How to Improve Your Indoor Air QualityPublished: January 17, 2019

Contaminants such as dirt, dust, pollen, biological growth, and pet dander often lead to poor indoor air quality. They can cause allergy or asthma symptoms, sore throats, eye irritation, rashes, and other health problems. They can also cause bad smells, a clogged air filter, and dirty ductwork. Reduced airflow from a dirty filter could also force your HVAC system to work harder and use more energy to keep you and your family comfortable. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid pollutants and improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Use an Air Purifier

Most air purifiers work like your heater or air conditioner’s air filter to remove contaminants. Some can catch viruses and bacteria but need more energy to operate than others. They can keep your air filter clean longer and minimize dust or dirt on your flooring or furniture. However, you’ll still need to change the air filter for your HVAC system and your air purifier at least every few months. You can have a whole-home model installed in your ductwork or use a portable model in a small area.

You can also choose a UV air purifier that uses ultraviolet light to keep microorganisms from reproducing. It can keep illnesses from spreading and improve your family’s health. There’s no filter, but you’ll need to have the UV bulb changed once per year. UV lights can work well with conventional air purifiers. You can have an air sterilization light installed in your ductwork, or you can choose a coil sterilization light for your outdoor unit.

Avoid VOCs

Volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) include benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, ethylene glycol, perchloroethylene, and acetone. They evaporate or off-gas at room temperature, so they can end up in your home’s air easily. They’re in many commercial cleaners, air fresheners, glues, and paints. VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and other problems.

You can’t remove them with an air purifier, but you can use ventilation and choose natural products when possible. If you’re using a commercial cleaner, open a window or use an exhaust fan. For many tasks, you can use water and baking soda instead. You can also use potpourri or essential oils instead of air fresheners. Store fuel, cleaners, paints, and similar products in a shed or garage that’s not connected to your home. That way, you can protect yourself and your family from off-gassing.

Add Some Houseplants

Plants produce oxygen, and they absorb carbon dioxide and VOCs. One or two houseplants in each room can make your home look more appealing and improve your indoor air quality. Peace lilies, aloe vera, spider plants, chrysanthemums, and Chinese evergreens are excellent at purifying your home’s air. They’re easy to take care of, and the gel inside aloe vera plants can moisturize your skin and help heal burns. Lots of plants in one room, however, could increase the humidity and encourage biological growth. You should also avoid plants that can cause allergies, like ficus or weeping fig, juniper, chamomile, and daisies.

Take Care of Your HVAC System

You should have your heater and air conditioner checked by our experts at Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat at least once per year to keep your indoor air quality high. You can avoid contaminants from dirty ductwork, wasted energy, and costly repairs. A professional can also help you find and fix leaks in your insulation or ductwork that could spread pollutants. You should also check your HVAC system’s outdoor unit for debris like grass clippings, leaves, or dirt that could make it less efficient. Rinse it thoroughly with a garden hose if needed, and trim any bushes nearby.

Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat is a Trane Comfort Specialist. We offer free estimates, and we guarantee 100 percent customer satisfaction. We can help you with maintaining, installing, or repairing a variety of heating, cooling, and indoor air quality equipment. For outstanding, friendly service from our NATE-certified technicians, call us or schedule an appointment on our website. You can reach us at (321) 248-4838 in Brevard County.

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