We are spending more time indoors than ever before, whether that’s due to long hours in the office, a preference for modern amenities, or it’s just too hot to get outside. However, many doctors believe that this is leading to an increase in chronic respiratory issues like asthma and allergies. While we often think of air pollution as being only an outdoor issue with pollutants like ozone, soot, smoke, and nitrogen oxides, indoor air can often be just as dangerous. To improve your health, our Raleigh HVAC company is sharing simple ways you can improve your indoor air quality.
Common Pollutants that Harm Indoor Air Quality
The most common pollutants that are affecting the quality of your home’s air include:
- Mold spores
- Cigarette and tobacco smoke
- Fireplace smoke and ash
- Pet dander, dust, and pollen
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – gases that are given off from solids or liquids like cleaning products, paints, and varnishes
These pollutants can be dangerous, but they are also the easiest to rid your home of with the right steps.
Avoid Bringing Pollutants Inside Your Home
One of the easiest ways to improve the air quality in your Raleigh home is to keep most of the pollutants and particles outside. This includes:
- Smoking outside, away from doors and windows
- Brushing pets outdoors on a regular basis to reduce dander
- Keeping shoes outside or in the garage to prevent tracking in dust, dirt, and pesticides.
- Keep fireplace doors to prevent smoke and ash from circulating.
- Check the weather reports and keep your windows closed on high-pollen days and during dry spells to keep dust out.
A Clean Home Improves Air Quality
No matter how much you try, dust and other particles will make their way into your home. Keeping your home clean and regularly maintaining your home is essential to removing the most common allergens from your home.
- Empty your dryer lint trap every time you use it.
- Dust using a damp microfiber cloth to remove residue from surfaces.
- Sweep and mop hard flooring twice a week to remove dirt, dust, and dander.
- Vacuum using a HEPA-filter to not only get rid of pollen, dust, and mites, it will also remove lead dust and dangerous toxins.
Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home
Living in Raleigh, we deal with high humidity, especially in the summer, which can be a breeding ground for dangerous mold spores. However, moisture can also cause paint to crack and peel, wood to rot, and dust mites to increase – all of which can trigger breathing problems. Try to maintain a humidity level between 35 percent and 45 percent for health and comfort. Reduce humidity in your home by:
- Using a dehumidifier or running your air conditioner
- Installing exhaust fans in bathrooms and over your stove or oven.
- Choose hard flooring over carpet
- Change or clean your air conditioning filters
- Fix any leaking pipes or plumbing issues
Remove VOCs and Reduce Toxic Fumes
You may love a “fresh linen” fragrance or the pine smell of an all-purpose cleaner, but those fragrances can actually hurt your indoor air quality. Most commercial detergents, air fresheners, and fabric softeners contain “fragrance” on their ingredients list, but many of the chemicals making up those fragrances are considered hazardous according to federal regulations and emit numerous VOCs.
Additionally, paint, cleaning products, varnishes, and adhesives can all contain VOCs which emit toxic chemicals and fumes into the air.
Improve your air quality by looking for paints and home improvement supplies labeled low-VOC and swapping out cleaners and detergents for fragrance and dye-free options.
Consider Whole Home Air Filtration in Raleigh
While taking these steps will help your air quality, it’s going to be a constant battle against dust, moisture, and pollen. Our Raleigh heating and air conditioning company also offers indoor air quality solutions including ventilation and filtration systems, carbon monoxide detection, and humidity balancing solutions. Reach out to us to learn more and schedule a consultation today!