As the cooler weather sets in, you and your family will spend more time inside, making indoor air quality more important. With poor indoor air quality, your family members may experience more illness and breathing difficulties. You may also notice more dust around your home and experience increased heating expenses. Here are six ways to improve your indoor air quality this winter and keep both your family and heating system happy.
1. Change Your Furnace Filter
Your air filters are responsible for removing airborne contaminants before they can enter your furnace and cause problems. The secondary benefit is that they also help improve your indoor air quality. Unfortunately, furnace filters are often neglected until there’s a major problem.
Check your filter and make sure it’s clean and can pass air effectively. Most standard 1-inch filters need a replacement about every 90 days, with average air quality. If you have a reusable filter, plan to vacuum it monthly to help extend its life and continue improving your air quality.
2. Manage Household Humidity
Humidity is an important aspect of maintaining and controlling indoor air quality. If the air is too dry, airborne contaminants become light and continue floating around for you to breathe. It also causes more contaminants due to dry skin and cracking and dried out wood and leather, just to name a couple of examples.
Too much moisture, on the other hand, and you cultivate an environment that also creates more contaminants. Heat and excess moisture make an ideal condition for biological contaminants to thrive.
To strike the perfect balance, the EPA recommends maintaining a humidity level of 30% to 50% relative. During the winter in Cypress, that means you’ll likely need to add moisture to your air to maintain enough moisture in the air.
3. Schedule Maintenance for Your Heater
Routine maintenance is critical to keeping your heating system running effectively, but also to improve your air quality. Your HVAC system collects dust and other contaminants on the heat exchanger and circulating fan. Then, as the air continues to circulate, it picks up some of those particles and carries them back out into your home to be breathed again.
During routine maintenance, your technician will gently clean these areas of your heating system. This removes the contaminants to prevent them from moving back into the air. It also ensures the system is circulating enough air by increasing the volume moving through your air filter.
4. Use Household Ventilation
Ventilation is incredibly important for maintaining the air quality in your house. First, you need to move fresh air in while moving older air out. This helps circulate out the air with various household contaminants, like VOCs.
Proper ventilation also helps control humidity in your home. While you may need to run a humidifier over the winter, you want to be careful of excessive moisture in your kitchen and bathroom. This is why it’s important to use the ventilation fans any time you’re doing something that creates a lot of steam.
5. Keep Doors and Vents Open
Your house’s HVAC system is designed to circulate air throughout your residence by creating a pressure differential. This differential happens when air moves through the output vents and is then drawn in at the return vents. Without the right circulation, the air in some areas of your home gets stale and never moves through the air filter.
To prevent this, keep your doors and heating vents open in as much of the house as possible. Even if you open the doors before you leave for work in the morning, giving the house a few hours to fully circulate air helps improve your indoor air quality.
6. Install an Air Purifier
A whole-system air purifier will further help remove harmful contaminants from your home’s air. Common purification technologies include ultraviolet light and negative ion treatment. UV lights help destroy many harmful contaminants, including VOCs and organic molecules. Negative ions move out into your home to cause airborne contaminants to clump together and fall from the air. Some purifiers also have more filtration built in to pull out smaller particles than the standard air filter will catch.
AirDepot has provided quality heating and air conditioning services to people around Cypress since 1977. Our team provides expert air quality solutions, not to mention reliable heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair. Call to schedule a consultation with one of our air quality specialists today.