We spend the majority of our day at home, so the quality of the air inside the home can have a big impact on our health or how family members feel. It’s important to have healthy indoor air and to improve the indoor air quality to reduce allergens and illnesses.
Poor indoor air quality is related to health issues from mild respiratory problems like a stuffy nose or sinus irritation to more extreme illnesses like asthma and severe allergies. Viruses that can spread through the air affect the health of indoor air. High levels of toxins or chemicals in the home can occur from poor ventilation; indoor air pollution can also occur due to molds or high humidity levels.
There are ways to improve indoor air quality. An obvious solution is an indoor air purifier which can be integrated into your HVAC system. At Affordable Service, our technicians can install an indoor air purification system into any brand or model of HVAC unit. These remove viruses, bacteria, molds, and many other pollutants from your indoor air. Homes with swamp coolers also find improved air quality after converting to air conditioning.
But how about some (free) ideas to improve indoor air quality too! Here they are:
- Keep your air filters and return air vents clean. These pull your indoor air back into your heating and cooling system. Make sure they are not blocked or covered in dust. Air duct cleaning is also helpful.
- Remove shoes outside the home. That prevents dirt, pesticides, particulate, and other unwanted things from entering the home.
- Research before remodeling. If you’re going to paint inside your home, research the Zero- or Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints available. Some furniture is glued with toxic glues or treated with formaldehyde. Those sensitive to asthma or allergies may also have trouble if varnish or lacquer is used in the home (even nail polish remover).
- Add humidity. In Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, our humidity is usually very low. Ideally, a home’s humidity should be in the 30 to 50 percent range for optimal comfort and to keep allergens lower. In the winter, you may find it helpful to run a humidifier. During monsoon season, or if you use a swamp cooler, you may want to run a dehumidifier if it’s especially humid.
- No smoking. That may seem obvious, but it’s the largest contributor of indoor air pollution. And remember, burning candles also puts off toxins into your indoor air. If you love candles, try beeswax candles which give off almost no smoke versus regular wax candles.
- We could list 7 ways that just cleaning can improve your indoor air quality! Some tips: Regularly take throw pillows, rugs, bedspreads, etc outdoors and whack them together to release dust. Use fragrance free cleaning solutions. Don’t use aerosol products. Remove mold and mildew promptly. Use the kitchen exhaust fan to pull particles and gases out of the home, especially if you have a gas stove.
- Add plants. Some of the best air-purifying plants are also the easiest to care for! Among those that filter the indoor air the best are spider plants, snake plants, pothos, peace lily, aloe, rubber tree and others. However, if you have pets that like to chew things, do your research on which might not be a good match for your cat or dog.
Indoor air is vital to healthy breathing. If we can help with indoor air purification or if you’re looking at upgrading your swamp cooler to refrigerated air, call on Affordable Service Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electric. We’ve served New Mexico homes since 1986.