improving indoor air quality

7 Tips on Improving Indoor Air Quality for New Homeowners

On average, most Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors. Now, more people are spending the majority of their time at home, rather than in the office, at the gym, or out on the town. 

We all know that there are a lot of environmental hazards that pose a large health risk. Did you know that the EPA considers poor indoor air quality to be one of the top five environmental hazards?

If you want to ensure a cleaner, healthier future, it is imperative that you focus on improving indoor air quality.

Let's take a look at 7 ways that you can address the air pollution sources in your own home.

Clean to Reduce Air Pollution

The first three tips on our list involve developing a basic cleaning routine. There are three major problem areas in every home that homeowners should never overlook. Let's take a look at what those problem areas are and how you can address them.

1. Carpeting 

A lot of the pollutants you should worry about aren't constantly circulating through your air. Dust mites, pollen, and other irritants settle into your carpeting and get kicked up over and over due to foot traffic and other disturbances.

Vacuum all carpeting in your home at least once or twice a week. If your carpeting appears to have water damage or dry rot, replace it entirely. If you're looking for a more permanent solution, consider removing your carpeting in favor of exposed hardwood or tile flooring.

2. Damp Areas

Mold spores contribute a great deal to indoor air pollution, and damp areas are breeding grounds for mold. Monitor your bathroom, crawl space, and piping for signs of leaking or prolonged dampness. You may want to install dehumidifiers in areas that never seem to dry out.

If mold is currently growing in your home, you can tackle it with bleach-based cleaners. A green alternative is diluted white vinegar, although you may have more success using bleach if the mold has settled in.

3. Dusty Spaces

If you find that your asthma, allergies, or other respiratory ailments are getting worse, you may have a dust problem. Avoid using feather dusters, as they only trap about 50% of dust and send the rest back into the air. Instead, use a damp cloth or paper towel to remove dust from surfaces around your home.

Establish Your Own IAQ Program

At P&M, we believe that the only way to tackle indoor air quality is to establish an indoor air quality program. Our IAQ program involves four proactive measures that directly reduce the number of pollutants in your home, from dust and grime to toxic chemicals. Let's take a look at what we can accomplish together to improve your indoor air quality. 

4. Mechanical Ventilation

One of the best ways to dilute pollutant-riddled air is to constantly introduce fresh air into your home. However, opening your windows isn't always an option, especially when you have the HVAC running. Plus, most energy-saving HVAC systems require a tight seal against outdoor air, eliminating any dilution you may have been getting from cracks around your windows and doors. 

Mechanical ventilation systems exhaust contaminated air while pumping in fresh air. You can ensure that your air is well-circulated without messing up your energy savings.

5. Humidifiers

While some trouble areas in your home may be too damp, the majority of your home is probably too dry. Dry air accumulates irritants at a faster rate which are then spread all over your home through your HVAC system. Pairing your HVAC with a humidifier is the best way to maintain proper levels of moisture in your indoor air to avoid this outcome.

As an added bonus, humidifiers can help to alleviate any skin or hair dryness you may experience, especially in the winter months. 

6. Purifiers

As always, make sure that you are changing the filters on your HVAC every two to three months. This ensures that they can continue to catch irritants such as dust, pollen, and dander before your heated or cooled air is sent into your home.

If you're concerned about your indoor air quality, air purifiers make a great companion to the filters your HVAC system already utilizes. In addition to introducing humidity into your HVAC, we will also install a state of the art air purification system. We offer air purifiers that can capture particles as small as .03 microns. 

7. UV Lighting

Ultraviolet light has the ability to kill off living biological organisms. When DNA is exposed to UV lighting, it becomes damaged. As long as this exposure is prolonged, that damage is irreparable and the organism will die.

While there are ways to keep your bathroom, crawl space, and other damp indoor areas clear of mold, some spots are too tough to reach. In fact, the evaporator coil in your central air conditioner is at risk of developing mold and fungi. Rather than allowing those organisms to thrive and grow, we install UV lighting in your HVAC system that will take care of the problem before it even starts. 

Improving Indoor Air Quality Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Improving your indoor air quality is a necessary way to protect your family and maintain good health. Remember that in addition to the measures we've addressed above, you should also receive regular HVAC maintenance to ensure that your airflow is clean and efficient.

P&M HVAC is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us to set up an IAQ program appointment and your HVAC inspection.