Believe it or not but your home's air quality may be threatening your health. It's not uncommon for indoor air to be dirtier than the air on the other side of the door. This may be the case even if you live in a big city or near a highway. Dirty interior air not only poses a hazard to your health; it also can detract from your quality of life if it smells poorly or is damp and clammy.
The problem of dirty indoor air has gotten worse in recent decades as home construction has become tighter and more efficient. The contaminated air in some homes has no way of escaping, and rotates through the central HVAC system over and over again.
Try the following steps to improve the air quality in your Silicon Valley home:
- Change the air filter in your central heating and cooling system on a regular basis. Get in the habit of checking it monthly, and when it looks clogged, change it. Invest in a higher-quality filter so it removes tiny dust mites, mold spores, bacteria and other unhealthy contaminants.
- Control sources of pollution by not bringing them into your home if you can help it, or otherwise storing them securely and safely. Avoid products that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as chemical-based cleaners and air fresheners, pesticides, paints and solvents, and new carpets and furniture that haven't had a chance to off-gas their VOCs.
- Make sure your home is well-ventilated, not only so dirty air is exhausted (bathrooms and kitchen fans) but so there's an effective way of exchanging fresh outside air with dirty indoor air. Balanced ventilation systems (ERVs and HRVs) are ideal for this purpose, and also exchange heat energy and moisture (ERVs) for better temperature and humidity control.
- Consider getting a whole-house air-cleaning or purifying system that works in tandem with your central cooling and heating system to remove contaminants. Use portable or room air cleaners for localized problems.
For more advice on ensuring the air in your home is clean and healthy, please contact us at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).