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Indoor Air Quality 101 – Part 4: DIY Tips to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

In the first three parts of this series, we discussed the importance of Indoor Air Quality, identifying numerous forms of indoor air pollution and discussed the health implications of some of these pollutants. Additionally, we explored some of the Indoor Air Quality products and services we offer at Pickerington Heating & Cooling, as we strive to help homeowners enjoy cleaner, safer, healthier indoor air.

 

In this final part of our four-part series, we will go over several suggestions we have for homeowners on ways they can improve the air quality in their home.

 

Always Use Ventilation

Whenever you are cooking in your kitchen, taking a shower, or burning a candle — always remember to use as much ventilation as possible. This goes for any time you do something that generates smoke or steam in any way.

It turns out that our bathrooms generate more moisture in our home’s air supply than anywhere else in our homes.

Aside from the bathroom, kitchens are another part of the home to be mindful of because it is the source of all kinds of fumes that spread throughout the home. Kitchens give off smoke, grease, carcinogens, and various fumes from cleaning supplies.

Any time you see any amount of smoke or steam in your home, or aerosol spray, or any other fumes or types of airborne particles, remember to use whatever type of ventilation is available. 

If all else fails, you can even crack open a window and use a household fan to blow the pollution out.

Always remember, whenever it comes to indoor air pollution, ventilation is vital.

 

Utilize “Smart Dusting”

All the tiny particles of things like mold, dust, pollen and dirt can become airborne and make the quality of the air in a home hazardous. As such, it’s important to eliminate as many of these sources as possible. To do so, we recommend something called “smart dusting.” 

What is “smart dusting?”

“Smart dusting” is a simple, common sense way to dust that removes all of the dust, rather than pushing it around and enabling it to end up on the ground. In order to “smart dust” you begin by dusting the highest points in the home. Dusting off these higher areas allows you to remove all of it because when you finish up there, you work your way down to the lower areas needing dusted. By doing it this way, dust naturally falls. However, because you are working your way downward it doesn’t land where you have already dusted. In this way “smart dusting” allows you to remove the dust more efficiently. 

 

And, to make your “smart dusting” even “smarter,” we suggest using a dampened cloth instead of the traditional feather duster or dry rag, which only pushes the dust around. A dampened cloth will do a far better job of gathering all of the dust. Just don’t forget to periodically rinse out the cloth and squeeze it.

 

It might be worth noting, also, that when you start up high not to forget those ceiling fans, blinds and curtains.

 

Cover Pillows and Mattresses

If you are like most people, you enjoy snuggling up to your pillow at bedtime. You probably even have a favorite pillow.

 

Sadly, however, you aren’t the only one that loves that comfy pillow. Experts say dust mites love our pillows and they can thrive inside them. This gross realization becomes evident in recent studies showing how mattresses and pillows can actually gain a small amount of weight over time because dust mites leave their droppings and other waste behind.

 

The solution, as such, is to use washable pillowcase covers and mattress covers which should also help indoor air quality. Protecting pillows and mattresses should allow you to enjoy your favorite pillow without these tiny bugs. Moreover, you can keep these coverings clean by washing it at least once every month. 

 

Keep Air Pollution Outside

If you suffer from allergies or asthma caused by indoor air pollution, remember to keep your windows closed to keep pollen and other pollution particles from coming inside. More importantly, we recommend establishing a policy of “no shoes in the house” to make sure everyone takes off their shoes prior to entering your home. To make this possible, it would be wise to establish an area near the entryway designated for leaving shoes. You could also set a mat there for visitors to clean off their feet. Unless you are vigilant people and pets shuffling in and out day after day will continue to drag pollutants inside with them. 

In any case, it’s important to keep carpets and rugs clean, as they capture particles coming in as well.

A Cool Home Helps Curb Humidity

Do you know anyone who’s ever had their home treated for mold? If so, you probably know how hazardous mold can be in a home, or how expensive mold treatment can be. Often, a homeowner doesn’t even realize there is mold growing in their home.

Because mold and mildew devastate the respiratory system, the health effects go above and beyond minor symptoms of allergies. 

 

As we mentioned in part three, dehumidifiers are a great way of reducing the amount of moisture in the air to curb the growth of mold using dehumidifiers. There are several humidifier options that can help you sustain consistent humidity levels in the optimal range to create comfortable and healthy conditions in your home.

 

However, another strategy for keeping humidity at bay is to maintain cool temperatures in the home. Mold and mildew needs humid and damp conditions to thrive. In any case, when it comes to mold, it’s definitely not worth risking your health.

 

Always Use a Vacuum with a HEPA Filter

In the struggle against indoor air pollution, research indicates not all vacuum cleaners are created equal. Some types of vacuum cleaners do a better job at removing indoor air pollution than others. This is why we suggest using a bagless vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. It will go a long way in helping.

 

On a side note, if you ever decide to replace your flooring, consider installing hardwood flooring. Wood flooring and other types of hard flooring can be dusted and mopped making them much better choices than carpet for anyone who is looking to improve indoor air quality, or who suffers from any allergy problems.

 

Get a Professional Air Quality Test 

Getting a professional to perform an official Indoor Air Quality test is the best and most advisable first step when it comes to ensuring your health and keeping your indoor air safe. 

One of our certified technicians can perform the test and we will check for things like carbon monoxide, other dangerous gases, volatile organic compounds, and formaldehyde. Although there are tests that look for allergens, mold, and other particles, it’s important to consider if you need to check for radon or other gases that could be in your home.

The most reliable tests are those done by professionals who are certified and qualified to conduct them. If you are considering a Do-It-Yourself test kit from a store, you should be warned that those tests tend to be very limited in scope and you run the risk of it not being accurate. If you have your testing conducted by a professional as advised and he or she finds an indoor air quality problem, they can usually tell you how to resolve it the same day.

REMEMBER YOUR SEASONAL MAINTENANCE

Last but not least, if you are striving to get a handle on the air quality in your home, remember that consistent preventative maintenance will help you in a variety of ways.

When our technicians perform maintenance, they not only ensure your system’s continued optimal operation (which will promote indoor air quality), but they also identify any minor problems that might be developing that you don’t know about. These little problems tend to escalate and surface as big problems down the road, sometimes even leading to a full breakdown.

Our friendly technicians conduct a long list of cleaning operations; they carefully fine-tune your HVAC system and conduct a variety of checks and inspections; they analyze the condition of your air ducts and, of course, check your air filters and any other area that could possibly need attention, which helps with air quality.

 

When it comes to your home’s intricate HVAC system, we have a popular saying: It always pays off, in the end, in dividends, to be proactive rather than reactive ‒ especially for those with health issues from air quality problems.

These machines are finely-tuned and valued at thousands of dollars. We understand that better than anyone. And we guarantee customer satisfaction.

 

WE CAN HELP IMPROVE YOUR INDOOR AIR QUALITY

We at Pickerington Heating & Cooling are committed to keeping your home comfort levels optimal. Heating and Cooling is our mission. However, we also strongly suggest you make your indoor air quality a priority to guarantee the health of you and your family. Because indoor air pollution has such a substantial impact on your well-being and health, we hope you find this information useful. If you are considering any of our air quality products and services, or if you’d like to hear more, give us a call 614-837-4026 or Click Here to schedule an appointment now.

Indoor Air Quality 101: Part 1

Indoor Air Quality 101: Part 2

Indoor Air Quality 101: Part 3