Indoor air pollution in Boise can be just as harmful, if not worse, than outdoor pollution. Given that the average American spends 87% of their time indoors, it is surprising that indoor air quality is rarely discussed. But there’s no need to worry. By taking some preventative measures and having basic knowledge, you can improve the air quality in your home right now.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants
You may encounter a variety of air pollutants, including contaminants that your pets bring in from outside and hazardous gas leaks. Carbon monoxide is a prevalent air pollutant from natural gas seeping into your home without being burned off. If you live in an older home, it may contain asbestos and lead particles that can be harmful to your lungs when released into the air. Mold and mildew can become problematic in areas like bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture levels tend to be higher than in the rest of your house.
Have Your Air Filters Changed
Your air conditioning system is always working to achieve the perfect temperature for your home, regardless of the time of year. As it circulates air, it also filters out common air pollutants. Over time, the air filters become clogged and become less efficient. This affects your indoor air quality and causes your AC system to wear out, leading to expensive repairs in the future. You can fix this by ensuring that your AC filters are changed regularly. Talk to the professionals at Express Plumbing Heating & Air about an air conditioning service plan that includes filter changes, particularly if you have allergies or are concerned with the rising pollution levels in Boise.
Check the Other Filters in Your House
In order to maintain a clean air environment in your home, your AC filter is not the only thing you should consider. If you want to enhance the air quality inside your house, it is crucial to check the filters in your other household appliances as well. Make sure to examine and maintain the filters in your vacuum cleaner, clothes dryer, and kitchen vents regularly. It is recommended to clean or replace these filters every few months to ensure they function correctly.
Have Your Air Ducts Checked
Air ducts distribute hot and cold air throughout your home, ensuring a comfortable temperature in each room. However, poorly installed or maintained ducts can spread contaminants from one room to another. Over time, dust, dander, and mold can accumulate in your ducts, resulting in a decline in air quality. Contact the professionals at Express Plumbing Heating & Air, and let us help you keep your air ducts circulating clean and fresh air year-round.
Open Your Kitchen Vents
Your kitchen can be a source of numerous indoor air pollutants. Gas stoves release hazardous pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Even electric burners emit these same pollutants in lower levels and other particles that can quickly enter your bloodstream. Therefore, when cooking, it is essential to turn on your kitchen vents or open a window to improve the air quality.
Keep Your Carpets Clean
Carpets have the potential to trap various pollutants and allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, cockroach allergens, particle pollution, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt, and dust. Toxic gases in the air can attach to tiny particles that settle into carpets. These pollutants can become airborne during renovations, vacuuming, or even walking on the carpet. Children are at higher risk of exposure to pollutants in carpets as they spend more time playing on the floor and putting their hands in their mouths. If a significant portion of your home is covered in carpet, it may be challenging to eliminate indoor air pollutants and allergens.
Moreover, chemicals used in some new carpets, carpet pads, and adhesives can pose a risk to your health. These products may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that emit chemicals and unpleasant odors. Rugs and carpets act as natural air filters, trapping dust and other particles in their fibers. By cleaning your carpets and rugs regularly, you can maintain the air quality in your home.
Keep the Humidity in Your Home Under Control
Living in a location with humid and moist conditions could trigger respiratory issues like allergies and asthma. The hot summer months can make it worse. In order to prevent the growth of irritating molds and reduce the amount of moisture in the air, you can use well-placed dehumidifiers. There are various options available that will help you maintain consistent humidity levels and make your home comfortable.
Your home’s humidity level can directly affect the concentration of indoor air pollutants. Pollutant concentrations increase or decrease depending on the water vapor in the air. Research has shown that higher relative humidity levels lead to increasingly irritating odors, particles, and vapors indoors, reducing the occupant’s comfort by worsening indoor air quality.
Excessive indoor dampness can also degrade materials over time and further worsen indoor air pollution. Although water is not a contaminant, the amount of water vapor present affects how contaminants function indoors. Therefore, it is critical to control humidity levels indoors as an influential parameter and less as a source.
Use Indoor Plants
If you are looking for a natural way to improve your home’s indoor air quality while adding some greenery to your décor, indoor plants are a great option. Plants act as natural air filters and can help remove contaminants from the air. Small plants such as ferns and lilies that bloom indoors and larger palm trees are particularly effective at purifying the air.
You may have heard of a 1989 NASA study that showed plants can clean the air in a closed environment or chamber. Other studies have also confirmed that plants can remove harmful gases like formaldehyde, which are called volatile organic compounds or VOCs and are known to have adverse health effects.
Test Your Air Quality
If you are concerned about your home’s air quality but are unsure which changes can have the most impact, a good place to start is to test your air quality. While there are do-it-yourself kits available, you want to have the work performed by a professional. Using the professionals at Express Plumbing Heating & Air to test your air quality means that you will work with someone who will provide extensive results, personalized information, and solutions to improve the indoor air quality of your home.
Working With the Number One Plumbing Company in Boise
As winners of the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics, we can confidently say that honest, reliable service is who we are and what we offer. We have been serving our customers since 2006 and continue to be the top local choice for HVAC and plumbing needs. We are proud of our family-owned company and the NATE-certified technicians we have working as part of our team.
Our services include HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair. We offer general plumbing services, drain and sewer services, duct cleaning, water quality testing, septic tank repair, and gas line installation. Contact Express Plumbing Heating & Air today and see for yourself why our service is so highly sought after by our customers.