As the temperatures grow cooler, most people begin spending more time indoors. If your indoor air quality is not up to par, you may notice increased symptoms of allergies and asthma. There are many factors that can reduce your air quality, including mold spores and dust mites. Luckily, there are several key steps you can take to improve your air quality during the cooler seasons.
Change Your HVAC Filter
Your HVAC system works hard year-round to keep your home a comfortable temperature. But if you're like most homeowners, you don't always provide the system with the maintenance it needs. One of the most important aspects of HVAC maintenance is changing the air filter. If you use inexpensive fiberglass filters, you really should change the filter every 30 days. High-end pleated filters may do their jobs well for up to 6 months.
A new air filter will be more effective at trapping allergens like mold spores and dust mites as they flow through your home's air ducts. Plus, changing your air filter keeps your heater and air conditioner from having to work so hard, so changing the filter may increase your system’s lifespan. Buy a stack of new filters at the beginning of fall so you have an easier time keeping up with changes throughout the winter.
Install a UV Light Air Purifier
Air filters catch bigger particles like dust, but they're not great at catching smaller particles like bacteria and viruses. During cold and flu season, you need all the protection you can get from these airborne pathogens. One way to eliminate them from your air, thus improving your air quality, is with a UV light air purifier.
UV light air purifiers suck in air from your home and treat it with powerful UV rays. The UV radiation kills 99% of foreign contaminants in the air and also keeps your HVAC system from becoming a breeding ground for these pathogens.
Check Appliances for Leaks
Mold is one of the biggest threats to air quality. Even if you are not overtly allergic to mold, some species of mold release toxins that can cause respiratory symptoms like sneezing and wheezing. Mold only grows in moist environments, and one possible source of unchecked moisture in the home is leaky appliances.
Check around your refrigerator for puddles, which may indicate that the ice maker, condensate hose, or water dispenser are leaking. Watch carefully as your dishwasher runs, making note of any drips on the floor. Also, open your sink cabinet and watch for leaks and drips as you run the garbage disposal. If these or any of your other appliances are leaking, have them repaired or replaced to eliminate moisture, mold, and the poor air quality it causes.
Upgrade Your Vacuuming Routine
Regular vacuuming is important especially in the fall when you may open windows to ventilate in your home. Most pollen is shed in the spring, but ragweed releases its pollen in the fall, triggering allergic reactions in many. Your home should be a safe haven against outdoor allergens like pollen, but it will only be such if you vacuum often with an effective vacuum cleaner.
Look for a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This filter will trap small particles from pet dander to pollen. Many models have removable, washable filters so you don't have to continually purchase new ones. Vacuuming twice a week is a good start; every other day is even better if you can manage it.
If you follow the steps above, your air will stay a lot cleaner through the fall and winter. Contact ACA Appliance & Air Conditioning, LLC if you're in need of HVAC maintenance, a UV air purifier, or appliance repair services.