Do you notice your kids have the sniffles more than usual? Does your home feel stuffy and hold on to musty or cooking odors? Do you feel compelled to leave fans running to get air moving? You may have an indoor air quality problem, and there are some things you can do to help improve it.
Modern Life Relies on HVAC
Modern heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) give us ultimate control over the temperature in our homes. We can keep cool in the summer and toasty warm in the winter by keeping all our doors and windows shut and allowing our system to do its job efficiently. But that also means we rely on its natural processes to filter the air of pollutants and allergens that might cause problems for our families. Because new houses are built airtight, if your HVAC isn’t filtering properly, your indoor air quality may suffer.
Poor Air Quality Aggravates Allergies
Have you and your family members noticed extra sniffles, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, or an irritating dry cough? Nobody seems to have a cold, but suddenly everyone in the house is having some kind of respiratory issue. These can be signs that your indoor air quality could use some clean-up.
The first thing to think about is when your HVAC filters were last changed. Especially if you have beloved pets, your air filters can get clogged with fur and dander along with the daily dirt and debris of family life. Find a replacement filter with a MERV rating that filters out the pollutants that are aggravating your family, and replace them every 60 to 90 days. It may be worth spending a little extra on a filter that traps those pesky particles.
You can also fill your home with houseplants. A famous 1989 study by NASA showed that certain plants help remove carcinogens from enclosed spaces. Though it’s not the most powerful solution, every little bit helps. If you have a room with good light and you enjoy plant care, a Boston fern or a bamboo palm are great for indoor air pollution. If you don’t have a green thumb, look for a golden pothos, philodendron, or a dracaena. They can endure quite a bit of neglect and still thrive.
If you’ve been diligent about changing your filters, have added some plants, and still have concerns, there are simple additions to your HVAC that can bring both clean air and peace of mind. Professionals can install a whole-home air purifier as part of your HVAC system, which traps even the tiniest pollutants. Or you can have a UV light installed on your coils to kill bacteria and organic growth.
Alleviating the causes of poor indoor air quality is an important step to protect your family. By trying some simple solutions yourself and consulting with your HVAC professional, you can clean up your indoor air and create a safe and clean environment for you and your kids.
*Featured partner post.