Get Healthier Indoor Air
January means more time inside. It also means going back to the office or school after holiday gatherings, when we all spent a lot of time perhaps gathering together with friends and relatives from different cities or even countries. That could mean the potential for exposure to a lot of different germs! On top of the fact that winter means more colds, flus and viruses, our homes, schools and businesses can be breeding grounds for germs, mold and all kinds of nasty things we don’t want to be inhaling.
When you look around your home or business, you probably don’t see anything unusual. But according to the EPA, you may be surrounded by higher counts of many airborne pollutants than you would be exposed to outside.
Clearing the Air
It’s important to support the health and comfort of your home, school, small business, office work space or medical practice. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces is an important step, but one often overlooked aspect of a business and home’s health and comfort is its air quality.
Proactively addressing potential air quality issues can result in cleaner air and more comfortable living. There are multiple factors that may affect the air quality of your home or business, including:
- Indoor particulate matter consists of the visible and invisible airborne particles in the air that can enter your nose and lungs, some triggering allergies, asthma and other potential health problems.
- Carbon monoxide, sometimes called the “silent killer,” is a colorless, odorless gas that can build up to dangerous levels if not properly ventilated, causing headaches, drowsiness and, in some cases, death.
- Volatile organic compounds are emitted by everything from cleaning solutions and paint to new furniture and clothing. These compounds can have an adverse impact on your short- and long-term health, so proper ventilation is essential.
- The level of air pollution in your community can affect your indoor air quality since opening a door or window brings that air indoors.
How Can You Improve Air Quality?
We often think of air pollution as something that only occurs outside. If you’re like many people, you haven’t given much thought to the air quality inside your home. However, indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Follow these tips for indoor air quality improvement in your home.
Clean or Replace Air Filters Regularly
It’s important to use high-quality filters and to change them regularly. The air filter keeps the air cleaner, and keeps debris and dust out of the air ducts, and traps dust and allergens before they escape into the air that circulates in your house. Dirt and debris build up in the filters over time. Clean or change the filters every month that your HVAC system is in use. Not only do they keep the air your breath fresher and cleaner, but they also help eliminate the “dust smell” in your home.
Keep Your Floors Clean
Vacuum your floors at least once a week. Choose a vacuum cleaner that has strong suction, rotating brushes, and a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which captures allergens like dust mites or pet dander.
Mop your floors to pick up dust left behind by vacuuming. Select a reusable microfiber dust mop, which picks up more dirt and dust than a traditional mop.Place a doormat at every entrance to your home. Consider asking visitors to remove their shoes when they enter, to minimize dirt and dust tracked in from outside.
Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
Many air fresheners, laundry products, or household cleaners contain synthetic fragrances, which emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Such chemicals are rarely listed on the product label. Minimize the use of harsh cleaning products. Make your own cleaners, or purchase cleaning products without artificial fragrances.
Avoid Smoking Indoors
The smoke from cigarettes contains more than 4,000 chemicals. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes a number of health problems. Ask smokers in your household to smoke outdoors.
Adjust the Humidity
Mold and dust mites flourish in high humidity. Have your HVAC system checked to ensure that it’s dehumidifying properly. Consider upgrading to a separate, whole-home dehumidifier.
As a result of recent health and safety research, people are now more aware how important indoor air quality improvement is for their well-being. Advances in technology have brought about several new products which make the air we breathe much safer and healthier. Before modern times, we didn’t even know that air-borne bacteria were a threat to our health. Now, bacteria and viruses are a well-known issue; and it is even standard for places such as hospitals to install air purification systems in their HVAC units to combat these invisible pathogens.
Upgrade Your Air Filter
The most basic way to improve your indoor air quality is to install a better air filtering system. There are two new products that can do this. One is a media filter, and the other is an electrostatic air filter. A media filter is a highly efficient woven fiber filter that is generally between three to five inches thick. It’s meant to replace all of the one-inch filters throughout the home, and is only changed once or twice a year. An electrostatic filter is washable, and uses electric current and static electricity to catch microscopic particles and forms of bacteria as air passes through it.
If you’re Looking for Ways to Keep Your Office or Small Business Healthy, Consider a High-Efficiency Filtration System
With the Carrier OptiClean™ air scrubber, your customers or patients can relax knowing you care about the air they breathe. With more than a century of expertise in indoor environments, we have developed a solution to actively help improve the air quality in your office.
This portable air scrubber easily rolls into any room and plugs into a standard electrical outlet, so you can immediately start enjoying its capabilities. Provide your employees and customers with cleaner and healthier air in rooms up to 1,500 square feet.
And here are products you might want to consider adding to your home for the best air quality possible:
When it comes to Indoor air quality improvement, air purifiers are the best product you can buy. If you suffer from allergies or get frequent colds, an air purifier will help you breathe easier and sleep better. High-quality, in-home air purification systems kill up to 99% of germs, pollen, and mold captured. It also fights hard, and effectively, against many common pathogens.
The thought of mold and bacteria growing on your air conditioning and heating unit, becoming airborne, and filling your house is unnerving. And while keeping your unit clean and installing an air purifier will definitely help eliminate that danger, going a step further isn’t a bad idea. UV lamps were designed to successfully prevent the growth of mold and bacteria in your home. If there is any mold or bacteria growing on or around your AC coil, the UV lamp will kill it, keeping you safe from any exposure.
Your Local Experts
Our experienced comfort consultants know it’s not enough to manage air temperature—to feel just-right, you have to eliminate as many airborne impurities as possible. And you probably have more unpleasant things in your air than you think. From dust, pet dander, and pollen to cooking fumes, candle smoke, cosmetic and chemical vapors, and even the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paint, carpeting, and common household products, indoor air can be far more polluted than the air just outside your door. That’s why you should have an air filter AND an air purifier as part of a complete HVAC system.
If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, turn to the experts at Gross Heating & Air Conditioning.