We seal our homes tight to save energy and money on heating and air conditioning cost, but what cost do we pay in indoor air quality?
By understanding some basic sources of poor indoor air quality, you can improve the air you breathe in your home. Below are some tips to improve your home’s indoor air quality. These tips may also save you money on house cleaning, improving your appliances’ longevity and best of all, help reduce doctor bills.
Install, maintain and use exhaust fans in the kitchen and with the dryer
Gas appliances in particular emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde. Exhaust fans help move these gases out of your home.
Use exhaust fans in the bathroom
It helps prevent mold and mildew from growing.
Test for radon
This naturally occurring gas can cause lung cancer, but it’s relatively easy to vent and prevent. The Minnesota department of health suggests that all home’s be tested. It’s affordable and easy to do.
Have air ducts inspected and cleaned
Your home’s air ducts move air from your furnace / AC into living areas and then return that air to the furnace for heating / cooling and redistribution to living areas. Your air ducts are hidden in the walls and ceilings of your home. Mold, dust and other biological contaminants collect in your air ducts and get redistributed inside your home causing unhealthy air. Duct cleaning inspection uses a camera to see inside your ducts and determine the amount of contaminants present.
Change air filters according to manufacturer specification
The air filters on your furnace and AC system remove dirt, dust and contaminates from the inside your house. Clogged filters are in-efficient and cause your heating and air system to work harder. Clogged filters don’t remove contaminants from indoor air, this reduces air quality and can trigger allergic reactions.
Have plumbing inspected to prevent small leaks from becoming a big problem
Water and drain pipes are hidden in the walls and ceilings of your home. Your plumbing system is a network of joints and connections of pipes. These connections can fail and develop small leaks. These leaks can promote mold growth in hidden areas. Even worse, these small leaks can fail completely causing serious flood damage to the interior of your home.
Regularly clean the humidifier
Don’t let bacteria start growing. Use a dehumidifier in your basement and be sure to clean and disinfect your basement floor drain regularly.
Immediately clean or dispose of water damaged materials
Scrub any mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, then dry it completely.
Ventilate the attic and crawl spaces
You’ll help prevent moisture buildup and mold.
Don’t idle the car in the garage
Idling your car in your garage is a major carbon monoxide producer.