Homeowners spend a lot each year on heating and cooling costs to keep their families comfortable. Then they insulate and seal air leaks so that conditioned air isn’t wasted. But by doing everything possible to keep conditioned air from escaping, they also often are trapping pollutants and allergens inside and preventing outside air from coming in to freshen things up.
Between air conditioning in the summer and heating in the wintertime, most people spend most of their time in mechanically conditioned air these days and the resulting indoor air quality leaves a lot to be desired. The EPA has found that most homes have multiple sources that undermine indoor air quality. Here are a few of the most common and some possible solutions:
- Use auxiliary heating sources with care. Fireplaces, wood and gas stoves and kerosene heaters release carbon monoxide and improper installation, venting or operation of these items can lead to the release of potentially deadly contaminants into your home.
- If you have pets or moisture issues in your home, mold, mildew, pet dander and pollen can all be problems. These allergens can thrive in certain conditions and your HVAC system can spread them around your home through your air ducts.
- Pesticides, paint and varnish and even cleaning supplies can undermine your indoor air quality, even if they are stored in an attached garage.
Poor indoor air quality can cause minor discomfort, such as dizziness and headaches, or can trigger more serious conditions, such as severe allergies and asthma attacks.
You can go a long way toward improving indoor air quality with a few tips:
- Limit clutter and vacuum and dust regularly. When dusting, use a damp cloth or one designed to attract dust rather than just moving it from one surface to another.
- Change and clean air filters regularly.
- Combat moisture problems by installing fans and other ventilation or installing a dehumidifier.
- Consider buying an air purifier
- Have a professional check out pollution levels in your home and make recommendations.
For more information about improving your indoor air quality, call the professionals at Home Comfort Experts. Our qualified HVAC technicians can conduct an indoor air analysis and help you take the first step toward cleaner, healthier indoor air. Serving the Mishawaka and South Bend areas, we’re always happy to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.