Some may think their respiratory health will be fine as long as they're indoors and away from the pollution of the big city, but they would be mistaken. It could be, after all, that the air quality in their home leaves something to be desired. To improve your own home's indoor air quality, you can consider the following five tips.
Avoiding Artificial Scents
You may want to get rid of your air fresheners because the scents contain toxic chemicals known as volatile organic compounds. VOCs are chemicals that dissolve into a gas or vapor at room temperature, and they include toluene, benzene, and phthalates. Toulene can cause throat, eye, and skin irritation. Benzene is a carcinogen that can be found in car exhaust and cigarette smoke. Phthalates, which help scents remain in the air longer, are said to impact reproductive health.
VOCs also contribute to smog formation. Of course, minimal exposure to the VOCs found in air fresheners may not be anything to worry about. Still, the problem is that VOCs are in many other household products, including detergents and personal care products like shampoo, soap, and shaving cream.
There are plenty of natural alternatives to these products.
Using Green Cleaning Products
This leads us to the second tip, which is to use green cleaning products. This is not the same as purchasing "unscented" products because these may only contain additional harmful chemicals to mask the fragrance. You could look for products with third-party certification, such as Green Seal certification and the Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute. You could even create your own natural cleaning products.
Opening the Windows
Ventilating your home is essential to clean indoor air; in fact, the EPA says that the level of indoor air pollutants can be two to five times greater than the level of outdoor pollutants. The EPA especially recommends ventilating the home when one is engaging in activities that can produce air pollutants, such as cooking or painting. In addition to natural ventilation, you can run a window or ceiling fan to increase the rate of ventilation.
Changing the Air Filters
Air filters are an essential part of your central heating and AC unit as they can capture:
Dust and dust mites
Mold and mildew
They only have so much square footage for trapping pollutants, so it's a no-brainer to replace them. The question, though, is how often. The cheapest filters, which are fiberglass filters, need replacing every 30 days while the superior pleated filters can last 60 to 90 days.
Air filter replacement is usually covered under AC maintenance. It's something that our technicians can easily take care of. However, we recommend that you replace your filters every 30 to 90 days.
Regular HVAC Maintenance
Filter replacement is not the only maintenance task that can help improve your air quality. Regular maintenance keeps your heating and cooling system in the best shape for your home comfort. A maintenance technician would also clear out dust from the coils, motor, and other internal HVAC components. A well-maintained unit can indirectly boost air quality by maintaining proper humidity levels, which prevent mold growth.