5 Ways To Improve Your Home’s Air Quality
According to the EPA, indoor air pollution can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue in the short term, as well as respiratory diseases, heart disease, or even cancer in the long term. There’s a variety of ways these pollutants find their way into our homes, but many of them can be traced back to the ducts that deliver heating and cooling.
Fortunately homeowners with forced hot air or central air conditioning systems have lots of options, both big and small, to help get their air fresher, cleaner and healthier.
Change your air filters frequently
One of the easiest, most cost effective ways to improve the air quality in your home is to frequently change your forced air filter. A clean filter not only removes dust, pet dander and other allergens from the air, it’s also a good way to improve the performance of your furnace.
Check with the manufacturer of your furnace or air conditioner to see when you should check and replace your filters. Dandelion generally recommends changing them out every three to six months, though if you have pets or live in a dust prone environment, you should plan on replacing them even more frequently,
Improve your ventilation
Without proper ventilation, the air in your home becomes stale and uncomfortable at best, and at worst you can be trapping in allergens and toxins that can make people sick.
In older homes, fresh air tends to get introduced through poor insulation, leaky ducts and unsealed windows and doors. While the fresh air is welcome, that also means much higher energy bills. That’s why newer homes feature mechanical ventilation as part of their HVAC system.
Whether your home is new or old, you should always ask about ventilation when making any upgrades to your insulation or HVAC systems.
Buy an air purifier
Air purifiers are small appliances that remove dust, pollen, pet dander and other particulates from the air in your home. They often use HEPA, or High Efficiency Particulate Air filters to do the job.
While air purifiers are increasingly popular, their performance varies greatly from brand to brand and they can’t alleviate radon, harmful VOCs (or Volatile Organic Compounds) from paint and household cleaners, or carbon monoxide. Our suggestion is to do your research before buying and understand the limitations of the technology.
Keep your air from getting too dry
While burning oil, propane or gas will get your home warm quickly, the high temperature from that combustion will sap the moisture from the air in your home. That super low humidity can result in dry skin, eyes, nose and throat, and can even damage your wood furniture and wall paint.
Some HVAC contractors will recommend a whole house humidifier to alleviate the issue. But that can cost upwards of $1,000 and can result in mold problems if it’s not used and maintained properly.
That’s not an issue with a Dandelion geothermal heating and cooling system because there’s no combustion to dry the air out. Instead you get a smooth, even heat from your HVAC system and a natural cool feeling that won’t sap moisture from the air in your home.
Switch your heating from fossil fuels to renewable energy
Not only will oil, gas and propane produce dry, often uncomfortable, heat, they also emit dangerous carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly if not detected. Even small amounts can result in fatigue, chest pain, impared vision or worse.
The easiest way to mitigate your risk for exposure to carbon monoxide is to have your furnace or boiler serviced regularly by a professional and to make sure your exhaust and HVAC systems are sealed properly. That said, the only way to completely eliminate carbon monoxide is by switching from fossil fuels to a renewable source.
A Dandelion geothermal system uses the ambient temperature of the earth in your yard to provide super efficient heating and cooling. Because it’s so efficient, geothermal can accommodate all of your home’s heating needs and because it doesn’t burn anything to generate that heat it doesn’t produce any carbon monoxide.