Improving Home Air Quality

Indoor air quality has a close correlation to the heating and cooling industry. Your HVAC is protected by a filter, which collects dust, pet hair, dander, and other particles before they can enter your HVAC. If airborne particulates are unchecked, they will dirty the coils, vents, and the air your family breathes. Protecting the system and inhabitants of the home is why we urge our customers to change their filter regularly. 

Stove and range vent fans protect the home from grease particulates.

Stove and range vent fans protect the home from grease particulates.

When grasses and other plants bloom, the pollen can create another contaminant. Pollen causes those who are sensitive to poor air quality to suffer from runny noses, coughing, itchy eyes, headaches, sore throats, fatigue, and vertigo.

But air quality problems aren’t limited to pollutants from the outdoors coming in. Air quality is also adversely affected by things which are already in the home or activities the occupants do or fail to do, which can promote poor air quality. For example, even in upscale neighborhoods, homeowners will sometimes let their air filter remain unchanged for months. That’s an essential maintenance task which is easy to perform. Here are some other suggestions to improve air quality in the home.

Cooking with the ventilation fan

One doesn’t necessarily think of cooking as a way to add to poor indoor air quality. But grease and other particulates from cooking cling to walls and ceilings, where they mix with other pollutants.

Keep a good degreaser on hand to periodically clean kitchen surfaces. A vent fan will also help minimize kitchen pollutants. 

Good housekeeping

All surfaces of the home should be cleaned regularly. A high-quality HEPA filter in a vacuum will collect contaminants from the house without throwing them back into the air in the form of contaminated exhaust. Washing the filter often, along with dusting and mopping floors, will further reduce particulates in the home.

Use welcome mats outside and inside the front door. If an extremely sensitive allergy-sufferer lives in the home, people may remove their shoes at the front door. The welcome and entry mats should be cleaned frequently, as should any pets. Use caulking and seals to prevent roaches, and by association, their allergy-producing fecal matter.

Tabletop filters are very popular in homes where one family member is especially sensitive.

Tabletop filters are very popular in homes where one family member is especially sensitive.

Also, sheets and pillows should be washed frequently, and a mattress and pillow cover used to protect bedding. By keeping closet doors tightly closed, it will minimize the opportunity for clothing fibers and dust to spread.

Mold

Mold is the bane of an allergy sufferer, but even a non-sensitive individual can suffer when mold is present. The use of the fan when showering or bathing, and immediately repairing leaks will prevent the chance for mold to grow. Homeowners should have mold areas treated promptly by a professional unless they’re minimal.

Fumes

Painting projects should be done outside, or windows and doors opened if painting walls. Use of air fresheners, scented candles, perfumes, scented fabric softeners, cleaners, and soaps can cause or exacerbate allergy symptoms. 

Tabletop or whole-house air filtration systems

Beyond the flat filter, which is part of an HVAC system, there are several types of whole-house filtration systems from which to choose to provide an additional filter for home use. Also, tabletop filtration systems are becoming more popular for situations where a whole-house filtration system isn’t practical or affordable.

Tips for highly sensitive individuals

If a home has particularly sensitive allergy sufferers, hardwood floors and tile are easier to clean and hold fewer contaminants. Pets should not be allowed in their bedrooms or bed. If a ‘new smell’ emanates from newly-purchased furniture or other large-scale items, homeowners should consider putting them in storage or some different off-site location until the material has had time to ‘breathe.’

Regular HVAC maintenance

During a periodic HVAC service, the technician will change the air filter and lubricate the moving parts. He will also perform other diagnostic tests and tasks and clean areas the homeowner can’t reach, such as coils and other components. Periodic service also allows a homeowner to ask any questions or address concerns about air quality.

While these suggestions are by no means comprehensive, it can help allergy sufferers and the occupants of a home begin to fight for better air quality.

CMB Air is residential heating and cooling installation, service, and repair and company with 15+ years of experience serving Tampa and surrounding areas. If you need a new air conditioner, repair, maintenance or some other service, we can help! Call 813-461-6243 today!