Are You Breathing Healthy Air Inside Your Home?
You must have read about the Air Quality Index (AQI) in your neighborhood and city which does matter even in the Bay Area. You may have considered limiting the time spent outdoors on days that have poor air quality.
But, have you ever stopped and wondered about the AQI inside your home? You may not have the same kind of smokestack as found on a busy street, but your living room is far from clean when it comes to pollen, allergens, pet dander, and dust.
How clean are your HVAC filters?
The heating and air conditioning unit in your home needs regular upkeep, just like your car works better after regular oil change. Your HVAC system’s air filters can play a major role on air quality inside your home. 99% of dust sized at 3 microns and more can be captured by a high quality filter. These are the dust particles that would otherwise make their way into your lungs.
If you don’t change your air filters regularly, you could be breathing in dust, dirt, and other pollutants that are cycled back into your home through registers and ducts. Basically, you are distributing pollutants throughout your home whenever you switch on the AC or heating. Experts recommend changing air filters once every 6 weeks to keep the air breathable and clean.
Is there high humidity in your area?
Humidity plays a major role in the build-up of mildew and mold. Dampness in your home can be a breeding ground for mold which can really hurt your air quality. One of the likeliest places for mold is your shower. However, plumbing concerns, ceiling leaks, and dripping condensation from an HVAC unit are also known to breed mold.
Dampness and leaks when left unchecked can result in serious mold problems that may grow under floorboards and inside walls. It is true that every type of mold is not toxic. However, there are some species that can make you really sick and this is something you just do not want to take a risk with. If you can’t find mold spots with the naked eye, use your nose. Sniff in places that appear damp to you. A damp, musty, mildew-like smell is confirmation of mold.
The best way to tackle a mold problem is to stop it before it can spread. You should regularly check your AC unit for condensation pools or dripping water. It may also be a salient idea to have a dehumidifier installed on your system.
When was the last time you dusted your home?
Nobody wants to add to cleaning, but frequent dusting may just be what you need to keep dust and allergens away. Dust standing on closets, bookshelves, and other low-traffic areas can be stirred up by HVAC units. This is particularly true if you are using your unit after a long time.
The dust may act as an allergen. Many people experience watery eyes and stuffy nose because of dust particles in the air. It may be a astute idea to regularly dust your space with a microfiber cloth.
If you are particularly prone to asthma flare-ups, using a vacuum cleaner fitted with an HEPA filter may be helpful. These filters are of high quality and use a glass fiber layer to trap the smallest dust particles that may escape a regular vacuum cleaner.
You should also consider ventilating your home regularly and letting the air out. Air circulation helps keep harmful irritants from making their way inside your home.