This spring the EPA, National Weather Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of State, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are celebrating Air Quality Awareness Week between April 30th and May 4th. The main focus for this year’s Air Quality Awareness Week is to examine the air quality where you live and ways to promote healthier, cleaner air for you and those around you. There are several ways to improve your air quality, starting at home with your indoor air!
What Contributes to Air Pollution Indoors?
Most people only think of pollution outside when they think about air quality. However, the air quality indoors is far more polluted than the air outside. Your home’s indoor air quality is affected by humidity, temperature, mold, and other components found in your home on a daily basis. Other contributors to indoor pollution include:
- Reduced ventilation when your heating and air unit is operating, causing air to become trapped and stagnant and preventing fresh air from entering your home
- Ongoing remodeling or construction inside your home or close to your home where harsh chemicals, materials, and other pollutants circulate throughout your indoor air
- Dampness and excess moisture in your home caused by increased humidity levels or leaks in your home
- The growth of mold and mildew in damp areas lacking ventilation
- Compounds from furniture and other household materials, such as polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and Polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), seeping into your indoor air
- Harmful pesticides and other chemicals found on clothing and shoes after being outside
- Fumes and residue from cigarette smoke in your home and on clothing
- Hazardous chemicals found in your household cleaning products
- Cigarette smoke from smoking indoors and residue on clothing and
- Pollution from polyurethane found in your mattress or furniture.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Air Quality Indoors?
The easiest way to improve your indoor air quality is to schedule maintenance on your heating and air unit before the summer hits. HVAC maintenance cleans your unit, reducing the amount of dirt, dust, and debris covering the components. A dirty heating and air system leads to dust and dirt circulating throughout your home whenever the unit is operating. Your unit will also operate more efficiently and experience fewer breakdowns with routine maintenance. A clean system means cleaner, healthier indoor air throughout spring, summer, and fall. Other ways to improve your indoor air quality are:
- Filter Replacement: Dust, debris, and other particulates move throughout your indoor air via your cooling system and ductwork. The air filter is responsible for trapping and eliminating contaminants before they cycle back into your indoor air. Regular heating and air service inspects and replaces your air filter but monthly checking of the air filter will prevent unexpected clogs in it from hindering your system.
- Upgrade Your Air Cleaner: A UV air cleaner works with your heating and air unit by trapping particulates before they enter your home. Just like an air filter, a UV air cleaner can be installed in your ductwork and air handler. It kills bacteria and mold early, so your home remains healthy throughout the entire year. The UltraViolet lights stop condensation and mold from forming on your evaporator coils.
- Control Humidity Indoors: Ideal humidity levels are between 30% and 50% indoors. Controlling your humidity levels can be difficult without the help of a whole-home humidifier and whole-home dehumidifier. The humidifier and dehumidifier help to maintain healthy moisture inside regardless of the outside temperature and can be used with your heating and air unit. A dehumidifier helps prevent mold and mildew from forming, and a humidifier helps reduce bacteria and viruses from spreading throughout your air.
Even small changes in your home can impact your air quality indoors. Scheduling maintenance on your heating and air unit, replacing your filter, and taking control of your humidity will promote healthy air for you and your family this spring and summer. Call Gainesville Mechanical today for all your northern Georgia heating and air conditioning needs.