Written by Brad Crawford
Improving indoor air quality can be an important part of spring cleaning – and there’s much moreto it than washing chair covers and giving the windows a polish. One of the best ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home is to have your HVAC regularly serviced by an approved, trained and licensed technician. Not only will the air quality of your home significantly recover through this service, but it will also help to improve the efficiency of your AC system, while cutting down on energy bills and even increasing the longevity of your system.
If your HVAC system is regularly maintained it will help to reduce the dust within your home (big plus) and reduce the poisonous carbon monoxide gases from the exhaust – improving indoor air quality is a winning solution in many areas.
Improving the indoor air quality of your home falls into three basic categories;
• Reducing the amount of pollution in your home.
• Ensuring that your home is properly ventilated.
• Utilizing some of the proven products available on the market for improving the indoor air quality of a property
Here are just a few spring cleaning tips to help make and keep your home spic and span – with good air quality.
• Have your HVAC system regularly inspected and maintained, and make sure that the filter is replaced as often as necessary. If the air filter in your HVAC system is clean, it will work more efficiently to trap things like viruses, bacteria, pollen and dust. These are the main culprits that can significantly harm the quality of the air in your home and lead to poor health and allergies.
• Take off your outdoor shoes at the door and switch to indoor shoes or slippers. The soles of outdoor shoes carry lots of different contaminants from outside into your home and can spread them all over the house given the chance. Change your shoes at the doorstep to help to prevent this from happening.
• The constant humidity within your home is an important factor in making sure that your indoor air quality is good. If humidity is kept between 30 – 50 percent, it will help to prevent any mildew or mold from growing in your home. If necessary invest in a portable dehumidifier for a little extra help, unless you have a whole house dehumidifier – use whatever is necessary depending upon the size and age of your property and your location.
• Make sure that you wash your bed sheets every week using hot water – it may soundrevolting, but beds contain 2 million dust mites on average (yuk). And, that’s not the worst of it – their cast-off skin and droppings are a major cause of allergic reactions.
• Regular dusting in the home can help to improve the indoor air quality of your home, but don’t just swirl the dust around in the air for it to resettle as soon as your back is turned.
Use a microfiber cloth or electrostatic cloth, which actually picks up the dust and doesn’t just redistribute it.
• As soon as you have dusted, it’s time to vacuum – make sure that the fan on yourthermostat is switched to on while you vacuum to get rid of many of the dust particles which are produced as you vacuum. The exhaust of your vacuum can produce quite a lot of dust –so leave the fan on for a few minutes after you’ve finished to catch the last of the culprits.
• De-cluttering your home can help to make a big difference to your indoor air quality. Knick-knacks don’t just collect dust, they also discourage some homeowners from dusting as regularly as they know they know they should. It is much easier to control the dust within your home if there are not any additional ornaments or needless clutter all over the place.
• “Au natural” cleaning can also help to improve the indoor air quality in your home. The problem with many modern household cleaners and chemicals, including air fresheners and candles, is that they themselves may contain chemicals which can severely detract from the air quality in your home. Many supermarkets provide natural cleaning supplies; you will also find plenty of natural cleaners in your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards if you just know where to look. Vinegar is a master at cleaning the home – mix with water and pop it into a spray bottle and you can safely clean, disinfect and deodorize many areas of the home (don’t worry, the smell disappears as the vinegar dries). Other fabulous natural cleaning products include lemon juice, which is terrific for hard water deposits and soap scum – do remember that lemon juice has bleaching properties so test out a small area before putting it onto your favorite furnishings. Baking soda is another terrific natural cleaning product which can help to maintain good indoor air quality in your home. Simply put some into a box and pop it into the fridge and / or freezer and it will absorb nasty odors. If some part of your home needs to be deodorized turn to the baking powder – smelly sneakers, laundry baskets, trash cans. .
• Deodorizing candles might seem like a good idea, but they really are not. Try to avoid using things like burning candles, smoking and burning incense inside the house.
There is a good range of products available which can help you to determine and improve the indoor air quality within your home. Radon gas detectors, carbon monoxide gas detectors and HEPA air filters can all help to keep your family safe and your home clean and healthy. The use of Ultra Violet lights is also effective in dealing with the invisible microbes – they are so small that you can’t see them, but the damage they can do to the comfort and health of your family is enormous.
Spring cleaning time is certainly upon us, so please bear in mind these tips before you sta