Category : air quality

7 Ways to Reduce Your Home’s Indoor Air Pollution

air quality

As Americans, we spend about 90% of our time indoors. Yes, 90%. That means that we’re almost always breathing indoor air – and many times, it’s dirtier than the air outside. Indoor air can carry pollutants like mold, mildew spores, dust, pollen, dirt, dander, tobacco smoke, and more – all of which can affect your health and worsen illnesses like asthma or bronchitis.

Our duct cleaning experts are here to offer some simple ways you can reduce your indoor air pollution and breathe better:

Smoking

To prevent your family from inhaling carcinogens, smoke outdoors and as far away from your home as possible. Tobacco smoke is dangerous for your lungs and (like dirt and dust) it settles into furniture and carpets, so your family can inhale smoke long after you’re done with your cigarette.

Humidity

Mold and dust mites love moisture, so keep your home’s humidity level at 30%-50% and you’ll help prevent excess allergens. A dehumidifier is a great investment for reducing humidity. You can also do simple things like open a window when cooking or running the dishwasher, and vent your clothes dryer to the outside of your home.

Carpets

Dust and dirt can easily settle in your carpet, so make sure you vacuum it regularly. Use a vacuum cleaner that has at least 12 amps of power to make sure you’re getting a good clean. You can also find vacuums with an indicator that tells you when the dust and dirt have all been drawn out of the carpet.

Plants

There are several species of houseplants that naturally purify the air and filter out organic chemicals. Keep at least one plant in every room of the house and you’ll not only enjoy some live decor, but also cleaner air. Some popular choices are aloe vera plants, spider plants, weeping fig plants, azaleas, Chinese evergreens, and more.

Cleaning Products

Many homeowners don’t realize that cleaning products can have harmful chemicals (like ammonia, phosphates, bleach, chlorine, etc.) that are not only bad for the environment, but are bad to breathe in. To reduce air pollutants, look for natural cleaning products that are made from plants and have labels like “solvent-free,” “non-toxic,” and “phosphate-free.”

Mats

People can track in dirt and chemicals on their shoes, which can then settle into your carpet. Put large floor mats outside of every door for people to wipe their feet on. If you want to take it a step further, you can even have your family members and visitors take their shoes off before they come inside.

HVAC Filters

Your HVAC units have filters that trap harmful pollutants and prevent them from traveling through your home, so make sure you change your filters on a regular basis to keep your indoor air clean.

To reduce your home’s indoor air pollution even more, call our duct cleaning specialists! We’ll do a thorough job of removing dust and debris from your duct system to make sure that the air you breathe is as clean as possible.


The Benefits of Clean Indoor Air

 

indoor air quality

As a homeowner, you may not think much about your indoor air quality and the effect it can have on you and your family. If you’re living with a low quality of indoor air, you may be suffering from it more than you think – indoor air can enhance allergy symptoms, trigger illnesses, spread contaminants, and more.

At Oliver, we’ve heard many customers complain about situations like these and our recommendation is to contact one of our expert air duct cleaners for a consultation. Cleaner air can help:

Ease Asthma

People who suffer from asthma are usually sensitive to outdoor pollutants like smog, smoke, soot, fumes, and more, but what they may not realize is indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. When you have clean indoor air, it will be much easier to breathe and therefore, much easier to perform your daily activities and live comfortably.

Reduce Allergies

While many problem-causing allergens are found outside (like pollen, spores, grass, etc.), many indoor allergens like dust, mold, and dander also cause problems. When your home’s duct system isn’t cleaned correctly, these allergens will constantly build and recirculate throughout your home, making it hard for allergy sufferers to avoid a reaction.

Shorten Illnesses

We’ve all been sick, and being sick is never fun. Whether you come down with a cold, the flu, or bronchitis, poor indoor air quality will only magnify or extend symptoms like congestion, sneezing, and itching (especially in children and elderly individuals). Clean air will help your body fight the illness and shorten its length.

Improve Wellness

Even if you don’t suffer from asthma, allergies, or an illness, great indoor air quality will allow more oxygen to get to your brain. This lets you to breathe better, sleep better, stay more alert, feel more refreshed, and improve your overall wellness.

Let our air duct cleaners assess your home. Once we’ve inspected it and determined what’s causing the particle buildup, we’ll clean or replace it. Whether you’re in need of a full duct cleaning, a new filter, or a humidifier, we’ll help you purify the air you breathe and live better.

What You Can Do

After we restore your air quality, there are many things you can do to keep it clean: Invest in some house plants – they are known to purify the air. Also, don’t smoke in the house and vacuum often to keep particles and allergens from settling in your carpet. Dusting your house on a regular basis is also a good idea, as well as cleaning water fixtures to prevent build-up.


How to Choose the Right HVAC Filter

At Oliver, we suggest inspecting and changing or cleaning your HVAC filter every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter you’re using and if you live with pets. If you’ve never changed your filter before, however, you may not know what type to use. We’re here to help:

Consider the MERV Number

Each filter’s effectiveness is documented by its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). The MERV number (1-20) determines what types of contaminants the filter controls. The lower the number, the lower quality the filter. For example, the 5-8 variety are what most residential homes use. These filters control mold, pet dander, mildew, and dust. A MERV rating of 10-16 will do a much better job of cleaning the air you breathe. We highly recommend these filters for families with allergy and asthma issues.

Decide Which Type

Pleated

Pleated filters are the most popular HVAC filter. They are thin, but have a large surface area so they are great for trapping contaminants. They remove up to 45% of the pollutants in your home and have a MERV rating around 8-13.

Washable

Washable filters also trap larger contaminants like lint and dust, but they can collect bacteria and cause mold if not properly dried. They also have a low MERV rating and are often used in situations featuring high volumes of dust. These don’t do much more than keep the equipment clean.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass filters are very thin and simple, so they do a good job at collecting large particles like lint and dust, but don’t capture smaller particles like mold and bacteria. These filters are inexpensive and usually have a MERV rating of 1-4. They are also good for keeping the equipment clean, but not much more.

High-Efficiency

High-efficiency filters have come a long way. Today, they can remove up to 85% of contaminants and are rated very highly on the MERV scale (14-16).

Get the Right Size

Filters are sized in two ways – nominal and actual. The nominal size is the approximate size of the filter rounded up to the nearest inch and the actual size gives you the actual dimensions of the filter. Before you buy one, consult your HVAC owner’s manual to make sure you’re getting the right one.

Our HVAC service technicians would be happy to help you replace your HVAC filter. Just fill out our form to schedule an appointment.