This winter is going to feel like any other: cold and snowy, maybe even icy if we’re unlucky. For most of us, staying inside is the only option, or at least the only one we like the most. Avoiding the outdoors may keep us safe from dangerous driving and cold hands, but you might face another danger from inside.
Your indoor air quality begins to worsen when there is less fresh outdoor air. Increasing the number of people and animals in a building just makes matters worse. Poor air quality is not only uncomfortable, but it can be bad for your health. While you’re already fending off the common cold in public, you might not be fighting off allergies and respiratory infections in your home.
How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home?
- Start from the Ground Up. To keep away dust in your home, you might need to start with sanitizing your floors. Vacuuming old dust and pet dander is essential for allergy prevention.
- Use Air Filtration and Humidity Products. Some of these devices can be installed in the ductwork of your central heating and cooling system.
- Avoid Smoking Indoors. It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health. Your vents, walls, and furniture can hold on to residue for years.
- Humidity. This can make the biggest difference in your home’s air quality and comfort. It’s ideal to keep levels between 30 and 50 percent. *
- Bring Fresh Air Inside. When the weather starts to warm up, open up the windows to circle out some of the stale air.
- Replace Your Air Filter. Change HVAC system filters regularly to pull dirt and dust out of the air.
- Schedule a yearly air duct cleaning. While everything listed here are things you can likely handle yourself, it’s necessary to hire an air duct cleaning company to really improve the quality of the air in your home.
- Avoid Chemicals. Eliminate as many household chemicals from your home. Anything with harsh fumes should be used well-ventilated areas and store them outside your living space.
- Have Your Home Tested. If unsafe levels of radon are detected, trained mitigation experts can direct the gas away from your home.
*Importantly, wetter states in the Northeast like Pennsylvania are especially prone to mold growth in homes. Wet summers with heavy rainfall and areas with a lot of wetlands should be much more conscious of their home maintenance against mold.
What is HVAC and Air Duct Contamination?
Due to growing concerns about indoor air quality, residential air duct cleaning is the service to put your mind at ease. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that cleaning is necessary if the HVAC unit is contaminated or in the following instances:
- Renovation: Ducts should be sealed off during home renovations to reduce large amounts of dust and larger debris from falling down into the duct work. However, it is inevitable dust will settle in the duct work during renovations. To prevent that dust and debris from coming out into your newly renovated living space, we highly recommend to have your air ducts cleaned to remove all the construction dust and debris.
- Illness and Allergies: If someone in your family is suffering from an unexplained allergy-related illness, it may be time to have your air ducts cleaned to see if the HVAC system was the culprit.
- Animals: If you or the previous homeowner has had a pet, you better believe their pet dander and hair is still lingering in your air ducts. Even after the pet has passed or moved away, you will still have pet hair and dander circulating throughout the home. In some cases, animal infestations or nesting can occur in your duct work. These animals can leave behind feces, food, and if they get trapped inside, their decaying corpse which over time will produce horrible odors that will be released out into your living space.
- Mold: Since many homeowners may not know if mold is present in the HVAC system without an inspection, they are often living with mold in their air for months without knowing.