How To Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality All Summer
A city like Roseville, MI, experiences a moderate level of allergies during the warmer weather months. Pollen is often the culprit of summer respiratory issues. Grass pollen is often the highest. Residents of this city should also be mindful of tree and ragweed pollen in the air. There is not that much you can do to control the quality of the outdoor air. There are strategies that you can adopt to help keep your home’s indoor air quality healthy, though. Indoor air quality is one of our specialties at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning. Here are some tips to review:
Divide and Conquer
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has spent a good chunk of time studying indoor air quality and some of the things that compromise it. To improve indoor air, they suggest utilizing three strategies:
- Source control
- Improved ventilation
- Air cleaners
To clean up your home’s air, start with the source that is having a negative impact. During the summer months, there could be more than one. Mold, smog and pollen can all cause issues. Those who suffer from allergies or respiratory issues are likely to experience:
- Eye irritation
- Runny nose
If you are experiencing these symptoms while you are inside your home, this is an indication that your indoor air quality is suffering.
Indoor Air Quality Source Control
In order to prevent your home’s air quality from suffering, you need to know why it is not as good as it can be. Indoor air suffers every time it becomes trapped inside. It can also suffer when you cook, your pet drops dander or you smoke inside.
When you arrive home from running errands or work, you may be dragging in the pollen with you. So, one way to control the amount of pollen in your home is to change your clothes when you arrive. Also, if you suffer from allergies, you are encouraged to take a shower when you arrive as well.
Improve Ventilation to Improve Indoor Air Quality
There is no strategy that is going to help you zero-out the pollutants living and coming into your home. You can prevent them from settling in, though, especially during the summer months. Improving ventilation helps clean out your indoor air. New homes are especially energy efficient because they are well sealed. This is great for your energy use and costs, but you need to remember to air out your home, too.
Older homes often have insulation issues. Air is most likely to escape from the inside and enter from the outside. You still need to remember to open your windows every so often in order to ventilate. The inside air grows stale in both new and old homes, so ventilation is a must. The use of fans is an additional ventilation tool at your disposal.
Ventilation Through Fans in the Summer
An HVAC system does not bring in new air into your home. It cools and heats the existing air in your house. Ventilation is a vital component of the system because it pushes the air around your interior spaces. When there are blockages, you might experience cold or hot spots even though the central unit is running optimally.
To optimize your HVAC unit’s ventilation, you are encouraged to open a window as weather permits. During the summer, when it cools down overnight, you may consider leaving a window open. This allows the fresh air to enter and cool off your house. Coupled with the HVAC unit, this is a great way to optimize the ventilation.
Then, add fans. When you cook, you should utilize your kitchen’s fans. The smoke and gasses created during the cooking process are also known as VOCs. While they may not cause obvious allergies or respiratory issues right away, over time, VOCs are hazardous to your health.
Bathroom fans are great for sucking up the moisture created in this room. At the very least, it prevents the moisture from resting on the surfaces, floor and walls for an extended period of time. If you are allergic to mold, the bathroom fans are your friend.
Air cleaners are another indoor air quality tool at your disposal. Technology and research have helped improve these devices. They are not going to clean the immediate air 100%, but they are going to clean anywhere between 30% to 50%. As technology has improved, there are makes and models that offer claims of being able to clean up to 80% of the air.
There are a great range and variety of air cleaners on the market. So, you can pick the one that best fits your budget, space and power. With a little research, you can find a good balance among all three requirements.
One way to clean up your home’s indoor air is to utilize HEPA products. These air filters can trap microscopic particles, which is great for improving air quality. If you use these filters, however, you must ensure that the HVAC unit is compatible.
Since the filter is going to develop a layer of particles faster, it has to be cleaned or replaced at least once a month. Then, you have to double-check that the filter is not causing the unit to clog. Since a HEPA filter does its job so well, systems that are not compatible do not have the power to push the air out. Combining HEPA-compatible products, however, is a great way to improve your home’s indoor air quality during the summer.
On sunny summer days, when the sunlight hits the inside of your home through the window at the right angle, you can see the dust particles floating around inside. Your job is to trap as many of those particles as possible when they land on your surfaces. Then, you can get rid of them.
By cleaning consistently, you are getting rid of the allergens that have a negative impact on your home’s indoor air quality. Wipe the surfaces of your home and vacuum at least once a week. Make sure that you are washing and dusting your bedding on a weekly basis, too. Since you sleep on your bedding for a few hours every night, you want to keep it as particle-free as possible.
When you clean, your goal is to prevent the build-up of allergens. They should not be able to rest comfortably inside your home.
Groom Your Pet
Pet dander is another cause of respiratory issues and allergies during the warmer months. So, you are encouraged to groom your pet on a consistent basis. Dander that is allowed to float around and land on the floor has a negative impact on your home’s indoor air quality. Plus, your pet may be dragging pollen into your home. Giving him a good brushing after he has played outside can shake off the pollen.
To get an indoor air quality assessment, contact us at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning and schedule an appointment in Roseville. Additionally, we offer duct cleaning as well as maintenance plans, repairs and emergency services for both heating and cooling equipment.