We want to believe we are safe in our homes. We lock the doors when we leave, we close our garage doors at night, and some of us even use security systems to keep out intruders. What would you think if you found out that you are locking yourself inside with a dangerous threat? Indoor air quality can be putting your family at risk.
Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
You may think of pollution as being car emissions, smog or ozone but, in some cases, we have poorer air quality inside than out. Contaminates can be tracked in from outside or brought in with packing materials, furniture, appliances or paint. Many types of chemicals can be found in buildings that are dangerous to breathe, like formaldehyde, radon, fire retardants, lead, and chemicals in cleaners and air fresheners. Since the average American spends 90% of their time inside, indoor air quality is more important than ever. The best way to combat poor air quality is to remove the source of the contamination.
What You Can Do to Clean Up Your Air
Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to make sure the air your family breathes while in your home is the best quality it can be. You may think that you do a great job keeping a tidy house, and you probably do. However, some areas may need more than you can do by yourself and others that are difficult to access. That’s when you need to call in the professionals like the team at Steamatic of the Red River Valley.
What Happens When You Have Bad Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality can lead to chronic respiratory problems. Allergens trapped and recirculated indoors can cause more severe allergic reactions, resulting in symptoms like routine coughing and sleeping problems. Prolonged exposure to these allergens can significantly impact the quality of life for individuals and their families.
Every person is different, but prolonged exposure can result in persistent symptoms. If you notice you or your family members have been coughing and sneezing more, especially when it’s off-season for allergies, it might be your indoor air quality that’s causing it.
Making Sure to Change your Air Filter Often
Changing air filters frequently every three months or less is recommended if you have pets, smokers, or allergies. Regularly changing air filters helps maintain good indoor air quality by trapping dust, allergens, and other particles.
Your air conditioning filter is a large square fabric & wire filter designed to remove contaminants from the air before they cycle through the HVAC vents throughout your home.
Setting a schedule for changing your AC air filter is best recommended. Use a paper calendar or set a reminder on your phone to help you remember.
Using Cooking Vents
The food you cook can make your house smell wonderful. Any time food is cooked, it will release particles in the air. This is especially true if the food is fried, grilled or charred.
If your stovetop or range has an exhaust fan placed above it, it’s best to turn it on anytime food is being cooked.
These exhaust fans usually come with a filter inside that’ll function similarly to the filter in your AC vents, trapping any particles in the air.
Even if no smoke is coming from the pan, having it turned on can help improve indoor air quality.
If your stove or oven doesn’t have an exhaust fan, an alternative option is cooking with open windows.
A good thing to remember is that much like the AC filters in your home, the filter in an exhaust fan should also be checked regularly for changing or cleaning.
Can Air Fresheners Help?
Air fresheners may seem like a great way to help air quality. However, they tend only temporarily to mask odors. Overuse of them can release further particles into your home’s air. While they seem like a quick solution, they don’t address the quality of the air in your home.
Buy Indoor Plants to Freshen the Air
Plants can help improve indoor air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and converting it into oxygen. This provides a great way to freshen your home, and the plants could double as decoration.
Some plants that have been found to help with this process include aloe vera, peace lillies and snake plants, just to name a few.
HVAC cleaning is one of the smartest money-saving moves you can make, as well as an excellent way to ensure the best air quality in your home. You would be surprised to know what all can be lurking in your ventilation system. Air duct cleaning can prevent you from breathing things like dust, dust mites, rodent or insect feces, mold or mildew. HVAC cleaning can also make your unit run more efficiently, bringing down utility costs.
Think of all the places that you walk in a day and multiply that by everyone that walks into your home throughout the week. If you think that merely vacuuming your carpets gets them clean enough, then the next time you start to do laundry, consider how well it would work if you just brushed the clothes off or shook them out. Chances are you wouldn’t be satisfied that your clothes were clean enough to wear again. The same is true with your carpet, except the implications are much more severe when you consider that you are breathing in the contaminants that are trapped in the fabric.
Ground-in dirt can deteriorate the material of your floor coverings. Carpet and area rug cleaning can remove stains, prolong the life of the fibers and sanitize it against pollutants. Your home will not only smell great, but the floor coverings will also look brighter and fresher. All those tracked in contaminants are whisked away, leaving your carpets more resilient, and your air clean and healthy.
Lower the Humidity
Humidity in the home is necessary to some degree to make it comfortable. However, if the level exceeds 60%, it is too humid. The effects can cause health problems, as moist indoor air can trap pollutants and allergens, making it even more dangerous for those with asthma, severe allergies or lung problems. It can also promote the growth of mold and mildew on surfaces and in the air ducts, further eroding air quality and increasing the risk of health problems. Dehumidification and air duct cleaning from Steamatic of Fargo can prevent and remove pollutants, mold, and mildew from your home.
When you are ready to clean up the air in your home and ensure your HVAC is running efficiently, contact the professionals at Steamatic of the Red River Valley today. Proudly serving Fargo, Grand Forks, and the surrounding communities.
REQUEST A SERVICE