We’re building houses differently than the drafty log cabin construction from hundreds of years ago. Homes are often so well insulated and air-tight now that complete fresh air exchange is minimal.
That may be one reason why indoor air pollution is so common. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the best way to avoid health problems caused by indoor air pollution is to control or eliminate the sources of pollutants.
Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Being stuck indoors for extended periods during chilly winter weather often leads to air quality problems. Germs can travel as far as 200 feet in a sneeze or cough. Regular movement through a room can stir up dust, dander, and other particles that settle in new locations.
There are some things that will make breathing easier for everyone at home.
Clean thoroughly and frequently.
Follow some basic steps to eliminate the sources of pollutants at home.
Vacuum at least once a week using a HEPA filter to trap minute dust and dirt. Mop and dust regularly with microfiber to remove dust that vacuums leave behind. Use floor mats at outside entrances to help trap dirt that might walk in the door.
Ventilate your home.
Indoor air can be five times dirtier than what we breathe outside. Growing house plants may help remove toxins in the air while helping provide additional oxygen.
Open windows for short periods of time, even during the winter. This will allow airflow throughout the house to remove stagnant indoor air. Frequent airing is especially helpful when aerosol sprays and cleaners are used regularly.
Maintain the right humidity levels.
Too much humidity can cause hidden mildew problems and buildup of mold spores. Both can become toxic if ignored too long.
But, low humidity in the air causes your mucous membranes to dry out. A dry nose can lead to colds and other respiratory illnesses.
The ideal humidity levels recommended are between 30 to 50 percent. Many portable indoor thermometers also include humidity readings alongside the temperature so you can monitor this.
Install air purification within a complete HVAC system.
Normally, a regular filter on a forced air furnace does little to purify the air. These filters are designed to keep dust and dirt out of the furnace. Whole-house air purification systems that work inside the central heating and cooling system improve the indoor air quality throughout the entire home.
A complete HVAC system provides indoor comfort everywhere. It often includes heat zones, temperature and humidity adjustments, and air purification.
The Environmental Protection Agency published a pdf that you can download here, affirming the benefits of air filtration systems in conjunction with furnace/HVAC filters.
What is the Best HVAC Air Filtration System?
The Lennox Ultimate Comfort System™ brings state-of-the-art systems together for high efficiency, optimal comfort year-round.
Start with a gas furnace sized appropriately for the home, paired with a heat pump. Variable speed airflow, combined with variable capacity heating and cooling, keeps the heat exactly where you want it.
Add a whole-house humidifier to put moisture into the air, making harsh, dry air easier to breathe. Improve the humidity levels in every room of your home – instead of one single room using a stand-alone humidifier.
A Lennox PureAir™ Air Purification System can reduce all three classes of indoor air problems. These include airborne particles; germs and bacteria; plus, chemical odors and vapors.
Next, a smart thermostat can be programmed for perfect comfort levels. The Lennox iComfort® S30 thermostat balances outdoor temperature with indoor temperature and humidity to hold at the setting you desire. It also monitors air quality and pollen levels, adjusting the fan as needed.
Pair this with the app for your phone, and you can make comfort adjustments from a distance, without being at home yourself.
If you’re tired of uneven heating, dry air filled with pollutants inside your home, contact Naugle Plumbing and Heating for an estimate for a new HVAC system that helps improve indoor air quality.