Did you know, Las Vegas recently made a list of cities with the worst outdoor air pollution? While everyone understands that the outdoors in a big city can be clouded by pollution, many people overlook the fact that indoor air quality is also important.
Because poor indoor air quality can negatively impact your family’s health, homeowners need to take the necessary steps to make sure this pollution doesn't translate to the indoors. Numerous types of air pollutants are commonly found in homes including dust, radon, indoor smoke, cleaning chemicals, and even mold. With this in mind, how can you improve your home's indoor air quality?
The Leading Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Outside, nature has natural air filters and cleaning systems, but inside, it’s up to you to ensure your home’s air is pure and fresh. Many things can cause poor indoor air quality. Here are the two most common:
1. An Inefficient Air Conditioner Unit
Your air conditioner takes warm air from your home and processes it so it can send back cool air. Part of the process involves pushing the air through at least one filter. This is true whether you have a window unit or central air. That filter traps airborne debris that is small enough to be breathed in. If you don’t change the filter according to the suggestions of your air conditioning professional or the manufacturer of the unit, your filter could be the culprit behind the poor indoor air quality.
2. Inadequate Household Cleaning
Cleaning isn’t only for looks. When you clean your house, you remove dirt, dust, and debris that can lead to poor indoor air quality. It’s essential to do at least two thorough cleanings each year that involve taking down the draperies and cleaning all the textiles in the home such as the sofas, chairs, and carpets. A cleaning company can take care of doing a deep clean on upholstery and carpet. Living in the sandy Vegas Valley, you should consider deep cleaning your home more often.
4 Ways to Know If Your Home's Air Quality is Bad
There may be hidden dangers lurking in a home, some of which cannot be seen by the naked eye. This includes indoor air quality, one issue that could lead to serious damage or even health problems if not taken care of as sooner rather than later.
For those of you that would like to know the quality of air within their own home, here are a handful of signs to look for that may indicate something is going on behind the scenes:
1. Chapped and Dry Skin
Living in a dry environment can result in dry skin throughout the year, but a home should be a place of refuge from the harsher conditions outdoors. Just as humidity poses a threat on one end of the spectrum, indoor air that is exceptionally dry can also pose a serious threat. Over time, this can result in ongoing medical issues with one’s skin, hair, nails, and sinus challenges.
2. Allergies and Asthmas
Most everyone will have a cough or a runny nose at some point, but chronic breathing issues almost always indicate that much more critical problems are happening. For those that wake up with constant headaches, a cough, the inability to breathe, red eyes, or a runny nose, it is time to rethink your air quality. Even with the blooming of spring plants or animals in the home, chronic breathing issues are never a subject to take lightly.
3. The Dust Layer
Dirt and dust are going to be a simple fact of life throughout your home, but when in excess this could mean that something more severe is taking place. For those of you who clean your home regularly, it should be notified when a layer of dust tends to come at quicker intervals. While open doors and cracked windows may be the culprit, it may also mean that the overall quality of air within the home has deteriorated.
After stepping into a home, it should never feel as if the air is muggy or humid especially in the Las Vegas desert. These telltale signs remain some of the most common signs of bad air quality throughout the home. If the building is well ventilated and the interior still feels humid after a short period, it is time to call in a specialist to see what can be done about the air quality. In addition to indicating bad air quality, indoor humidity will also increase the risk of an insect infestation and mold, each of which poses serious medical risks, not to mention the disgusting discomfort.
Having a home with poor air quality is something that no one should ever have to deal with. If you find you're experiencing any of these issues or there are various ways to resolve them.
5 Efficient Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality at Home
There are several things you can do that will really make a positive difference in your home’s air quality. Here are some to start with.
1. Keep Floors Clean
Floors collect dust and pollutants that are carried in by people's shoes, gets trapped from the air, and that accumulates when not regularly maintained. To overcome these problems, use a vacuum with a special HEPA filter. This is a filter that has been specially designed to maximize the removal of pollutants from the floor.
In addition to vacuuming, mop tile and hardwood floors for an extra cleaning. Because mops have a wet head, they can collect the dust and pollutants that vacuums often gloss over. Finally, place floor mats at every entrance. People's shoes often track in dust and pollutants from the outside air. Floor mats will grab these particles before they reach the indoors.
2. Raise Plants that Are Known to Purify the Air
Plants are nature’s natural air purifiers. Scientists have discovered that living plants can absorb all kinds of toxic substances from the air, making the air safer for you and your family to breathe.
You can raise plants that filter the air. Some of these plants will remove more than just carbon dioxide, such as the garden mum that filters ammonia and benzene. These are harmful chemicals that can make people sick. Another example is called the spider plant. In addition to being easy to raise, it filters out formaldehyde and xylene.
While some residents might not even know that these chemicals are in the air, these plants can keep people healthy.
3. Improve Ventilation
Homeowners with central AC often forget to ventilate the air inside their home. The air become can become stale because it’s never renewed.
On days when the heat is tolerable, it’s good to open the windows and allow the air to ventilate through the house. If insects are a problem, consider getting fine mesh screens that are woven tightly enough to keep most insects from getting in. Once the air is circulated, you can close up tight again and enjoy the fresher air.
Some homeowners like to turn on the air conditioner when they want some fresh air; however, air conditioners only recirculate the air and don't actually improve the ventilation.
There are a few ways to improve the ventilation in your home, including opening the windows, opening vents, and opening doors to the outside. For people looking to get a little more creative, they could open their chimney or even install an extractor fan in the home to truly filter the air.
4. Maintain Proper Humidity Levels
Some people like to maintain a humid environment, but many pollutants are dissolved in the water, and the humidity only enhances the pollutants in this humidity. To prevent this from happening, people should run their air conditioner to remove this moisture from the air. This will prevent pollutants from being trapped in the moisture.
5. Maintain Your Air Conditioning System
Just like any other machinery, an air conditioning system needs to be maintained regularly. This means checking and changing the filter to make sure the unit can perform its job. This will improve the air quality and extend the life and efficiency of the unit.
This simple guide will help you to have the best indoor air quality possible. If you are having problems with your AC unit, use our online AC repair estimate tool to get an idea of what it will take to fix it.
To ensure the air conditioner is running at its highest level, schedule to have your air conditioning unit regularly maintained and inspected by a professional ac technician.
At the Cooling Company, our goal is to ensure comfort within your home. Contact us at 702-567-0707 for more information about our air filtration services.