Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

woman sneezing into tissueIndoor air can be more polluted than outside air with contaminants that can cause respiratory conditions, allergies, and illnesses. Some sources are mold, bacteria, household chemicals, radon, formaldehyde, lead, and dust mites. Here are some ways to improve indoor air quality:

Better Air Filtration

A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter will trap up to 99% of the small particles in the air like pollen, gas emissions, smoke, and bacteria. If you are concerned about indoor air quality, contact an Illinois plumbing and heating company to add HEPA filters to your HVAC system.

Control Humidity Levels

High humidity causes microbes like mold and dust mites to flourish. The humidity in your home should be between 30 – 50%. One way to regulate humidity is using humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Another way is installing an energy recovery ventilator, or ERV, in the HVAC system. The system cools and dehumidifies in warm weather and heats and humidifies in cool months. With this, the relative humidity of the indoor air will stay between 40 – 50%.

Use Ultraviolet Light

UV light sanitizes air, ridding it of harmful microbial particles like germs, bacteria, fungi, formaldehyde and viruses. These lights can be installed in the return air duct of your HVAC system to kill the contaminants as the air passes through the UV light.

Other Ways to Clean the Air

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA filter. Vacuum drapes, cloth furniture, the edges of the carpet, or anywhere else that dust collects.
  • Do not allow smoking inside the home. Smoke is a major contributor to indoor pollution since it contains over 4,000 chemicals.
  • Do not use products with synthetic scents or petroleum-based candles. Products include air fresheners, laundry soap, and fabric softener. These release many chemicals into the air including VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are toxic and pose health risks.
  • Add plants that clean the air, like spider plants, English ivy, peace lily, red-edged dracaena, and ferns.