When families are in their homes more during the winter months and now during the COVID crisis, the air quality in their homes is even more important. Poor air quality can make family members sick. There are several things that can affect the home’s air quality. Getting ductwork cleaned every year can help keep the air in a home healthy. There are other ways to keep home air safe.
Does furnace Ductwork Affect Air Quality?
It is easy to ignore the ductwork that carries cool air from air conditioning units and warm air from furnaces into the home. But, when these ducts are not maintained and cleaned regularly, they can collect and blow allergens into the home’s air. Family members can become ill from breathing this compromised air. But, air duct cleaning is reasonable in cost and effective in keeping the home air cleaner and healthier.
The local furnace repair and duct cleaning service can be called once a year or however often the homeowner’s feels it is necessary to clean the ductwork and service the furnace and air conditioning equipment so they operate more efficiently and the air is cleaner and healthier. Many HVAC services will offer contracts for home maintenance where they come each year at a predetermined time to service the home HVAC service and ductwork.
What Are 7 Signs The Home Air is not Healthy?
How does the homeowner know they have a problem with their air quality? There are 7 signs to look for when deciding if the home air quality may need improving. The indoor air quality index is its IAQ. Air quality is affected by many things.
- The family members can experience dryness or irritation of their eyes, skin, noses, or throats.
- Family members can have unexplained bouts of dizziness or nausea.
- People living in the home can experience headaches and sinus congestion not linked to the common cold. There can also be coughing and sneezing.
- The air can have an unpleasant smell or a chemical small.
- Family members can suffer from more allergies or hypersensitivity than normal.
- The people in the house can feel unusually tired even getting enough sleep.
- Family members with asthma or other respiratory illnesses may suddenly get worse.
The way to know if the above symptoms mean poor air quality is to remove the family from the home temporarily. If the symptoms go away when residents leave the home, the cause is probably in the home. Now it is time to find the source within the home.
Causes of Poor Air Quality in Homes
The main culprits of poor air quality in homes include:
- Furnaces or Air conditioning equipment that burns fuel incompletely or is malfunctioning. Stoves and wood fireplaces that are not vented properly.
- Furnaces or AC units with humidifiers attached that are dirty or malfunctioning
- Tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
- Building materials with formaldehyde, asbestos, or other dangerous chemicals off-gassing
- Household cleaning products, personal care items, or hobby chemicals
- Excess moisture allowed to build up and host mold and mildew
- Outside sources including pesticides, radon, or outdoor air pollution
- Scented candles, air fresheners, and use of aerosol sprays
- Furnace air ducts that are not cleaned periodically
- Lack of air circulation
- Mold and mildew infestations can release spores into the air that are detrimental to family health.
Ways to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality
Improving a home’s air quality is important in every home. The first thing to consider is getting better ventilation into the home. Heating and cooking devices and bathroom fans should be vented outside. The bad air needs to go outside and good fresh air needs to come inside the home.
It is important to find the sources of indoor air pollution and get rid of them because in some cases the air inside the home is five times worse than outdoor air. We spend the most time inside our homes so that the air we breathe should be safe. When the weather permits, open up windows to air out the home.
A clean house has better air quality. so the homeowner should make efforts to keep the home clean and free of dust build-up. Vacuum carpets often and choose hard flooring when possible. Clean bedding, curtains, and other fabric items in the home regularly. Fabric tends to attract and store allergens if not cleaned regularly. Finally, try to keep clutter at a minimum since it collects dust.
Carefully consider which green plants to put in the home and keep their leaves free of dust build-up. Some plants can trigger allergies in some people.
Be sure to change air filters in furnaces and air conditioners often so they can trap more allergens and keep them out of the air. Make sure to have the HVAC air ducts cleaned regularly to remove trapped dirt and dust.
Another great idea is to purchase a good air purifier properly sized for the home. Air purifiers can help get rid of indoor allergens such as pet dander and other air impurities. Where there are damp areas in the home such as basements or laundry rooms, consider adding a dehumidifier.
Be careful of the products you use in the home and don’t use products that have dangerous chemicals in them. Reconsider the use of scented candles because they put dangerous things into the air as they burn. Smokers should quit smoking in the house as it hurts other family members and ruins the home’s air quality.
Getting and keeping the air quality in a home safe requires limiting products used in the home by reading labels carefully and avoiding cleaners and other chemicals that have strong, unpleasant smells. Going green with cleaners does more than helping the environment, it helps keep the air healthy for those who live in the home. Be sure to keep all fuel-burning equipment in good working order and vented properly to avoid those types of toxins in the air.
It takes a little effort to find the causes of bad air quality in a home and correct the situation, but it will be well worth the effort when everyone feels better.