For homeowners in the United States, one of the most important factors when preparing household air systems for the changing seasons is maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Aside from the many elements of getting both the HVAC unit and heating system ready for the summer and winter months, proper maintenance also includes the safety measures guaranteeing airflow free of contaminants and household air pollution
No matter what type of air system you have in your home, indoor air pollution can have negative health effects on you and your family. As the summer approaches, running through a checklist of your HVAC system’s primary filtration measures is an important task. Here, we will look at the possible forms of indoor air pollution that could potentially circulate your home, as well as how to address your household’s air quality all year.
The Causes of Indoor Air Pollution
Your home’s indoor air quality can be affected by a number of factors. Many natural biological contaminants can include allergens such as mold, dust, pollen, and other small elements of debris common to outdoor air. Poor ventilation within your home’s interior can allow even the smallest types of organic pollution to enter your household’s living space. Additionally, many home appliances malfunctioning can release their own hazardous toxins. For example, a gas stove or furnace not properly maintained can eventually spring dangerous leaks of carbon monoxide or gases throughout your home. As two of the main causes of poor indoor air quality, it’s important for homeowners to take the right precautions to avoid such common leaks.
When it comes to outdoor air pollution entering the household, securing your home’s doors, windows, and fireplace chimney can be very equally beneficial. Likewise, a carbon monoxide detector is a crucial addition to any home. If you or your family members have suffered any headaches or dizziness due to gas leaks, it is important that you evacuate your home immediately and call a professional technician.
To always be on the safe side, regular maintenance of your home’s appliances, stove, and air system ventilation by a professional technician is a good idea for ensuring healthy indoor air. With that in mind, your home’s air conditioner and heating system are two other potential contributors to an indoor air quality problem. Regardless of the HVAC system or heater, you have installed, almost all air systems use ducts and traditional ventilation systems to circulate the conditioned air. The ventilation itself requires monitoring for cleanliness, as well as possible cracks and leaks.
The Indoor Air Quality Checklist
The best way for homeowners to keep an eye on the quality of air within the household is to compile a comprehensive checklist of DIY maintenance tasks year-round. As mentioned, your home’s air conditioner and heating system utilize ducts and vents in order to disperse the units’ air throughout the house. The first order of business in ridding your home of inadequate ventilation and household air pollution is to swap out your air filters every two months. Those filters catch every particle of dust, debris, and other contaminants within the mesh, securing your indoor air quality and filtering out the incoming biological pollutants. If any family members suffer from health problems such as asthma, allergies, heart disease, or respiratory disease, changing your dirty air filters for clean ones is especially important. In addition, clean air filters help keep your machines running smoothly and less often, lowering your monthly energy bills.
If you’re particularly concerned with both the ducts allowing outside air into the home or humidity is an additional factor for a family member’s allergy symptoms, you may want to change air systems entirely. Among the most common smart tips for home upgrades, professional technicians recommend modern technologies that don’t require ducts at all. For example, a ductless mini-split heat pump, which replaces both your home’s air conditioner and furnace with one machine, does away with the need for a traditional ventilation system or ductwork.
The most important thing for all homeowners to remember is that the best indoor air quality comes from routine maintenance. Although you can change your home’s air filters and quickly inspect the door and windows, only a professional technician can run the needed tests to ensure the safety and integrity of your home’s air quality.