5 Ways To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

The air we breathe indoors can sometimes be more polluted than the air outside, filled with hidden nasties that can impact our health and well-being. But fear not, there are a few easy and effective ways to improve your indoor air quality and create a healthier breathing environment.

Replace your HVAC Filter Regularly

A good practice is to replace your HVAC system 2 to 3 times per year. Regularly replacing your HVAC filter is a simple, yet powerful way to breathe healthier air at home. Clean air filters trap dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne contaminants that would otherwise circulate through your house. Cleaner air for you and your family can potentially mean reducing allergy and asthma symptoms. In addition to that, a clean filter allows your HVAC system to work more efficiently, saving you money on energy bills and extending the lifespan of your unit by preventing strain.

Homeowner replacing dirty HVAC air filter with clean one.
Replacing HVAC Filter to improve indoor air quality

Use an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are devices that improve indoor air quality by removing contaminants from the air of the room. Essentially, they pull in air, pass it through filters, and then release the cleaned air back into the room. Air purifiers are effective in trapping dust, pollen, pet dander and other allergens, reducing allergy and asthma symptoms, and eliminating unpleasant odors. Air Purifiers can even potentially lower your risk of exposure to airborne viruses and bacteria. Maintaining an air purifier primarily involves replacing the air filters at recommended intervals. This can typically be done in a few minutes without any tools required. Air purifiers are ideal for small spaces because of their compact size and portability.

Air Purifier for Improving Indoor Air Quality
Air Purifier for purification of Indoor Air

Open Windows and Doors to Improve Ventilation

Opening windows and doors is a natural and effective way to create a healthier breathing environment within the home. Below are a few of the key benefits you can expect when improving ventilation simply by opening windows and door.

  • Fresh Air Exchange: Imagine your home as having lungs. Opening windows and doors creates a natural flow of air, similar to inhaling and exhaling. Stale indoor air can be exhausted out while fresh air from the outdoors can be drawn inward. The indoor air will become significantly healthier as the concentration of indoor contaminants becomes diluted by the influx of fresh air.
  • Pollutant Removal: Our indoor spaces can harbor a variety of indoor air pollutants, such as dust mites, pet dander, and even harmful chemicals from furniture and cleaning products known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Natural ventilation provides a path for escape for these pollutants with exiting stale air.
  • Moisture Control: Daily activities like showering and cooking can introduce excess moisture into your home. With the presence of excessive moisture, your home can become a breeding ground for mold growth, which can trigger allergies and respiratory problems. Opening windows and doors allows this excess moisture to escape, regulating humidity levels and preventing mold growth, contributing to a healthier indoor environment.
  • Increased Comfort: Fresh air is just more comfortable to breath. Natural ventilation replaces stale air with fresh air, making your home feel more pleasant and comfortable, especially during hot and stuffy summer months.

Ventilate your home by opening windows to allow fresh air in.
Allowing fresh air in by opening windows and doors

Control Relative Humidity

When relative humidity in the home is high, there is excessive moisture in the air that can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These Indoor Air Pollutants can cause health complications, such as respiratory issues and allergic reactions. Ideally, the relative humidity in the home should always be between 40-50% for maintaining healthy indoor air quality. One of the jobs of the HVAC system in a home is to remove excessive moisture from the air. It serves as a whole house dehumidifier. In order for the HVAC system to effectively remove excessive moisture from the air, it has to run long enough to properly extract moisture from the air and discharge it through the system. Also, using a portable dehumidifier is a great way to control moisture levels in areas of the home, like bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture levels tend to fluctuate during use.

Dehumidifier for controlling relative humidity
Moisture control using a Dehumidifier

Eliminate Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are organic compounds in the form of gasses that have high vapor pressure at room temperature. They can contribute to respiratory problems and other health complications. Many household products and materials release (VOCs) into the air. To reduce the amount of VOCs in your home, you can use natural cleaning products that are non-toxic. If you are a smoker, avoid smoking indoors and transferring VOCs from cigarette smoke. When purchasing new furniture, allow it to air out near open windows. Also, consider replacing carpet in your home with hard flooring as carpet can release VOCs into the air, especially at the time of first installation.

Use organic cleaners to reduce Volatile Organic Compounds
Using organic cleaners to reduce the release of VOCs

Radon Testing & Mitigation

Radon is a radioactive gas that is undetectable to the human sense. Radon is all around us, but we cannot taste it, smell it, or see it. Nevertheless, extended exposure to elevated levels of radon puts homeowners at a higher risk of contracting lung cancer. Radon is found naturally in all of Earth’s soils and can enter homes through cracks in the foundation. The only way to determine if your home has elevated levels of radon is to perform a Radon test. If you find that there are high concentrations of Radon in your home, consider taking action to mitigate Radon levels in your home.

In conclusion, maintaining healthy indoor air quality is essential for a healthy home environment. By keeping the air clean, improving ventilation, controlling humidity, eliminating sources of pollution, and testing for radon, you can ensure that the air you breathe is clean and healthy. Remember, small changes can make a big difference, so start implementing these tips today to improve your indoor air quality. If you have any questions or would like to seek professional advice about the Indoor Air Quality of your home, reach out to our team at Ensign Building Solutions.

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