It’s that time of year again where many of us (especially Arizonans) are spending an increasing amount of time indoors. With this additional time spent inside your home, you may be wondering if the air you’re breathing is actually good for you.
Surprisingly, the answer could be no.
When you walk into your house, do you notice a difference in your breathing? Are you suddenly more aware of the air around you? Most of the time, if your home’s air quality is poor, you will feel it. Side effects of poor indoor air can include headaches, dizziness, sneezing, and more.
With warmer outdoor temperatures, dust storms, and people staying home now more than ever, the topic of indoor air quality has been one of our main focuses.
The good news is that your indoor air quality can be improved within minutes when you take action. At Precision Air and Plumbing, we’ve made a list of the best ways to keep the air in your home clean.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to improve the air quality in your home is to open your windows. This allows the poor air in your home to escape and the fresh air to flow in. Open a few windows in various rooms for ten minutes a day to start breathing easier and get rid of the air pollutants that get trapped inside.
Turn on your central air conditioning unit and let it do its job by filtering the air in your whole house. Air conditioners work by pulling the air out of your home through a filter, running it through cold coils, and then pushing it back out through multiple vents. During this process, large particles and pollutants are caught in the filter before it even gets to the air handler. The air handler then pulls the water-soluble particles out of the air along with excess moisture.
Each time you run your central air unit, dust, dirt, and pollutants are pulled in by the return air duct where it is cleaned and released back into the room. If you’re noticing that your air feels stuffy, or you’re having a hard time breathing, it might be time to change your air filter or call for AC maintenance.
Air filters can become ineffective fairly quickly, especially if you have pets or live in a region that accumulates a lot of dust. It’s recommended to change your filters every 3 months to keep the air in your home as fresh as it can be. When choosing an HVAC air filter replacement, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. First, you’ll want to inspect your current air filter and note the dimensions, as air filters are not one size fits all. Once you’ve determined the size, we recommend choosing a filter with a MERV rating of 6 or more for standard homes.
If the air in your home still feels a bit stale after replacing your air filter, there are a few other things you can try to alleviate the problem on your own. This includes cleaning the evaporator coil and air ducts. Some HVAC units allow easy access to the evaporator coils, whereas others require a visit from a technician. Either way, you’ll want to have them cleaned at least once a year.
We also recommend getting your air ducts professionally cleaned. Build-up inside your air ducts can make your air conditioning unit work harder than it should. Mold, bacteria, and fungus tend to grow deep within the ducts, making it a silent health threat to your family. Rest assured that when you schedule your air duct cleaning with Precision, your ducts will get the full treatment needed to protect your home for years to come.
Many Phoenix residents are also concerned about their AC units when a dust storm rolls through. We assure you that dust storms do not damage your unit. Each air conditioning unit is sealed for protection against the elements. If you’re noticing more dust inside your home after a storm, check to make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed.
Humidity can cause a plethora of problems. It causes the air to feel heavier (making it harder to breathe) and can create a breeding ground for toxic mold. Some simple ways to reduce the humidity in your home include:
Some cleaning products, aerosols, paints, and furniture contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These products produce gases that can be harmful to your health, especially if you use them in a non-ventilated area. Make the switch to non-toxic cleaning products (like vinegar), swap your aerosols to gels or liquids, and use low VOC paints to keep your exposure to a minimum.
Notice a musty smell in your home? A leak may be the cause. As your home ages, leaks become more common. Take the time to thoroughly inspect your home from top to bottom once a year to spot any leaks that may be trapping moisture inside. You may find leaks on your roof or even close to the foundation. It’s important to catch these leaks soon so that you can eradicate any mold that may have started growing.
Every year, over 400 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Known as the “quiet killer,” carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless making it difficult for a person to know if they’re in danger. Homes with gas appliances, furnaces, and garages are more at risk for accidental exposure. Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home to alert you if levels in your home become dangerous.
To ensure your HVAC unit is performing at its peak, we recommend keeping it maintained yearly. When you sign up for Precision’s Maintenance Plan, you’ll receive an annual 35 point diagnostic evaluation of your AC and heating systems plus a 19 point evaluation of your home’s plumbing. Our qualified technicians will check your compressor, air filter, evaporator coil, and much more so you feel “too comfortable” in your own home.
To learn more about your HVAC unit and the services we provide, visit our website.
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