Do you want to breathe easy?
Indoor air quality is gaining recognition as an important factor in healthy living. The EPA estimates that indoor air pollution can be two to five times worse than outdoor levels. The WHO found that poor indoor air quality contributes to asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
If you want to protect your family, improving indoor air quality is the way to go. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality. There are plenty of solutions available today. For instance, you could install a high-quality HVAC system or add plants around your home for natural filtration.
Read on for more information about indoor air quality solutions!
1) High-Quality HVAC system
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is the most critical part of a home or building that can impact air quality. A high-efficiency air filter and an HVAC unit will promote a healthy environment for you and your family to live in.
A high-efficiency air filter helps remove particles like dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores from your home’s indoor air. Using a higher MERV rating (8-13) also ensures the HVAC system removes small particles that can collect on your heating/cooling coils. This can also reduce the efficiency of your unit.
The benefits of installing a high-quality HVAC system in your home include:
- Reduced utility costs from more efficient heating and cooling
- Improved indoor air quality thanks to upgraded filtration system
- A healthier living environment for you and your family
2) Install Plants Around the Exterior of Your Home
Flowering houseplants can reduce chemical concentrations inside homes. These include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. That means fewer allergy triggers, toxic chemicals, and better indoor air quality.
Trees planted near your home filter pollutants from the air that passes through their leaves, resulting in cleaner indoor air. They also reduce the “heat island effect” by blocking sunlight on hot summer days, allowing cool air to circulate into your home.
Placing plants throughout your outdoor living space is a great way to enjoy more of nature indoors.
Here are some more ideas for adding greenery to your home:
- Place potted plants around exterior windows for natural sun filtering during the day
- Hide an unsightly view with tall-growing foliage
- Add accents by placing bright flowers in pots or hanging baskets around the exterior of your home
3) Choose a Home With Good Indoor Air Quality
You may not be able to do much about your existing home’s HVAC system. Newer homes, though, have modern equipment and energy-efficient technology built-in.
When you’re ready to build or buy a new home, look for products that promote high indoor air quality. One of the most popular is an encapsulated fiberglass air duct liner. It possesses very efficient filtration capabilities.
It’s approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in more than 30 states. You can find them in public spaces where indoor air quality is poorer. The encapsulated fiberglass filter has a MERV 11 rating. It can reduce allergies, asthma symptoms, and pollutants such as mold spores in the air.
Another way to ensure your home has good indoor air quality when built is by selecting a home builder who offers this option for customization. Using products like fiberglass filters can also help to reduce utility costs. This will save you money in the long run.
4) Use Carpeting Wisely
The carpeting in the home is a popular design feature, but if not cleaned and maintained properly can impact indoor air quality. Carpets act like sponges as they attract and trap dirt, dust, and household chemicals. You can also find pollutants from outdoors, pet dander, pollen grains, mold spores, and other contaminants.
Advances in indoor air quality suggest that carpeting traps many of these particles in the fibers. They become airborne when you walk across the floor or vacuum it. These particles can accumulate over time to create a heavy concentration indoors which can worsen allergies and asthma symptoms.
Yet, if your home does have carpeting, consider purchasing natural fiber or specially treated carpeting. Also, regularly vacuum the carpet using a commercial vacuum with a HEPA filtration system. This type of system can trap small particles before they become airborne and contribute to poor indoor air quality.
If you’re looking into new flooring for your home, there are many options available today that support high indoor air quality.
- Carpeting made from natural products such as wool or organic cotton
5) Use Green Cleaning Products to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Keeping your home as free of indoor contaminants as possible is as simple as choosing the right cleaning products.
Many cleaners contain chemicals and fragrances that can impact indoor air quality. Green cleaners will let you use more natural ingredients like baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, and essential oils. The EPA has a list of green cleaning products that contain plant-based ingredients and less hazardous chemicals.
When selecting a green cleaner, look for products that meet the guidelines of the EPA’s Design for the Environment Program. This program helps consumers find safer alternatives for cleaning products. It reduces the impact that certain chemicals have on human health and the environment.
6) Control Humidity Levels to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Humidity plays a huge role in your home’s indoor air quality because it affects the growth of mold and dust mites. But it can also hold other contaminants from outdoors, including pollen and outdoor pollutants.
Too much humidity can cause the growth of harmful mold spores indoors. High humidity can also increase your family’s chances of asthma symptoms and allergies. If the humidity in your home becomes too high, you can run a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture, and associated contaminants will help.
Find Indoor Air Quality Solutions Today
Using these six tips to include indoor air quality solutions within your home will help you breathe easier. Most of the tips are quick changes you can make around the home.
For more information or to get the best indoor air quality advice, contact us today. We’d be happy to walk you through some of the best solutions on the market.
Click here for our complete guide to heating and cooling your home.