How often do you think about indoor air quality? In the winter, your home is kept cozy with closed windows, doors, and insulated attics. This creates a seal that keeps the temperature where you want it. But what’s in that air? Do you know?
Keeping indoor air quality healthy for you and your loved ones is particularly important during this time where it can get infused with pollutants — and become intolerable.
Knowing the sources of potential contaminants inside the home and how to improve your indoor air quality will give you the peace of mind that you need to breathe easy all year long. Read more to find out these sources, the effects of poor indoor air quality, and what Easy A/C can do to help.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants in the Home
The identification of potential sources is the first step. There are a wide variety of pollutants that can exist inside your home and zeroing in on them will help you to improve your indoor air quality.
- Home Improvement/Hobby Activities — varnishing and sanding furniture, painting, adhesives, and other similar activities can produce harmful fumes.
- Combustion Sources — oil, gas, wood, kerosene, etc. If you have a wood fireplace, gas stove or water heater, and even your heating system, they need to be properly maintained to keep them from infusing your air with pollutants.
- Pesticides, Pollen, Lead, Radon — these can all be tracked in from the outside when you have contact with the soil.
- Furnishings & Building Materials — dust mites can easily accumulate in the cracks and crevices of your wooden furniture. Pressed wood and building materials like cabinetry, carpet, and insulation can also harbor VOCs and mold.
- Pets — from animal dander to fur, our loving pets can have a big impact on air quality inside the home. In the winter, they don’t go outside as often either, increasing the build up inside the house.
- Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide — created from the combustibles mentioned above, these are two of the most dangerous pollutants that can occur inside the home.
- Itchy Eyes, Nose & Throat
- Headaches & Dizziness
- Chronic Sensitivity to Pollutants
The Consequences of Poor Indoor Air Quality
It is really important to make sure your indoor air quality is good throughout the seasons to protect the health and well-being of you and your family. The consequences or poor air quality can range from fairly minor to very major issues.
Individuals with asthma, airborne allergies, and compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to indoor air pollution. From young children to older adults, prevention is key to protect the health of families in Florida.
Although the actual amount of exposure to indoor air pollution is not clearly known, long-term effects of living in a home with poor air quality has been associated with heart and respiratory disease, and even cancer.
How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
There are 3 main actions that can be taken to improve the air quality inside your home.
- Control Pollutants at the Source
- Improve Ventilation
- Utilize Air Cleaners/Purifiers
Be mindful of your home improvement activities and make sure to use chemicals outside or in a well-ventilated area. Get your pets groomed on a regular basis and vacuum your home and around your interior vents often too. On the combustible front, make sure all of your appliances, including your home heating and air conditioning unit are maintained properly. Our Tampa air conditioning experts can help keep your HVAC units running efficiently — and cleanly.
When was the last time you had your ducts cleaned? In the hot and humid Florida environment, mold, bacterial organism, dust, pollen and other harmful particulates can build up and constantly infuse your indoor air with pollutants.
These come in a wide variety of sizes and capabilities. From small one-room units to new UV air filter technology, filtering the air in your home and killing harmful organisms are an excellent way to improve quality and help the whole family breathe better.
Additional Tips to Combat Indoor Air Pollution
Tacking simple actions also go a long way to help with the overall air quality during the winter, and all year long. Here are some additional tips:
- Reduce dust mites by washing your bedding frequently
- Buy a carbon monoxide detector
- Replace furnace filters frequently — average every 60-90 days, more often if anyone has allergies
- Air out kitchens, bathrooms, basements often — these can be “mold-prone” areas due to the potential to collect moisture
- Test for radon
- Choose non-toxic cleaning products — there are a wide variety of products that work really well that don’t contain harmful chemicals
- Keep indoor houseplants that help detoxify your home
Staying Cozy in a Healthy Winter Home
Are you ready to take action to make your home a cozy, healthy winter home? From the simple tips above to reaching out to the experts, there are many things you can do improve the indoor air quality inside your own winter wonderland.
Keeping your HVAC working efficiently and cleanly not only makes you breathe better, but it also extends the life of one of the most valuable systems in your home. And it saves you money on utility bills and can prevent expensive repairs and middle-of-the-night emergency calls!
The importance of clean ductwork cannot be overemphasized either. The Tampa Bay humidity and heat can really wreak havoc on them — and what you can’t see can make a major impact on your indoor air quality.
Call 813-265-3247 now. Easy A/C has been providing quality air conditioning services throughout Tampa Bay - including Polk, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties - for over 37 years. From duct cleaning to HVAC maintenance, we are dedicated to keeping you and your family healthy and comfortable inside your home every season of the year. You can also reach us online here.