Indoor air quality, or IAQ, describes how clean or breathable the air is within our homes and other buildings. With proper ventilation, filtration, and cleanliness, we can keep our home’s indoor air healthy and comfortable. Many homes have high levels of indoor pollutants, some of which often go unnoticed as they may be odorless and invisible. These impurities could be strong cleaning agents, adhesives from carpet or wallpaper, pet dander, mold, pollen, dust, airborne viruses, or many other contaminants.
Why Does Indoor Air Quality Matter?
The indoor air in our home is directly connected to our health and wellness, so if your home has poor indoor air quality, you and your loved ones could be at risk for poor health. The most common sources of indoor air pollution are mold, tobacco smoke, pollen, dust, pet dander, radon, carbon monoxide, and asbestos or formaldehyde. Having these contaminants in your home could cause a variety of symptoms, some of that may be mistaken for the common cold.
Start by Tackling the Source
The most important thing homeowners should keep in mind about IAQ is that you can improve poor indoor air quality by attacking the cause of the pollutant(s), and then maintaining clean air within your home after the contamination has been removed. Examples include:
- If pollen is creeping inside your home, keep your windows closed during high pollen days, and only open them when pollen is low; also, be sure to have guests and family members remove their shoes upon entering your home, as pollen can easily be tracked on the soles of shoes.
- If you suspect mold, have a professional inspect your home for water damage, leaks, or other causes of moisture, and install a dehumidifier in your home to keep dampness under control.
- The Air Quality Index is a handy place to check on daily air quality in your area. Check the Arizona section for daily reports on pollution and associated health effects, as the outdoor air quality can directly affect the quality of your air indoors.
Focus on Prevention
Once you’ve gotten the cause under control, you’ll then want to focus on future prevention. Proper ventilation is key to maintaining good indoor air quality. You can improve your home’s ventilation in several ways.
- At least once per day (unless pollen or smog levels are particularly high), partially open all windows and allow your home to “breathe” for about 15 minutes.
- Utilize fans in your kitchen, bathrooms, and attic when needed, and after vacuuming, set your thermostat on “run” or “vent” to help the air circulate properly and remove any dust that may have been kicked up into the air.
- Be sure to change your home’s air filter regularly. Check for excess debris once per month and replace it with a new filter as soon as it gets dirty. The air you breathe runs through your HVAC filter, and a dirty filter is bad for your air as well as your HVAC system.
Yet another way to prevent future indoor air quality issues is by taking advantage of Emergency Air Heating and Cooling’s maintenance agreement, which will provide you with the reassurance that your HVAC system is running effectively and efficiently.
For excellent indoor air quality, you’ll want to make sure that your HVAC system is also in excellent shape. Give us a call today to find out more about our worry-free maintenance plan (602) 894-9228.