Indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the most important aspects of a healthy home. During the summer, the temperature and humidity levels increase significantly. This can lead to an accumulation of airborne particles like pollen, pet dander, dust, and other pollutants, which may negatively impact your health.
Poor IAQ can trigger or worsen certain allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. It can also lead to headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Fortunately, simple steps can help you maintain good IAQ in your home during summer.
1. Keep Your Home Ventilated
Ventilation is the key to maintaining good IAQ in your home during summer. Fresh air circulates through the house, pushing stale and contaminated air out of the windows and doors. This will reduce pollutants as well as keep temperatures comfortable.
You should open windows during the day and turn on ceiling fans or portable fans to help circulate air in enclosed spaces like bedrooms and living rooms. For areas without windows, installing air vents can come in handy to provide a fresh supply of outdoor air.
2. Change Air Filters Regularly
Air filters trap contaminants, preventing them from circulating in your home. During summer, air filters can become clogged quickly when air is filled with dust, pollen, and other pollutants. If not changed regularly, this can lead to poor IAQ and cause health issues.
Having your air filter checked and changed at least once every three months is crucial. If you have pets or allergies, more frequent changes may be necessary. At Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating, we offer quality air purifiers to help improve your IAQ.
3. Clean Regularly
As much as carpets and rugs enhance your home’s aesthetic value and comfort, they can be a major source of indoor air pollution. During the summer, the heat and humid environment can make them a breeding ground for dust mites, pollen, and other particles that may harm your health.
Carpets and furniture can also trap smoke, dust, and other contaminants from the outside, which later escape into your living environment. Vacuuming and cleaning your home regularly is important to reduce indoor air pollutants.
Additionally, all waste should be disposed of in a covered bin. This will help to reduce the presence of insects, mites, and other pests that may produce allergens.
4. Groom the Pets
Pets are part of the family, and their presences can make a home more enjoyable. However, they shed fur and dander, which contain allergens. To reduce the number of pet allergens in your home, groom your pets regularly by brushing and bathing them outdoors, trimming their nails, and brushing their fur. Additionally, if you have a pet that spends much time inside the home, train them to keep off furniture and other upholstery.
5. Use Natural Cleaners
Harsh chemicals used for cleaning can also add up to indoor air pollution. Try using natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda instead of the harsher commercial products that emit fumes and cause health problems. For cleaning carpets, use natural products like borax that are mild on the fibers and will not harm your family’s health.
6. Limit the Use of Unvented Appliances
Appliances like gas stoves and dryers that are not vented outside can produce significant indoor air pollutants. When temperatures are high in summer, these appliances can add to the home’s humidity and heat. Use vented appliances that direct fumes outside whenever possible to ensure better IAQ. If you cannot avoid unvented appliances in your home, proper ventilation should be provided wherever they are used.
7. Invest in a Dehumidifier
High humidity levels increase dust mite activity and encourage the growth of your home’s biological life, like molds and mildew. During summer, homeowners should keep indoor humidity levels between 30-50%.
You can contact a technician to install a dehumidifier in areas with high moisture concentrations, such as in bathrooms and laundry rooms. Running your AC at the appropriate temperature will help maintain healthy humidity levels if you don’t have a dehumidifier.
8. Update Your Thermostat
A thermostat can be adjusted to maintain comfortable temperatures without wasting energy. A programmable thermostat should be set to cool the house during peak hours and turn off or reduce cooling when you don’t need it. This will help to save money on energy bills while creating a comfortable living environment free from pollutants.
9. Bring in Some Plants
House plants not only come with a refreshing look, but they can also trap indoor pollutants and produce oxygen. Some of the best air-purifying plants in your home are spider plants, peace lilies, aloe vera, snake plants, and English Ivy.
When choosing air-purifying plants, it is important to consider the amount of light they require and their cost and maintenance requirements. That way, you can pick the best plants for your home and enjoy cleaner air while adding a touch of nature to your living space.
10. Change Some Seasonal Habits
Summer is usually the time for barbeques, camping, and other outdoor activities. Before you do any of these, it is important to check your area’s air quality index forecast and determine whether it is safe for outdoor activities. If you plan on barbequing, choose an outdoor space with good ventilation to reduce the smoke entering your home.
11. Limit Scented Products
Scented candles, incense sticks, and air fresheners may have a nice aroma but can also contribute to poor indoor air quality. Many of these products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be dangerous when inhaled. You can opt for natural air fresheners and essential oils to keep your home smelling nice, especially during summer.
12. Consider Going Shoeless
Shoes can bring in dirt, dust, and other contaminants from the outside, which may end up inside your home. Leave your shoes at the door after outdoor activities like camping or walking on dusty pathways, and consider stocking up on slippers for indoor use. This will help to keep your living environment clean and reduce levels of pollutants in the air.
13. Kill Germs and Bacteria With UV Light
Viruses, mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms are a major source of indoor air pollution during summer. The heat makes them grow and multiply quickly, making it even harder to maintain good IAQ. Additionally, health problems can occur due to the inhalation of these particles.
Installing UV light air purifiers in your home can help reduce germs and bacteria levels by killing them on contact. These air purifiers are not only effective, but they also require less maintenance compared to other filters.
14. Schedule Professional Services
A comfortable and healthy home is essential for a good quality of life. Even though you can do a lot to improve IAQ, contacting an HVAC specialist for professional services is advisable. The professionals can help install, maintain, and repair all your home’s indoor air quality systems.
At Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating, we offer reliable and quality services ranging from humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers to heating and cooling solutions to ensure that you get a healthy home. If you reside in Flower Mound, TX or in the surrounding area, contact Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating today and experience top-notch indoor air quality services.