When you walk into your home, does the air smell clean and fresh or musty and polluted? Although many people assume indoor air is cleaner than the dirty wind outside, the fact of the matter is that the air inside of your home can become up to five times as polluted as outdoor air because of things like cooking fumes, pet dander, and cleaning chemicals.
Here are three easy ways to improve your indoor air quality and why you won't regret your efforts.
1. Have Your Ducts Professionally Cleaned
People like to imagine that the air blowing out of their air conditioning vents is clean and crisp, but it doesn’t always smell that way in the early summer. Over the years, fine particulates like dust, human hair, and even small dead bugs can build up in your ductwork, constricting airflow and recirculating airborne grime.
In addition to making your home smell musty, this buildup can also weigh down your system and affect the efficiency of your air conditioner and furnace. In fact, researchers suspect that the average six-room home can accumulate as much as 40 pounds of dust and debris in the ductwork per year, creating a long list of issues.
Fortunately, professional HVAC specialists can whisk away this grime by cleaning your air ducts. After removing vent covers, they can use high-powered vacuums with sweeping tools to gently remove accumulations. Duct cleaning is fast, efficient, and incredibly beneficial to homeowners, especially if people in your home are suffering from allergies brought on by airborne particulates.
Air duct cleaning also helps to keep grime from sticking to the air handling systems in your home, making cooling more efficient during the summer. Since coolant coils covered in dust and dirt aren't capable of removing as much heat and moisture from the air, dirty systems can keep your home warm and humid.
On the other hand, duct cleaning keeps your air conditioner on point, so you are ready for summer weather.
2. Switch to High-Particulate Air Filters
The balance of air pressure is incredibly powerful in the functionality of your air conditioning and heating system, which is why professionals recommend replacing air filters whenever they become dirty. However, many homeowners are nervous about installing a wider, high-particulate air filter because they worry about how it will affect airflow and cooling.
However, high-particulate MERV filters are designed to trap particulates more effectively, which can actually improve airflow instead of hindering it. MERV filters today are effective enough to trap pollutants as small as airborne bacteria and viruses while containing pleats that increase airflow and prevent problems.
In addition to physically cleaning your air every time your air conditioner or furnace kicks on, thicker MERV air filters can help you to protect your systems while reducing things like odors, mold, and mildew.
3. Use a Humidifier
If having your ducts cleaned and switching out your air filter isn't enough to clean up your indoor air, consider using a humidifier. While you can invest in professional-grade humidifiers that work in tandem with your home's heating and cooling system, portable units give you the flexibility to move units from room to room, while weighing down particulates and pulling them out of the air.
While it is true that high humidity levels can affect the heat index of a space, keeping the air humidity in your home between 40% and 60% can help with everything from keeping your hair and skin moisturized to warding off contagious illnesses like the flu. In fact, studies have shown that humidity may even prevent flu transmission since the virus survives better in dry places.
If it seems like your indoor air is stuffy or polluted, let our experienced team of professionals help. Here at Steam Local Carpet & Air Duct Cleaning, we can take care of everything from in-depth carpet and upholstery cleaning to air duct cleaning, making your sparkling clean from the inside out. Give us a call today for a complimentary quote.