If you’re concerned about air quality, you probably pay close attention to the air outside. Pollution levels and smog are real problems, and they’re often easy to spot. However, what about the air that comes inside your home? When was the last time you paid attention to your air filters and HVAC system? If it’s been more than six months, it’s time to take a closer look. After all, most Americans spend up to 87 percent of their time indoors.
Fortunately, improving your indoor air quality is pretty straightforward. Being proactive and investing in preventative maintenance can save you time, money, and headaches later on.
Step One: Change Your Air Conditioning Filter
During the summer, your home’s A/C unit is working overtime. Depending on where you live, this one appliance could be the only thing separating you from a sweltering and miserable season. Typically, air conditioners run for about 15 to 20 minutes twice per hour. If it’s on more than that, there might be extra strain on the system, which could lead to a breakdown.
Did you know that your home’s A/C also filters out pollutants and other particles? Over time, these elements collect in the filter, causing it to clog. Eventually, the filter won’t be able to get much air, causing the system to shut down. The best way to avoid this issue (and to ensure you’re always getting clean, conditioned air) is to change the filter regularly.
Ideally, you should change the filter every three months. However, if you have pets or someone with sensitive allergies, we recommend once per month to be safe. Air conditioning maintenance is affordable, especially when compared to the cost of repairing the system once it breaks.
Step Two: Change the Other Filters In Your Home
While your home’s A/C system brings in air from the outside, other appliances also use vents and filters to prevent various pollutants from getting spewed into your house. Examples include the refrigerator, dryer, and the hood vent for your stove. As with the air conditioner, these filters can get clogged with particles, putting extra stress on the machine. If the filter can’t trap any pollutants, they’ll just go into your home and worsen your air quality.
Step Three: Invest in Routine Air Duct Cleaning and Maintenance
While the A/C unit is the beating heart of your home’s air quality and comfort level, the ducts are the arteries, bringing chilled air to every part of the house. Even if you change your A/C filters frequently, dust and other debris can collect in these vents. Since these ducts don’t have their own filters, debris will just get blown from one area to another.
The best way to keep your ducts clean is to hire a professional HVAC technician to come out and clean them regularly. A technician can also inspect your system to spot potential problems, such as rusted areas or mold buildup. Calling a technician once or twice a year should be sufficient to avoid massive repair jobs later.
Step Four: Keep Your Rugs and Carpets Clean
People bring in dirt, dust, and other debris from outside all the time. These elements float through the air and settle on various surfaces, including your rugs and carpets. Vacuuming and deep-cleaning your floors can help remove these contaminants so that they don’t get kicked up and spread around all the time. If you let your carpets get too dirty, you could kick up dust practically every time you step on them.
Ideally, a weekly vacuuming should be enough to remove dirt and debris. When it comes to deep-cleaning, once a month is ideal, but you can clean the floors every other month. If you have pets, you need to do these things more frequently.
Step Five: Take Control of the Humidity in Your Home
Humidity isn’t just uncomfortable, but it also breeds mold and pests. Your walls are especially susceptible because they can trap hot and humid air, allowing condensation to accumulate quickly. Also, since you can’t see inside the walls, you won’t be able to spot the problem before it gets out of control.
Your home’s HVAC system may already remove humidity from the air before bringing it inside. However, if you live in a particularly humid environment, you should have dehumidifiers in the rooms where you spend the most time. If possible, buy a large enough machine to dehumidify multiple rooms.
Step Six: Strengthen Your HVAC Unit With an Air Purifier
If you suffer from allergies or just want the best indoor air quality, an air purifier is the best solution. While you could buy purifier machines for each room, installing one inside your HVAC system is a better option. This way, you can keep particles and contaminants out of your house without taking up valuable floor space.
Installing an air purifier is pretty easy when you call a professional HVAC technician. We don’t recommend trying to do this yourself unless you know what you’re doing. Putting a purifier or a filter in the wrong place won’t provide much of a benefit.
Step Seven: Invest in Indoor Plants
Finally, indoor air quality is not just about removing pollutants. Plants can help purify the air by removing carbon dioxide and delivering fresh oxygen. Plus, they can liven up a room and make it feel more accommodating. Try to get plants that are native to your climate, so you don’t have to work so hard to keep them alive. If you’re worried about having dead plants everywhere, start with one or two and build up from there once you get into a good routine.
Take Control of Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality Today!
Indoor air quality can impact your health and comfort level, so don’t wait! Be proactive and take care of your home’s air system as soon as possible. Call Cote’s Mechanical and start breathing easier today!