Detect and Control Indoor Air Quality Problems
The best way to improve the air in your home is to attack problems at the source.
The following checklist will help you:
Tips to help control dust and other biological contaminants
Use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction, and a rotating beater brush to loosen ground-in dirt. Two-ply bags with HEPA filters ensure the dirt stays in the bag.Install hard surface coverings on floors, windows and furniture — they help repel dust.Avoid pets inside your home. If you wish to keep a pet indoors make sure it is groomed often and keep them away from carpets, furniture and beds. Wash bedding weekly at a hot setting.Use hypoallergenic dust covers on your mattress and pillows to deter dust mites and other biological contaminants.
Tips to help control odors, fumes, and gases
Keep interior doors leading directly into the garage closed. Leave the garage door open at least 5 minutes after a car enters or leaves the garage. Extinguish all burning embers in your fireplace before shutting the flue. Leave the door open to any room that does not have a return vent.Use non-toxic cleaning products. Keep them sealed and store them away from high traffic areas in your home. Eliminate tobacco smoke in the home. Install and use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Tips to help control the humidity levels in your home
Check your home for leaks near windows, doors, attic accesses and dryer vents. Ensure your duct work is inspected and cleaned by a professional. Reduce static electricity in your home by installing a humidifier. Maintain relative humidity in the 35 to 50% range. Over 50% can promote mold and other bacterial growths. Below 35% can cause sore throats, sinus congestion, skin disorders, warps in wooden furniture and floors, separation in wood floors, and gaps in molding.
If you live in a warmer, humid climate, be certain your air conditioning equipment is sized properly and ensure it’s in good working order for the best dehumidification. (If no air conditioning system is present, a dehumidifier can be a good option to maintain proper humidity in your home.) In colder climates, a humidifier may be used to increase humidity levels as needed. Have a tune-up performed on your heating and cooling system twice each year for maximum efficiency, comfort and safety.
Today’s modern homes are tightly sealed to keep conditioned air in and save energy. The problem is, without the right amount of fresh air, your home can become a breeding ground for pollutants. Here are just some of the many aspects of healthy ventilation you should be aware of when it comes to ensuring that your family can enjoy a healthy home:
Have your kitchen/bathroom exhaust fans tested to determine if a back draft from another flue (such as your water heater or fireplace) is drawing carbon monoxide into your home. Contain your renovations to one room at a time. Seal and vent renovated rooms before continuing to the next project.
Have an existing ventilation system properly maintained with regular service. Mechanical ventilation systems such as Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV) and Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) are balanced systems that bring in and filter the outdoor air while exhausting stale indoor air. These systems capture energy and use it to heat or cool the incoming air for greater energy efficiency and comfort. Rather than opening windows for ventilation, consider solutions that only allow filtered conditioned outside air to come indoors and help dilute any pollution in your home’s air.
Another way to keep your home healthy is to clean the air by filtering out as many pollutants as possible.
A proper filtration system helps clean the air in your home:
Determine the appropriate air filtration and cleaning equipment for the needs of your family. Regardless of the options selected, an important step in good filtration is the constant recirculation of air throughout your home. Remove up to 97.5% of all airborne house dust in less than 24 hours, as well as 99.9% of all allergy causing pollen and spores, with an air cleaner. UV lights are an excellent problem solver in areas where bacteria or biological contaminants are a concern. UV lights can reduce and destroy biocontaminants by bathing them in high intensity UV. For the complete filtration system, ask your professional about the newest filtration and purification system –the photo catalytic purification system–which combines filtration of particles and bacteria as well as reduces odors.