Tips for Improving Your Indoor Air Quality
Your home is a haven for harmful airborne particulates. No matter how clean things look on the surface, your indoor air quality is another matter altogether and requires special attention. One method of improving indoor air quality is to go room by room and deal with a variety of particulates. Here’s what you may find.
Dust mites lead the way in the bedroom, inhabiting linens, mattresses, pillows and carpet. The feces of dust mites stimulate allergic responses in sensitive individuals. To deal with them, wash linens in hot water and vacuum mattress and carpet with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Use a good quality air filter in your HVAC system to capture dust mites, dust, pollen and pet dander.
The bathroom is often the site of plumbing leaks, excess condensation and moisture that has no outlet. These conditions commonly lead to mold. Mold spores trigger allergies and aggravate asthma and other respiratory problems. Fix leaky plumbing and faucets promptly. Install exhaust ventilation or crack a window to let out moisture-laden air. Take shorter showers. Use bleach, borax, vinegar or ammonia to get rid of mold. Kitchens should also be checked for leaks and mold.
Does a family member enjoy relaxing with a cigarette in the living room? Ban smoking from your home. Also be on guard against volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in upholstery, carpet, pressed wood, paint and varnish. Try a gas-phase, carbon-activated air cleaner to absorb these toxic fumes. Many VOC-laden products are stored in the kitchen and bathroom, so move them out of your living spaces or make sure they are well sealed.
Have your home tested for radon, a toxic gas that penetrates structures from the ground beneath them. Schedule a professional installation of a radon shield. Have your fuel-burning appliances—such as the HVAC system, dryer and water heater—regularly checked for safe operation, and install a carbon monoxide detector.
Our goal is to help educate our customers inthe South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of Californiaabout energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).