10 Ways to Improve the Air Quality in your Home
During the hot summer months, air quality in San Bernardino can be harmful due to onshore flow pushing much of the pollution in the Los Angeles area against our beautiful mountains. Here is a list of 10 ways you can improve the air quality inside your home.
- Maintain your home’s clean air system. Schedule your yearly air-conditioning service to make sure your AC is running as cleanly as possible.
- Change your filter often, especially when you’re AC is running more often due to the intense heat. Use at least a MERV12 rated filter for better allergen and pollutant removal. Dirty filters allow for dust, dust mite waste, cooking emissions, and other allergens to accumulate in your ducts as well as the air in your home increases the risk of illness. If your filter looks grey, it is time to change it! Make sure you use a good quality pleated filter.
- Check your condensation line. It can harbor mold and bacteria and can affect the air quality within your home. A qualified technician can come and flush it for you during your regular yearly maintenance so that it does not grow any unhealthy mold or bacteria in it.
- Your AC unit is supposed to remove humidity from the air in your home. While this may not seem like a problem in San Bernardino, if you’re AC is not working efficiently, moisture can build since typically houses are closed up during the long hot summers we have. Air that is too humid can make your home feel warmer than it is, and it can harbor smells, mold, and bacteria. A system that is running efficiently and removing the moisture will, in turn, keep your air cleaner. Make sure your fan setting is on “auto,” not in the “on” position. Having the fan run regularly makes it difficult for your AC to control the humidity levels in your home, which can lead to a build-up of humidity and pollutants.
- Schedule an Air Balancing to check the flow of cooled air in your home is running efficiently in all rooms of your house. An air conditioning service in San Bernardino can come out and run testing to check the balance in your home. If the balance is off, it can affect the circulation in the whole house, which can allow toxins and pollutants to build up in your home and affects the air quality that you and your family breathe.
- Dirty air ducts can really affect the air quality in your home. Pollutants from cooking, dust and dust mite waste, mold, fungus, and even insect and animal nests can all be up in your ducts. Schedule an appointment to have a technician come out and evaluate your ducting to see if they need to be cleaned or repaired. Not only will clean ducts increase your air quality but also your air conditioner will run more efficiently.
- Houseplants are not only beautiful, but many can help clean the air in your home. Good choices are Aloe, Snake Plant, Rubber Plant, English Ivy, Bamboo Palm, and Red Edged Dracaena. Use caution, though, if you have any small children or pets in your home, make sure any plants you choose to bring into your home are safe for pets and children.
- If you have recently moved into a newly built home, or have purchased a lot of new furnishings, remember to crack a window so that air exchange happens. New homes are so well sealed and have not settled yet, and this can mean that there is no natural air exchange between outside and inside. This can lead to a build-up of toxins and pollutants. New furniture and new carpet can harbor a lot of toxic chemicals, so cracking a window can help disperse some of those.
- Vacuum, mop, and dust frequently, especially if you have pets. Dander and dust can build up quickly. Use a damp cloth or a commercial disposable dusting wand that traps dust rather than a feather duster or some other tool that just pushes the dust around. Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter to help clean the air as you vacuum. Damp mopping without cleaners collects the dust left behind after vacuuming to disinfect your environment even better. Also, consider having a “no shoes in the house” policy. Your shoes can track in all kinds of mold, bacteria, and dander from the outside environment.
- Consider switching to natural cleaning products. Look for plant-based cleaners that have no VOC’s. Household cleaners can affect air quality drastically and cause health problems for people as well as pets. Many commercial products have toxic cancer-causing chemicals, and aerosols distributed a lot of chemicals into the air you breathe. There are also great homemade cleaner recipes online as well that are safer for your air quality as well as your family.
- Consider upgrading the air purifier that was installed with your air conditioner. There are great options that do a great job pulling pollutants from your air. Call your air conditioning installer in San Bernardino to see if you can upgrade your system.
- In the evening and/or early morning when the air temperature outside is cooler, open your windows to allow fresh air in. This will help clear the air for the evening and for the day and will help improve the air quality in your home while your air conditioning is running.
We hope these tips help you and your family enjoy cleaner and better indoor air quality in your home during the hot summer months! We know during the heat of our summers here in San Bernardino we spend a good portion of our day inside and we want to make sure the air you breathe is as healthy as possible. If you have any other questions or need service on your air conditioner or heating system, give We Care a call! We are here to help!