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6 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality in Late Summer

October 14, 2015

At the end of a hot Georgia summer, it’s not uncommon for your home to feel stale or stuffy. Improve the indoor air quality in your Columbus home with these six tips.

1. Replace the Air Filter

Most air conditioners require a new air filter approximately every 90 days, but heavy use or especially polluted air demands more frequent air filter changes. Throughout a steamy Georgia summer, be sure to replace your system’s air filter about once every four weeks. Once fall temperatures settle in and you don’t run the air conditioner as often, plan to change the filter every two to three months.

For best results, be sure to choose the right air filter for your system. Many pleated filters reduce indoor air pollution by as much as 45 percent, which can make a significant difference in your home’s air quality.

2. Control Humidity

Summer and fall tend to be hot and humid seasons in Georgia, but there’s no need to welcome the humidity indoors. Excessive humidity leads to more than just discomfort. It can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and respiratory problems.

Long showers, extensive cooking sessions, and constant clothes drying can all contribute to unhealthy humidity. Take cool showers, limit time spent cooking when possible, and line-dry clothes outdoors as often as you can to keep indoor moisture to a minimum.

If you’re still running into humidity problems, consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier. These devices are workhorses when it comes to pulling moisture out of the air, and as an added bonus, they make sure your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable.

3. Test for Airborne Pollutants

Some of the most dangerous airborne pollutants are the ones you can’t see with the naked eye. Radon, a colorless gas that has no taste or smell, is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. Since it seeps up from the soil underneath your home, there’s no way to know whether your indoor air is affected without a radon test.

Similarly, carbon monoxide can build up in your home without your knowledge. This colorless and odorless gas causes dizziness and nausea and can eventually lead to death. Like radon, it’s incredibly important to test for carbon monoxide continuously in order to maintain healthy indoor air.

4. Improve Ventilation

Homes with tight building envelopes typically have well-developed systems for pushing stale air out while drawing fresh air in. If your home’s air always seems more stale than it should, a new ventilation system may be in order.

Whole-home ventilators come in many shapes and sizes, but an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) tends to be a great choice in hot, humid climates like Georgia. ERV systems from Indoor Solutions help lower humidity, expel unhealthy air, and continually bring in clean air. These systems also pre-condition fresh air so the HVAC system doesn’t use as much energy to cool or heat.

5. Decrease Indoor Chemical Use

Whether you realize it or not, many everyday items and activities can increase the air pollution in your home. Home decor items like carpet and paint, for instance, are often made with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which release chemicals that become airborne over time. Many cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can lead to irritation and respiratory problems. Cigarette smoke also contains thousands of airborne chemicals, nearly all of which are airborne pollutants.

To greatly decrease your indoor chemical use, ban smoking to the outdoors. When purchasing new furniture, paint, or carpet for your home, be mindful of the components and opt for the most natural product possible. Consider making your own cleaning supplies at home using natural, non-chemical ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.

6. Keep Air Clean as Temperatures Cool

After a long summer of keeping the windows shut and the air conditioner running at full speed, you might be tempted to open your windows to let in the fresh air. Unfortunately, opening the windows and doors can push polluted outdoor air directly into your home, which is the last place you want it to be.

Instead of letting polluted air inside, give your HVAC system a tune-up by scheduling preventative maintenance. This will ensure that all of the system’s components are running smoothly and ready to keep your home’s air clean during the temperature changes ahead.

Could your home’s air use a refresh? Call the indoor air quality experts at Indoor Solutions to find a workable solution today: 706-225-8241.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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