek out flooring certified with the Green Label Plus logo.
The Green Label program developed by the Carpet and Rug Institute ensures consumers that the product meets strict criteria to reduce its impact on indoor air quality.
Fragrances found in cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and laundry products contain more than a hundred VOCs, some of which federal authorities have classified as toxic. Opt for fragrance-free alternatives.
Open a Window
The simple act of opening a window or patio door for several minutes a day can do wonders for your indoor air quality.
Opening the window exchanges stale air for fresh and helps to cut down on pollutants. Plus, studies have shown fresh air boosts your mood and makes you more products.
Opt for Alternative Candles
Scented candles are made to fill your home with pleasing aromas -- and toxins. In addition to synthetic fragrances and dyes, paraffin wax contributes pollutants such as benzene, acetone, and toluene, which have been linked to asthma and allergies. Even some wicks contain zinc, which will release trace amounts of heavy metals into the air.
Safer alternatives include candles made of beeswax and soy, which burn cleaner and longer.
Pay Attention to MERV
You already know you’re supposed to replace the filter in your central air unit every 30 to 90 days. But not just any replacement will do. Pay careful attention to the filter’s MERV rating. That’s the minimum efficiency reporting value, and it determines how effective a filter is at trapping particles.
The MERV scale ranges from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV, the smaller the contaminants the filter can screen out.
Have Your Ducts Professionally Cleaned
Your HVAC system recirculates your air up to seven times a day, carrying with it dust, debris, and even mold. The gradual buildup of particulate matter within your air ducts can severely impact the air you breathe.
How can you tell if your ducts are dirty? It’s simple: look. If you see a film of dust, it’s time to call in the pros. Fresh Aire Duct Cleaning has more than 40 years of industry experience, and all crew members are Certified Duct Cleaning Technicians. We can conduct a video camera inspection to determine the best solution for your ducts.
To schedule an appointment, call (818) 275-5556.