The better our indoor air quality is, the easier it is for us to feel comfortable at home, breathe easy, and enjoy our homes to their fullest potential. And so it comes as no surprise that a great place to start with improving your air quality is assessing your home’s HVAC. Depending on where you live in California and how old your home is, indoor air quality issues may be a recurring issue you’re battling! Here are some tips on how to improve indoor air quality and when to get professional HVAC help.
HVAC Solutions That Help Improve Air Quality
Focus On Your AC filters
AC filters trap all sorts of dust and other unwanted pollutants from getting into the home. If well looked after, they serve their purpose well. However, it’s one of the often-forgotten parts of home maintenance, especially if you’re a renter. Over time, dust and other particles build up on the filters and when the amount exceeds what the vent can handle, it stops filtering that air and those particles are blown in. Clean your external filters every three to four months with a damp cloth to keep this from occurring. You may also want to get a professional in every six months to give your entire air conditioner a good clean inside and out for proper AC maintenance.
The Air Ducts Need Cleaning
Your home’s air ducts are similar to AC filters in that they collect dust and particles that eventually get swept into the air indoors. If your home’s ducting is over 15 years old, how you can improve your indoor air quality may be to replace that ducting with the most up to date. The EPA has found that there is no proof that cleaning your air duct can help here, however, UV light may also be an option for cleaning ducts properly.
At Air Planet, we’re here to help you understand how a well-maintained HVAC system helps reduce indoor air pollutants caused by poor air duct flow.
Your Kitchen May Need an Extractor Fan
You might be surprised by how much indoor air pollution is generated by using your gas stove or oven. Every time you use your gas stove/oven, or even an electric alternative, you create heat that pushes contaminants into the air. This is especially true with cooking oil.
There are some pretty troubling statistics on the accumulation of ambient air pollution in homes due to cooking. The most effective way to reduce this pollution is to use vents or an extractor fan above your stove that actively sucks out the air above the stove as you cook. This will help most of the generated particulate pollution to be dispelled outside instead of remain ambient within your home.
Steps You Can Take to Improve Air Quality Yourself
A good quality air purifier is a great way to turn some of the bad indoor air into purer, less polluted air. This is an especially good idea in areas where particulate matter levels rise above 50 consistently. Check your product instructions when you start using an air purifier, since, like an AC unit, it has filters that need regular cleaning or changing. If you fail to do so, the entire function of the machine becomes redundant and just wastes energy. If choosing a whole-home filtration system, you’ll want one that removes as close to 100% of allergens as possible from the filtered air, in addition to being able to catch particles up to .1 micron in size.
Keep Things Clean
Regardless of how efficient your HVAC and purifier is, dust and other pollutants will eventually make their way inside to some degree. Another great way to mitigate this is to clean regularly: thoroughly cleaning floors and surfaces from dust and pet hair. When doing so, get the dust outside or into a trash can; that’s how to improve indoor air quality. Don’t just dispel it back into the air inside!
Source Control Is Key
Source control refers to identifying where pollutants are being generated and limiting their generation as much as possible. Gas stoves, for example, can release carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and other unwanted toxins, so try to find alternatives that reduce this. If you have an excessive amount of surface area covered by rugs and other similar things, try reducing this so less dust is trapped. Essentially, identify possible sources of pollution in your home and be creative about reduction of their use or alternatives.
Greenery Is Golden
Plants take in carbon dioxide and push out clean oxygen. Keeping plants growing around the house is an inexpensive, aesthetically acceptable, and ultimately convenient answer to the question of how to improve indoor air quality at home. Plants do a great job as natural air scrubbers and they brighten up the place to. A plant or two in each room could really go a long way in cleaner, fresher air. Just remember to use a damp cloth to lightly wipe off accumulated dust on leaves that may gather dust, as well.
If you maintain your HVAC system well, clean it regularly, and repair it immediately when faulty, your HVAC air quality will remain quite clean. Couple that with some plants, an extractor in the kitchen, and regular cleaning, and you have about the cleanest indoor air quality possible! When you need help fixing your AC in Los Angeles, get in touch with our technicians at Air Planet. We are here to help!