Washington provides residents with cool temperatures all year-round. However, weather conditions can do better than Washington’s shifty temperatures and humidity combo.
Contrary to popular belief, Washington’s colder climate doesn’t save you from pollution.
Your indoor air quality may still teeter due to various pollutants. It’s important to maintain air handlers and utilize ventilation systems properly to avoid hazardous exposure to various risks.
You may have mechanical systems facilitating indoor air, significantly impacting its quality. Pay attention to your home heating and cooling systems to protect your family from health risks and other hazards.
Read on to learn more about your home’s Indoor Air Quality.
Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?
Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, helps determine our health and safety. Your home’s IAQ also impacts comfort levels.
You must always know your home’s IAQ. Knowing the air quality you breathe may save you from staying up at night wondering why you have inexplicable symptoms.
If you can’t stop sneezing, don’t just blame the flowers out there. It isn’t typical for your allergic reactions to follow you into the confines of your home.
Spring may be allergy season, but your reactions to this season’s pollutants should remain outdoors. Low indoor air quality may explain your inability to stop sneezing, coughing, or itching.
Don’t worry! All is not lost, and you don’t have to sneeze forever. You can do more to remedy IAQ issues if you know your home’s levels.
There aren’t enough resources to go on in first-world countries. Most research tools regarding indoor air quality use third-world countries as a common setting, presenting indigenous risks and side effects.
It may explain our collective lack of awareness. However, Americans face just as many risks against airborne pollutants, especially in spring.
We can all do something about our home’s poor IAQ. It all begins with raising our awareness.
What Is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor Air Quality: the quality of air inside enclosed spaces and surrounding structures.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),indoor air quality is critical to our health. The quality of the air we breathe can negatively or positively impact our immune system.
Inferior air quality leads to various illnesses. Good indoor air quality helps protect us from airborne hazards, promoting mental and physical wellness.
Your home might be harboring old and stagnant air indoors without knowing it. Indoor and outdoor pollutants may already saturate your home, which only fresh air can remedy.
Indoor Versus Outdoor Pollution
Outdoor air is saturated with foreign pollutants, both artificial and natural. Outside, we are exposed to everything from smoke-belching to flower pollen and animal dander.
We are exposed to more elements out there than we are within our homes. At least, that’s what we think.
However, our homes don’t always provide sanctuary from outdoor pollution or allergens.
While we may also be exposed to the same risks, our everyday habits can compound to our indoor pollution. Whether we cook, light candles, or use perfume on a daily basis or not affects the quality of our indoor air.
Sometimes, it isn’t even what we do but what we don’t. How often we let fresh air into our homes also affects our IAQ.
EPA recommends regular evaluation to ensure public health and safety. Measuring your home’s IAQ levels tells you how “polluted” your indoor air is.
How Is IAQ Measured?
Homeowners can measure their indoor air quality using a VOC sensor. The sensor can be purchased in hardware stores, but it isn’t the most accurate way to measure your indoor air quality.
VOC sensors only measure the volume of Volatile Organic Compounds, which are mostly Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. It does not detect the presence of other pollutants.
The best way to evaluate your home’s indoor air quality is to hire professional inspectors. HVAC contractors have multi-faceted tools that detect more than carbon emissions.
You may also gauge the quality of your breathing air by inspecting your air filters. Yes, air filters.
If you have a sophisticated ionizer, dehumidifier, or electronic air filter, you might see percentages and colors that determine surrounding air quality.
How Does Spring Affect My Indoor Air Quality?
Spring is popular for bringing allergens along with the season’s windier and sunnier weather. While some homeowners can’t wait to go outside, some of us with more sensitive allergies prefer staying indoors.
Allergens pose significant threats to those with more delicate immune systems. Various airborne particles can irritate our skin, sinuses, throat, and eyes.
Unfortunately, you aren’t always safer indoors. Allergens don’t only warrant immediate reactions by entering our body’s airways.
Pollutants can latch onto our clothes, hats, bags, shoes, and everything we carry outdoors. We may take them home, exposing them to our family, furniture, and various other fixtures.
They may infiltrate our home’s HVAC systems as soon as we take them home.
The Most Common Pollutants and Contaminants in Spring
Your home may not be the sanctuary from the outdoor pollution you think it is. Dirty filters and contaminated HVAC systems can expose you to just as much pollution indoors as you face outdoors.
Below are some of the most common airborne pollutants we face during spring.
Most of us know the “dangers” of pollen. While they are naturally occurring elements, they aren’t any less hazardous to some of us.
Pollen is dusty microparticles from flowers and seedlings. They are light enough to be blown by the wind or for bees to carry around different plants.
Dander is a common airborne pollutant and poses the same risks as pollen. While dander isn’t exclusive to spring, the weather conditions can influence its presence in the air.
Humid, sunny, and breezy conditions promote animal shedding. It can amplify dander spreading indoors and outdoors, especially with furry friends in our home.
You might inhale harmful mold spores if you aren’t just sneezing from pollen or dander. Mold growth in air conditioners and furnace systems promotes infestation around your home.
Mold colonies cause denser buildup, leading to mechanical failure much faster. Whether within HVAC systems or spreading around our home, it’s best to report mold at first sight.
How Do I Protect My Home From Indoor Pollution or Contamination?
Some standalone air filters are sophisticated enough to block large and microparticles. They can even indicate IAQ ratings based on composite readings.
Sophisticated filters are configured with multi-faceted filtration systems. They work against pollutants and unseen contaminants, such as pathogens.
Use air filtration systems throughout your home to contain pollution and promote healthier airflow. Remember to clean them regularly to avoid contamination and hazardous congestion.
It’s best to enlist the help of professionals to maintain your natural and mechanical ventilation systems as well as clean or replace air filters. Cleaner air handlers and filtration systems promote healthier airflow, eliminating stuffy old air and replacing them with fresher, cleaner air.
Here are some ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality independently:
- Use independent air filtration systems.
- Inspect all of your home’s air handlers, vents, filters, and ductwork for contamination.
- Clean your air filters and outdoor HVAC units.
- Open natural and mechanical air ventilation systems frequently.
- Avoid smoking indoors, lighting candles, and using air fresheners.
- Call for professional consultation and maintenance services.
The Benefits of Well-Maintained Air Filtration and HVAC Systems
Giving our air handlers a good cleaning and tune-up in spring is a helpful tool to improve indoor air quality, especially our filtration systems. It also helps us promote efficient heating and air conditioning.
You won’t only feel the benefits from breathing in high-quality air. You can also see its benefits reflected in your utility bills and energy costs.
Your HVAC systems work more efficiently without struggling against clogs and blockages disrupting air distribution.
How HVAC Maintenance Helps Your Preserve Your Indoor Air Quality
Conduct the necessary steps in holistic spring maintenance to improve your home’s indoor air quality. Sweep up hidden dust bunnies, let fresh air into your home, and always clean everything that facilitates air circulation.
You might think your top-of-the-line HVAC units can care for themselves; think again. Even the most innovative machinery requires attention.
Home heating and AC systems handle our breathing air and can greatly impact our home and everyone living there. Always pay attention to the systems that facilitate your home’s air circulation.
The smallest malfunction can have detrimental influences on our comfort, health, and safety.
Need Help With Your HVAC Systems and Air Filters in Puyallup?
Professional mold remediation and numerous visits to the doctor’s office can cost thousands of dollars. A thorough spring cleaning can save you from those issues and other stressors.
If you don’t know where to start, you can kick off spring cleaning with Taylor Heating & Air Conditioner’s AC & Heat Pump Diagnostic & Repair. Remember, it is easier to look into your HVAC systems now to avoid significant issues later, which may warrant costly remedies.
Our specialists are well-versed and expertly trained in all things related to HVAC systems and indoor air quality. We can help you maintain and repair your air handlers, which may vastly improve your indoor air quality in no time.