So far in this series, we analyzed data about the value of Indoor Air Quality, outlining a host of sources of indoor air pollution and demonstrating how dangerous some of these airborne toxins can be if left unabated. Moreover, we delineated the common health effects of air pollution in our homes or workplaces before presenting a list of some of the services and products we at Newark-Heath Heating & Cooling provide as part of our mission to help homeowners breathe cleaner, safer and healthier indoor air.
To conclude our four part series, we put together a short list of D-I-Y tips for homeowners to enhance the air quality in their home.
Ventilation is Your Friend
Every time you go to cook in your kitchen, and whenever you take a shower, always remember that ventilation is your friend; you want to use as much of it as possible. Ultimately, any time you spray something or do something that creates even a little bit of smoke or steam or kicks up any dirt or dust of any sort, you should be utilizing as much ventilation as possible..
Why do you need to use ventilation?
As we mentioned earlier in this series, our homes are air tight and this stuff gets trapped inside. It turns out that our bathrooms release more moisture into our homes than anywhere else.
Perhaps equally as bad as the bathroom, we must be mindful of our kitchen, which is another prevalent producer of air pollution in homes; kitchens are the source of a slew of fumes emanating from our cooking and cleaning and dishwashing. They are the source of grease, smoke, carcinogens, and other airborne vapors.
Whether you see aerosol spray, smoke or any other type of fumes or particles floating around, anytime you notice the slightest sign of something going airborne in your home, it would benefit your Indoor Air Quality (and health) greatly if you remembered: Ventilation is Your Friend. If you can’t find anything and all else has failed, you can simply crack open a window to let the stuff out. If you do use your window, a household fan would work nicely to blow that pollution out.
The bottom line is that ventilation is vital.
Smart Dusting 101
When things like mold, dust, dirt, pollen, and other particles are in a home, it can make the quality of air in there quite hazardous. Every homeowner should do their best to eliminate as many of these sources as possible.
One strategy we suggest something known as “smart dusting.”
What exactly is “smart dusting?” You might be asking.
“Smart dusting” is a fairly simple, common sense approach to cleaning that you might already know about. When it’s time to dust your home, remember the objective is to try to trap and remove all of the dust rather than pushing it around, as some do, and having it end up on another source or on the ground. “Smart dust” begins in the highest parts of your home
By dusting these higher areas off first, it puts you in a position to remove all the dust because as you complete each area, you will move downward to the lower items in need of dusting. As you are doing this, you will see how the dust falls downward naturally. So, since you’re working your way downward, the dust that’s falling doesn’t end up on a surface you’ve already dusted.This way you won’t have to back-track. In this way, our “smart dusting” method equips you to clean out the dust more efficiently.
However, it doesn’t stop there… There’s more:
We suggest making your “smart dusting” even “smarter,” by doing it using a dampened cloth rather than that dirty old feather duster that barely worked or a dry rag merely pushes the dust around from one surface to another. Using a dampened cloth will do a much better job of collecting all the dust. Just remember to rinse out the cloth intermittently and give it a good wringing out before using it again..
Also be advised, before you start dusting, don’t forget those ceiling fans, blinds and curtains should come first.
Protect Pillows From Dust Mites
There’s nothing better than getting home after a long day at work and at the end of your evening you get into bed to snuggle up to your favorite pillow.
Strangely enough, scientists say, you aren’t the only one that loves that comfy fluffy pillow. Tiny dust mites love our pillows and love to call them home. This unsettling revelation became better understood with recent studies revealing how mattresses and pillows put on a small amount of weight over time because these tiny critters leave their droppings and other forms of waste behind. Once you completely grasp this, you probably won’t look at pillows the same again.
The best solution for keeping these at bay is getting washable pillowcase covers, which we suggest for the betterment of your indoor air quality. Protecting your pillows with pillowcases enables you to enjoy your favorite pillow without these tiny bugs. Furthermore, you can keep your pillowcase clean by washing it once every month. And, depending on the type of pillow you have, you can usually wash it every season when the weather changes.
Protect Your Mattresses and Beds
If you liked the last concept from above, we recommend taking it one step further by using covers on your mattress as well. This is especially helpful if you suffer from allergies. Like pillows, mattresses also can become a paradise for these tiny dust mites. Finally, we suggest frequently cleaning your headboards and bed frames, especially if they are encased with fabric.
Stop Outside Air Pollution From Coming Inside
If you are suffering from air pollution in your home with things like allergens, remember to keep your windows closed at all times to keep pollen and other particles at bay. More important than that, we suggest enforcing a policy of “no shoes in the house” to make sure everyone removes their shoes before entering your home. To foster this idea, you might establish an area at the entryway designated for shoes. You might also place a mat there for visitors to clean off their feet. Unless you are vigilant people and pets shuffling in and out day after day will continue to drag pollutants inside with them.
Cool Your Home, Curb Humidity
If you’ve ever talked with someone who’s had to have their home treated for mold, you might realize how risky mold can be in a dwelling, and how expensive mold treatment can cost. Mold is an expensive and dangerous indoor health concern that often becomes a problem before a homeowner realizes it’s there.
If left unchecked, mold and mildew can devastate a person’s respiratory system; the health consequences can go above and beyond the minor symptoms of allergies. Earlier, we discussed how helpful dehumidifiers can be. That’s one solution. However, a cheaper strategy for keeping mold at bay is to sustain cool temperatures in your home. This will help curb humidity levels because mold and dust mites need humid and damp conditions to thrive. In any case, when it comes to mold, it’s definitely not worth risking your health.
Always Use a HEPA Filter on Vacuum
In the fight against indoor air pollution, research reveals that not all vacuum cleaners were created equal: Certain types of vacuum cleaners do a better job at stopping the spread of indoor air pollution than others. This is why we recommend getting a bagless vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. This will go a long way.
On a side note, if you ever decide to replace any of your flooring, consider using wood flooring. Wood flooring and other hard flooring can be dusted and mopped so they are much better options than carpeting for anyone who is looking to improve air quality, or who suffers from any allergy problems.
Put Your Health and Safety First: Get a Professional Air Quality Test
Having a professional perform an Indoor Air Quality test is the best and most advisable option when it comes to ensuring your health and keeping your indoor air safe.
One of our certified technicians will perform the test and he will check for things like carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and formaldehyde. Although there are tests that look for allergens, mold, and other particles, it’s important to consider if you need to check for radon or other gases that may be silently poisoning the air in your home.
The most reliable tests are only available from professionals who are certified and qualified to perform them. If you are thinking about using a Do-It-Yourself test kit from a store, you should be warned that those tests tend to be very limited in scope and you always run the risk of it not being accurate. If you have your testing done by a professional as suggested and he or she discovers an indoor air quality problem, he or she can tell you how to resolve it the same day.
REMEMBER YOUR SEASONAL MAINTENANCE
Last but not least, if you are striving to get a handle on the air quality in your home, remember that standard seasonal maintenance will benefit you in a multitude of ways.
When we come out for a maintenance call, we will not only ensure your system’s continued optimal operation (which will improve the quality of the air in your home), but we will also identify any minor problems that might be quietly brewing. These little problems tend to escalate and show up as big problems in the future, often culminating in a full breakdown.
Our friendly technicians go through a long list of cleaning operations; they carefully fine-tune your HVAC system and conduct numerous checks and inspections; they analyze the condition of your air ducts and, of course, check your air filters and every other area that could possibly need attention.
When it comes to your home’s valuable HVAC system, we have a saying: It will always pays off, in the end, in dividends, if you are proactive with your home’s expensive system than to be reactive ‒ especially for those with health issues from air quality problems.
These machines are fine-tuned and valued at thousands of dollars. We understand that better than anyone. And we guarantee customer satisfaction every time.
WE CAN HELP IMPROVE YOUR INDOOR AIR QUALITY
We at Newark-Heath Heating & Cooling are committed to keeping your home comfort levels optimal. Heating and Cooling is our mission. However, we also strongly recommend you make your indoor air quality a priority to ensure the health of you and your loved ones. Because indoor air pollution has such a substantial impact on your health and well being, we believe you find this information helpful if applied. If you are considering any of the products and services we offer, or if you’d like to know more, give us a call 740-212-5849 or Click Here to schedule an appointment now.