With pollen levels reaching records highs very early in the year, it's a good time to take another look at controlling your indoor air quality (IAQ). While we always advise using a quality air purifier, particularly in your bedroom, cleaning the air can be much easier when you eliminate or reduce the actual causes of poor indoor air quality. Here's a quick list of IAQ problem areas and how to reduce the pollutants created by each.
- Cleaners and Pesticides – Be aware that when you use chemical cleaners or bug sprays, that unintended byproduct can often be dirtier indoor air. Fumes from these often times harsh or toxic chemicals can quickly reduce indoor air quality. Limit their use or use more natural alternatives when possible.
- Smoking – Ok, this is a bit of a no-brainer. Smoking indoors not only pollutes the air, but the chemicals in tobacco smoke can cling to drapes, furniture and walls for years to come. If you're not going to quit, at least smoke outdoors, or if inside, limit it to a specific room where you have a decent exhaust system or filtration system installed.
- Furnace Filters – Furnace filters should be replaced every three months. If you have washable furnace filters please clean them regularly. Dirty or clogged furnace filters not only harm your blowers motor but they ineffective in controlling your indoor air quality.
- Exhaust Fans – You primarily need these in your kitchen and bathroom. Why? Often it is the kitchen (burnt food and cleaners) and bathroom (harsh cleaners) where indoor air quality can be at its worst. Exhausts fans help remove noxious odor and chemical fumes, so if you have them, use them!
- Maintain Your Heating/Cooling System – Not only can keeping this equipment running well cut your energy costs, but when it comes to IAQ, think of your heating and cooling system as the heart and lungs of your home. The central unit pushes and pulls air through the ducts throughout your home. Ensuring this is working properly ensures that air circulates properly and is filtered through your HVAC filter. Dust, dirt, allergens and other debris can settle in the vents and airways, and keeping them clean can not only improve IAQ but also keep the system running longer .
While this is not meant to be comprehensive, what it should do is highlight a few ways in which indoor air quality can be improved with some forethought and a little effort. So don't fight against your room air purifier and limit the sources of dirty indoor air.