Could the air in your home be making you sick? Studies show headaches, breathing problems and even frequent sneezing could be due to the air in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality can be two to five times worse than outdoor air. Air pollutants such as dust particles, microbes and toxic chemicals can cause flue-like symptoms such as headaches and respiratory irritation, as well as aggravate asthma and allergy conditions.
As a life-long allergy and asthma sufferer, I’ve always extra air purifying systems in my apartments (and now my house) to help keep the air cleaner. While many people may not be bothered by their home, I can personally attest that people with more sensitive systems can really tell the difference.
Luckily, you can perform a few simple tasks to help reduce or eliminate these indoor air pollutants.
1. Call an HVAC professional. Have them inspect, clean and tune-up the home’s heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system annually. This will ensure the unit is operating at optimum efficiency and will prevent future issues.
2. Clean duct-work on a regular basis. Circulating built-up dust and dirt will only make a home’s air quality worse. It is recommended to inspect and clean a home’s air ducts every two years. You can periodically do this yourselves with rags and a vacuum hose, but a professional cleaning every five to seven years can eliminate mold or bacteria that have accumulated.
3. Change air filters. This may seem pretty obvious, but dirty air filters are the number one cause for poor home air quality. They’re just to easy to forget, right? Filters should be changed at the least every three months, but it is recommended they be changed every month – especially during peak heating and cooling seasons.
4. Install an air purification system. Your professional HVAC dealer can identify potential air quality issues and recommend the best air purifier for your home based on your specific needs and budget. We installed a full-on new system when we discovered both of our kids suffered from environmental allergies. We also made sure we put on ultraviolet lights to help kill any bacteria floating around the house to give the kiddos a better chance of staying healthy.
5. Use an individual air purifier in bedrooms. This will provide top air quality which will more than likely allow you to sleep and breathe better. The better ones have a HEPA quality filter. I’ve had an individual air purifier in my bedroom as a adult and I can tell you it does make a difference.
These simple tasks can dramatically improve your home’s air quality, save you money and bring you and your family much needed relief.
Personally, I have used Honeywell Filters as individual filters in the bedroom, and have had great success with them. They’ve lasted a long time for me (years!) and have made a marked improvement in air quality in the room I’ve placed them in.