The quality of the air in your home typically depends on humidity and the amount of suspended particulate matter such as dust, smoke, pollen, and volatile organic compounds present. Maintaining good air quality in your residence is critical since it contributes to both your comfort and your respiratory health. Having good indoor air quality means there’s moderate humidity, no odor, and a low level of particulate matter or an absence of it.
During winter, you probably spend most of your time inside, away from the biting cold. Your doors and windows usually remain shut, and you rely heavily on your HVAC system to keep your indoor space warm. If you aren’t vigilant, the air quality in your residence can quickly deteriorate. There are various methods you can employ to avoid the scenario, and here are some of them.
Keep Your Home Clean
Adhering to a strict cleaning routine is the most basic way of enhancing your indoor air quality. Regular cleaning removes most of the particulates that can become airborne. Wiping down surfaces frequently removes pet dander, dust, and pollen lying around the house. Also, routinely cleaning the floors and carpeting helps eliminate trapped dust, pet fur, and fibers. Remember to change the vacuum cleaner’s filter to increase its efficiency. Don’t forget to observe basic kitchen hygiene, such as taking the trash out regularly and cleaning dishes on time to keep the air pollutants and odors away.
Install Kitchen Vents
A wide range of indoor air pollution comes from the process of preparing meals in the kitchen. Gas and electric stoves release harmful substances into the air. If you don’t have a kitchen vent, the gases can circulate within your residence and greatly affect your indoor air quality. Remember that cooking also releases grease. A kitchen vent helps direct all these pollutants outdoors, thereby improving indoor air quality in the process, so don’t forget to turn on the vents whenever you’re cooking during winter.
Schedule Air Duct Maintenance
Air ducts are part of your home’s air circulation, heating, and cooling system. Note that air ducts connect all the rooms in your residence. During winter, all the air circulating in your house passes through the air ducts whenever you close the doors and windows to keep the cold outside. If you forget about the air ducts, mold, dust, dander, and pollen can accumulate in them. As air passes through, it will pick up these contaminants and circulate them through your entire house, causing a major decline in the indoor air quality. If you’re a resident of Tucson, AZ, or the surrounding area, you can depend on Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to arrange duct inspection and cleaning that will improve your indoor air quality and optimize your HVAC system’s performance.
Change the Heater’s Filter
By trapping particulate matter and pollutants, the filters in your heating and cooling system play a critical role in indoor air quality. Over time, however, the filters tend to fill up and cease trapping dust, pollen, and airborne debris. That will affect the quality of air in your indoor space and wear down your HVAC system. The result could be an illness requiring treatment for you and a breakdown requiring repairs for your heating equipment. Changing the air filters will improve your indoor air quality and enhance HVAC performance, thereby minimizing frequent repairs and safeguarding your health.
Keep Up With Annual HVAC Maintenance
Winters in Tucson can be unbearable without a heater to warm your house and circulate clean air. As with any other appliance, mechanical and electrical components of the HVAC system experience wear and tear and need regular attention. Scheduling an annual maintenance visit will ensure that your HVAC system functions at its best. Regular inspections during tune-ups can help identify any issues that may affect your indoor air quality, damage to the heat exchanger, for instance. Your HVAC technician will also clean and lubricate moving parts, change air filters and tighten electrical connections. This will not only enhance clean airflow but also ensure that your equipment functions optimally for a long time.
Get an Air Purifier
Some air purifiers function by using an electric charge to capture particulate matter such as pollen, smoke, dander, bacteria, and other pollutants. They can also help remove volatile organic compounds from the air. Other air purifiers utilize germicidal UV-C light to sterilize mold and other microbes that cause odor in the air flowing through the air conditioner. Elimination of these pollutants can significantly improve indoor air quality.
Embrace a Smoke-Free Policy
While it’s best to maintain a smoke-free home year-round, there’s no time to stress the policy more than in winter. Cigarettes and other tobacco products release toxic particles with a shelf life that can last for hours. Did you know that secondary cigarette smoke has thousands of chemicals with a high probability of causing respiratory conditions like cancer and asthma? Since you’ll probably be behind closed windows and doors during the better part of the winter, it’s paramount to maintain a smoke-free house to safeguard your health.
In the wintertime, the air tends to drier, especially inside the home. This can lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; respiratory problems; and even damage to furniture and hardwood floors. What’s more, dry air even makes you feel colder than humid air does at the same temperature. This, in turn, can make you overwork your heater. One simple solution to this problem is putting in a humidifier. Stand-alone and whole-house types are available.
Consider an Energy Recovery Ventilator
Although it is unlikely in the Tucson area, you might have the opposite problem of contending with too much humidity. If you do for some reason, think about an energy recovery ventilator. It functions by replacing the air in your house with fresh air from outside. As the air transfer occurs, the warm outgoing air exchanges heat with the cold incoming air. Additionally, any humidity present in the indoor air leaves with the outgoing air. The air that remains is fresh, warm, comfortable, and breathable.
Integrate Indoor Plants to Freshen the Air
Indoor plants are natural air purifiers that cost no energy to operate. They take in carbon dioxide, absorb contaminants from the air, and release oxygen. Besides cleaning your indoor air, plants can enhance your indoor decor. Spider plants, Chinese evergreens, and peace lilies are among the most effective.
Do Away With Air Fresheners
You may love the scent of candles and air fresheners, but these products release harmful chemicals into the air. Consider using natural ways to eliminate odor and freshen up your residence. You can use naturally scented products when cleaning surfaces. In the kitchen, vinegar or lemon will neutralize any kitchen odor.
Established in 1959, Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers indoor air quality services to residents of Tucson and the surrounding area. We’re a licensed and insured company with well-trained and experienced HVAC technicians. Our team deals with a wide range of heating, cooling, and plumbing needs, including repair, installation, and maintenance. We also offer 24/7 emergency repair services to promptly deliver the solution you need when a situation just can’t wait. We intend to keep you comfortable all year round. Call us to speak with one of our professionals or schedule an appointment.