Fall Indoor Air Quality
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With fall now upon us in Cedar Park, TX, cooler temperatures are here at last. This transition from one season to another most definitely affects your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). In cooler weather, people tend to spend more time indoors at home, and it is the start of the cold and flu season, so it’s important to be sure your IAQ is keeping both you and your home protected.
How is IAQ Affected in the Fall?
Your home’s indoor air is comprised of two sources: outdoor air pulled in through any openings or cracks and the existing air in your home which is recirculated continuously through your furnace – summer and winter. It can contain mold spores, pollen, dander from your pets, harsh chemicals you may use in your cleaning products, and chemicals off gassed from carpets, paint, or furnishings just to name a few.
In the warmer months, your air conditioner is keeping your home’s humidity in check. With no air conditioning running humidity can increase in the home during rainy, cool days. This can lead to increase in mold spores and other organic material. When the heat runs humidity decreases, causing your body’s membranes and nasal passages to dry out, inviting harmful bacteria and viruses in. Drier air also wreaks havoc on allergy and asthma sufferers. All seasons in Cedar Park seem to present their challenges, hence being known as the ‘Allergy Capital’.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Home’s IAQ
In the cooler months with the windows continually closed and furnaces switched on, you need to take additional steps 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:
- Change your HVAC filters regularly. Depending on your circumstances, such as if you have pets and a return air grills low on the wall, you may need to change your filters monthly. Or you might be able to go as long as six months in a pet-less house with return air grills on the ceiling. A good, pleated filter will catch allergens and airborne particles before they reach your lungs. Choose a good filter with a MERV rating of at least 8. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and vary from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter will be in trapping airborne particles. Regularly changing your filters also helps to increase your HVAC system’s lifespan by preventing those particles from dirtying the system.
- Clean regularly. Many health challenges are caused by dust, dirt, pests, bacteria, viruses, and mold. Regular house cleaning, especially vacuuming and dusting, helps to prevent these from building up and getting into the air. Also, when cleaning, switching to more natural cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals can make a substantial difference in your home’s IAQ.
- Have your furnace cleaned and checked each season. Stagnant water and slime my need to be cleaned from your evaporator coil and drain pan after the cooling season. A proper cleaning and tune-up allows your system to run properly, helping to improve the IAQ and increase your system’s lifespan.
- Install a Total Home Air Purifier. These air purifiers are installed in your air conditioning system so that ALL the air in your home must pass through it. On average 63.2% of the air in your home moves through the heating and air conditioning system in 1 hour. Due to that fact and air purifier installed in you’re a/c will give you greater benefits than a purifier that stands alone in a room. Air purifiers remove pollutants and indoor contaminants, removes odors, and eliminate bacteria, mold, viruses and mildew.
There are so many things to enjoy about fall. Be sure your home’s IAQ is protected to keep you healthy and comfortable, so you’re able to enjoy the fall season. Call BlueAir at 512-257-8423 to discuss how we can help you improve your home’s indoor air quality.
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