Go Beyond Changing Your AC Filter with These Simple Suggestions
The EPA has suggested that indoor air quality is usually about five times more polluted than the air outside. Despite our smog, Southern Californians are luckier than most folks when it comes to this IAQ (indoor air quality) problem. Our weather is usually mild enough to allow opening a window or two throughout the year to promote air circulation with the outdoors.
However, if you’re one of those with moderate to severe allergies, this may not be enough to reduce contaminants and make it easy to breathe inside your home. You may want to think about some affordable air purification systems, including the installation of a MERV 16 or MERV 10 Filter, a hydroxide ion generator, or even UV light sanitizing equipment. Call your HVAC professional to discuss these options, and which ones may be right for you.
In the meantime, however, there are some easy ways to reduce allergens and irritants in your home, even before installing this relatively inexpensive equipment.
Keep Your Fan Running
For example, did you know that running the “fan” setting on your HVAC system promotes better air quality through improved ventilation? You don’t need to run it at peak levels either: most thermostats today allow you to run this fan at a low setting throughout the day, without using the furnace or AC.
Mattress Protectors Work!
Next, consider your bedroom. You necessarily spend a lot of time in there, usually with pets. Did you know dust mites thrive in this environment? Make sure your pillows, mattress, and box spring are all protected from these tiny, allergy-promoting pests and other pollutants with washable, mite-proof covers. Wash all your bedding weekly in hot water for best results.
Ditch the Drapes
Do you have carpeting or drapes? If you have allergies, it may be time to think about reducing the amount of fabric and upholstery in your home. These surfaces not only provide a home to dust mites, but also much of the dander, dust and other pollutants tracked in from the outside. Furthermore, many of these fabrics may not be easily washable, making them even more likely to serve as allergen attractants. Knick-knacks and artificial flowers are also likely to harbor a great deal of dust. Try to rinse, wash or wipe off these surfaces at least weekly.
Consider “Green” Cleaning
What cleaning solutions are you using? Many of the “old school” brand cleaners of the 1970s and 1980s have been shown to exacerbate allergies and breathing problems with their chemical ingredients. Throw out or don’t buy products with ammonia, triclosan, chlorine or phthalates, as they can make a bad situation worse.
Luckily, many companies have responded to consumer concerns by introducing other, less caustic formulations of these products. Look for them. Alternately, you may decide to use only baking soda and vinegar, or completely “green” products instead.
Don’t Forget your Filter!
Finally, change your furnace and HVAC filter regularly. We can’t emphasize this enough: it makes a huge difference in your air quality all year round. And do give us a call to check out the latest options for filtration and purification technology! You’d be amazed at what today’s HVAC systems can offer.
Don’t suffer in silence. If you have allergies, give our Air-Tro consultants a call today. We offer a variety of options for in-home air purification and filtration systems to fit every budget. (626) 357-3535