Steps to help indoor air quality in your home
Now more than ever, the importance of maintaining high-quality indoor air is key. With a large portion of the population spending more time indoors, and as the weather warms with the seasonal changes, the importance of preventing outdoor allergens and pollutants from affecting the indoor air quality in a home is critical. In a surprising fact, though, the indoor air itself may already be as, if not more, polluted than the outdoor air. To reduce these pollutants, and improve the indoor air quality, it’s important to understand the sources of indoor air pollution, and what options are available to help.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
According to the EPA, the following sources contribute to indoor air pollution:
- Fuel-burning combustion appliances
- Tobacco products
- Indoor sources, such as:
- Deteriorated asbestos-containing insulation
- Newly installed flooring, upholstery or carpet
- Cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products
- Products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies
- Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
- Excess moisture
- Outdoor sources, such as:
- Outdoor air pollution
It’s important to remember that any single source of affecting indoor air quality is variable, depending on how often it is used, how concentrated the exposure to the contributing source is, sometimes how old and how well maintained the contributing source is, or even if the source is being utilized improperly.
Even with all of the possibilities, there are still common steps that can be taken to help improve air quality in the home overall.
Proper Cleaning and Maintenance
The first step to ensure the best indoor air quality is to make sure that a clean air filter is installed in the furnace. Letting an air filter continue cycling air outside of the recommended replacement periods leads to build-ups of dirt, mold, and allergens that will continue circulating as air moves through the furnace. This also leads to a furnace running harder, which could damage the furnace overall. Instead, make sure the furnace air filter is replaced every 30–60 days to keep fresh air circulating throughout the home and to keep trapping outside dust, mold, and pollutants.
It may also be beneficial to clean the air ducts throughout the home. Since this is the main artery for delivering fresh air, ensuring that the duct systems stay clean is an important factor in maintaining clean air coming out of the vents. A good rule of thumb is that air ducts should be cleaned every 5–7 years, dependent on dust and debris build-up in the home. Again, this can be variable, and things such as undergoing heavy rounds of maintenance or home improvements could affect this cycle, as these are activities that create a significantly larger amount of dust within the home.
Perhaps the most important choice is scheduling and maintaining an annual furnace and duct inspection. Having a licensed professional inspect the ductwork and ensure that the furnace is working properly will not only provide immediate peace of mind, but it will also prevent small issues from ballooning into larger issues, as experienced technicians are able to catch issues early on. Preventative maintenance is always the ideal vs a costly emergency repair, and regularly scheduled annual visits from a licensed technician will provide insight into how well a home’s ventilation system is working to provide quality indoor air.
If it’s time for an annual inspection, or if you’re preparing to schedule for the first time, consider reaching out to the experts at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. The service professionals at Duane Blanton are able to work with your schedule and provide knowledge solutions for any issues they find before they become major problems. Reach out to the experts at Duane Blanton today, at (815) 781-2567, or schedule online through their online scheduling portal.
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