10 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
At Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County we get lots of questions about how to get one’s indoor air cleaner. This is especially true because our customers often have noticed that their fireplace deposits smoke, soot, and musty or campfire-like odors in their home—signs that the air quality is clearly not optimum. Here we’ve compiled a list of some of the most foolproof ways to give yourself a breath of fresh air. Some you can do yourself, and some you’ll need to hire a professional to do for you. All are very much worth your while.
1. Identify the biggest offenders—and remove them. If you know for sure where your indoor pollution is coming from, you should eliminate their presence in the home. For instance, if you have asbestos anywhere in your home, you can seal or enclose the source of the asbestos.
2. Increase ventilation. One great way to lower the amount of indoor air pollutants you’re exposed to is to increase the amount of outside air flowing into your home. This can be done the old-fashioned way—by opening doors and windows, and turning on window, attic, bathroom, and kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors, removing contaminants from the rooms where they’re located.
3. Have your gas appliances tuned up. If you have a gas-burning fireplace, it may be emitting air pollution into your home. Having a pro come to your home to inspect your appliance and adjust it to decrease the amount of emissions can help improve your indoor air quality.
4. Take extra precautions in certain circumstances. There are some scenarios that warrant you paying extra attention to the safety of your indoor air. Make plans for how to vent high levels of pollutants generated, for instance, when you paint, strip paint, heat with a kerosene heater, cook, welder, solder, or sand. If possible, do these activities outdoors.
5. Invest in an air cleaner. With many types and sizes of air cleaners—with various levels of effectiveness—on the market, it can be confusing to choose that will actually get the job done. To find a great air cleaner/filter for your home, look at the percentage efficiency rate (which measures how well your filter collects pollutants from your indoor air) and the cubic feet per minute (which measures how much air is drawn through the filter or cleaner).
6. Change your HVAC air filters. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to change your air filters every 30 to 60 days, though any time you notice they are dirty you should go ahead and do so. If you have pets, you will also want to change your filters more often. This is a great and easy way to maintain the effectiveness of your HVAC unit as well as to improve your air quality.
7. Have your chimney swept by a pro. Hiring a certified chimney sweep to inspect and clean your chimney can remove mold spores, creosote buildup, soot, dirt, and debris—all things that can impact the quality of the air your breathe.
8. Have your air ducts cleaned. According to the EPA, if you have mold growth inside your ducts or on any component of your HVAC system, vermin inside your ducts, or excessive amounts of dust and debris, you should consider having your air ducts professionally cleaned.
9. Nurture your houseplants. Some studies have shown that houseplants can improve the quality of indoor air; however, the opposite can also be true if you over water your plants, as damp soil can lead to allergy-causing microorganism growth.
10. Make a clean sweep. Vacuuming (with an appliance with a HEPA filter) and dusting can go a long way to reducing allergens and irritants in your home. It’s especially important to reach out-of-the-way dust collectors like the top of your refrigerator and your ceiling fan blades. Also look for nontoxic, non-aerosol cleaning products.
Have questions about how to improve the quality of your indoor air? Call Clean Sweep Anne Arundel County. We can get you well on the way to a cleaner space by sweeping your chimney and making sure your heating appliance is operating properly.