Fall Indoor Air Quality
With fall finally upon us in Cedar Park, Texas, cooler temperatures are here. This transition from one season to another most definitely affects your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). And your IAQ directly affects your comfort and health in your home. As temperatures drop, we tend to spend more time indoors, so it’s important to be sure your air quality is protected.
How Is IAQ Affected in the Fall?
Think about it. Your home’s indoor air is a composite of many sources: the outdoor air that comes through your open or leaky windows and doors, pet dander, tree and grass allergens, carpet or fabric fibers, dust and lint, harsh chemicals that are present in cleaning products, mold spores, In the warmer months, open windows allows fresh air in on a regular basis, diluting the stale air in your home, while your cooling system keeps your home’s humidity in check. With the heater running, all those composites and particles in the home continue to recirculate. Once humidity decreases, your body’s naturally moist membranes, and nasal passages tend to dry out, inviting harmful bacteria and viruses in. Drier air also wreaks havoc on allergy and asthma sufferers. This is all a recipe for health issues.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Home’s IAQ
In the cooler months with furnaces running, additional steps are required to protect the air you breathe in your home. You can prevent or lessen the possibility of some of the health concerns above by following these recommendations:
- Use a humidifier. The comfort in your home isn’t only determined by its inside temperature. It’s also important to keep your home’s humidity levels between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendation of 30 to 50 percent (the recommended for Texas is 45-55 percent). Drier air can cause nosebleeds, cracked skin, respiratory problems, sinus issues, static electricity, and many other negatives.
- Change your HVAC filters regularly, at least every three months. There are so many air particulates floating in the air that our eyes can’t see. And a dirty filter may look clean to the naked eye. Changing your filter regularly makes a marked difference. We at Arise Services suggest changing it monthly if someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma. Regularly changing your filters also helps to increase your HVAC system’s lifespan by preventing those particles from entering the HVAC system. A high MERV rating on your filter will ensure maximum capture of air particulates before they reach your lungs.
- Clean regularly. Many health challenges are caused by dust, dirt, pests, bacteria, viruses, and mold. Regular house cleaning, especially dusting and using a vacuum with a HEPA-type filter, helps to prevent these from building up and getting into the air. Also, when cleaning, switching to more natural cleaning products using essential oils instead of harsh chemicals can make a substantial difference in your home’s IAQ.
- Have your furnace cleaned and checked before turning it on. Be sure to schedule your annual heating system’s maintenance appointment before using your heat for the first time. A proper maintenance, cleaning and inspection allows your system to run properly, helping to improve the IAQ and increase your system’s lifespan.
- Open your windows daily. Even in the coldest temperatures, it’s a good idea to open a window in every room for at least a few minutes to invite some fresh air in. This helps to keep bacteria and viruses at bay.
- Consider installing an upgraded filtration system that will significantly increase your IAQ. If you find the occupants in your home seem to suffer with health issues, allergies, or asthma, there are many products that can help increase your indoor air quality.
There are so many things to enjoy about fall. Be sure your home’s IAQ is protected to keep you healthy and comfortable. Call Arise Services at 512-267-5000 to discuss how we can help you improve your home’s indoor air quality.