Tips to Improve Air Quality in Your Bay Area Home
With Fall upon us, you’re probably starting to feel the breeze getting cooler. If there’s a weird odor in the air, your neighbor’s DIY project is too noisy, or the breeze is too chilly, your natural instinct is to close the windows.
Who doesn’t want fresh, clean air inside the house, right?
But by keeping your windows closed, you also risk sealing potentially harmful elements inside. If you want to keep your home’s air quality as clean as possible, here are some tips to remember:
1. Keep A Clean House
A clean house always equates to a healthier house. Good, thorough housekeeping can significantly reduce pet dander, dust and dust mites, or even pollen tracked in or accumulated within your home. Vacuum your furniture, rugs, and carpets at least once a week to minimize allergens and contaminants inside your home.
2. Let the Fresh Air In
Open windows periodically, even during the cold months to air out your home’s interior. Use exhaust fans to pull cooking fumes from the kitchen, and moisture from bathrooms.
3. Change your furnace filter
Replace your furnace’s air filter at least twice per year.
4. Invest in a High-Efficiency Air Filter
Are you allergic to indoor allergens like dust, mold and pet dander? Consider investing in a multi-stage high-efficiency whole house filter to remove particulates as they circulate through your heating and air conditioning system. Set the thermostat to recirculate to make sure the filter is regularly cleaning the air throughout your home.
5. Plants to the Rescue
In 1989, NASA discovered that houseplants can absorb harmful toxins from the air, especially in enclosed spaces with little air flow. This study has been the basis for newer studies about indoor plants and their air cleaning abilities. While plants have less horsepower than air purifiers, they’re natural, cost-effective, and therapeutic. Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), dracaenas, golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum), and chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium) are a few easy-to-grow varieties to consider. Consult with your local florist or nursery for more options.
6. Redecorate Your Space
When the time comes to replace furniture, curtains, and carpets, consider less porous and hard surfaces like tile, hardwood or laminate, as they are easier to clean and harbor less dust and contaminants. Similarly, blinds are great replacements for curtains as they attract less dust.
7. Keep the Humidity Low
Dust mites and mold spores can quickly proliferate in hot, humid air, so be mindful of the humidity levels within your home. Opt for shorter warm showers instead of long, hot baths or showers. Hire a professional HVAC contractor to install humidity-controlled exhaust fans in bathrooms or areas of high humidity.
8. Maintain Your Appliances & HVAC
Hire an HVAC, appliance or plumbing professional to check your appliances and HVAC system to make sure they are functioning at peak efficiency. Gas appliances—like gas ovens, furnaces, and boilers—should be serviced twice yearly to address potential issues.