With cooler temperatures comes the more frequent use of forced air heating and this can cause trouble for those with allergies or for anyone sensitive to changes in indoor air quality.
With windows and doors closed more often, indoor air can become stagnant and stale. Forced air heat can stir up a variety of allergens – from mold to pet dander. The home’s HVAC system circulates these allergens throughout the space and exacerbates issues caused by typical allergens.
What can homeowners do to improve air quality in the fall and winter months?
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
There are some measures you can take to improve indoor air quality. There is no way to reliably eliminate indoor allergens completely but these tips could provide much-needed improvement.
Regularly change air filters: In a home with a forced-air HVAC system, air filters are a critical part of keeping allergens to a minimum. Air filters serve to trap dust and allergens so it is important to change your filters often to avoid these irritants being re-circulated into your home.
Purchase an air purifier: Portable air purifiers can be useful in specific areas of a house but a whole-home air purifier is a good way to control the allergens circulating throughout the house.
Sealing/isolation: in some homes, particularly those over 100 years old, there may be contaminants like lead or asbestos that are contributing to poor air quality. Disturbing these contaminants could spell disaster so it is recommended to isolate and seal off any areas containing dangerous substances. A qualified contractor can assist in sealing off any such areas.
Clean on a schedule: regularly dusting (both dry and wet) can help keep dust and pet dander to a minimum. The less settled dust you have in your home, the less will be circulated through your HVAC system. When cleaning, focus on vacuuming at least once weekly, preferably with a HEPA filter equipped vacuum cleaner. If possible, eliminate carpet and large rugs and opt for hardwood or laminate flooring to minimize dust accumulation. Regularly launder linens and drapes in hot water to kill dust mites and other allergens.
Be strategic with live plants: While plants can contribute to improved air quality, some are more prone to mold growth. Do some research on the best plants for improving air quality. Be sure not to overwater houseplants to avoid mold growth.
Periodically open windows and doors: In cooler months, it may seem counterintuitive to open windows and doors, but this is a good way to let fresh air in and let allergens and fumes escape.
Get help from the HVAC Professionals
For homeowners who want to dramatically improve their indoor air quality, the pros at Forney Air have been trusted for over 30 years. With a reputation for providing outstanding customer service and on-call emergency repairs, Forney Air is there for all of your HVAC needs. To schedule a visit, call us at (214) 924-9745 or contact us online.