Whether you notice it happening or not, the quality of the air you breathe can have a significant impact on the way you feel. The cleaner your household oxygen is, the healthier and stronger your lungs are likely to feel. Numerous factors can affect the quality of your indoor air, including things like the number of pets you have, the area that you live in, and the consistency of your household upkeep routine.
Taking steps to keep your air fresh and clean becomes especially important during spring, as that’s when pollen begins to appear in large quantities. The Richmond, VA area isn’t immune to this issue, and if you suffer from allergy symptoms, it can be a very uncomfortable time of year. To ensure that the next few months are as pleasant as possible for your household, consider taking a few of these measures to improve your indoor air quality.
1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
Over time and as you run your heating and cooling systems, your household air filter will become packed with airborne contaminants. In truth, that’s a good sign, as it means the filter is doing its job and trapping those particles. However, any filter only has so much room to catch dust, pollen, dander, and other irritants. Once that space runs out, your HVAC filter will no longer be able to catch the pollutants that are floating around your home. When that happens, the quality of the air you breathe will simply get worse and worse until you replace the air filter.
It’s always prudent to monitor your HVAC filter and switch it out whenever necessary. During springtime, though, you should be especially diligent about doing so. If your household uses a pleated air filter, it can most likely last for around 90 days before it needs replacing. However, with a fiberglass filter, you typically shouldn’t wait longer than a month or so. That said, several variables can alter those time frames, so your safest bet is to keep a close eye on the cleanliness of the filter and react accordingly.
2. Purchase an Air Purifier
There are several types of air purifiers you can purchase, but all of them will contribute to improving your air quality this spring. If you want to go all-out, you can invest in a whole-home air purification system. These systems can be installed directly onto your HVAC unit. That way, when your air conditioner is keeping you cool over the next few months, all of the air it circulates will automatically get filtered through the purification system. Alternatively, if you’re not looking for such a significant investment, you can purchase one or more small, portable air purifiers. You can place them in any area of the house that you like, and they’ll automatically catch contaminants that are floating around nearby.
3. Schedule a Duct Cleaning Appointment
The Richmond weather will be heating up soon, and whenever you run your cooling system, the air it circulates will be passing through your ductwork. If your air ducts contain large amounts of contaminant particles, then many of them will inevitably get picked up by the airflow and distributed to different parts of your home. So, in a sense, the dirtier your ducts are, the more airborne pollutants you and your family will be regularly breathing. To ensure that your AC unit has clean pathways to circulate air this spring, scheduling a duct cleaning appointment now would be an excellent choice.
In addition to removing the dust, dirt, pollen, dander, and mold from your ducts, a professional cleaning should reveal any leaks or damage. Leaky air ducts can lead to all sorts of frustrating problems concerning your comfort and the health of your HVAC system. That isn’t all, though; when your ductwork is harboring leaks, it can also lead to mold growth, which will, in turn, worsen your indoor air quality.
4. Invest in a Dehumidifier
Many homeowners fail to consider the effect that humidity level has on their indoor air quality. The humidity tends to rise during the Virginia spring and summer, and if you don’t keep it under control in your home, it can cause certain allergens to appear in large quantities. Typically, the biggest issue with an overly humid household is the potential for mold growth. Fungi, such as mold and mildew, love moist environments, and if you allow them to flourish in your home, you will end up breathing in the spores. Not only will mold spores in your air create a gross musty odor, but they may also cause respiratory problems for you and your housemates.
In addition to mold colonies, dust mites tend to thrive in humid settings as well. However, if you invest in a whole-home dehumidifier, you can greatly reduce your risk of mold and significantly improve the air quality within your household. Plus, you’ll take some of the pressure off of your AC unit to control your home’s humidity, which will encourage healthier and more efficient operation.
5. Clean Your Home
One reliable way to improve your air quality is some good old-fashioned spring cleaning. Unless you’re cleaning your household on a daily basis, you can bet that there’s some dust, dirt, and small debris on the surfaces around your living space. The longer you go without cleaning, the more contaminants there are. And the more contaminants there are, the more particles that are likely to get kicked up and cycled into your oxygen. To keep your indoor air quality as clean and healthy as possible this spring, try to conduct a basic cleaning every week or two. You’ll want to use a damp towel to wipe down all of your tables, chairs, and counters. You’ll also want to take your rugs, mats, and pillow out of the house and shake the dust and dirt out of them.
6. Clean Your Air Vents
Your household has several air vents spread throughout different areas of the home, and all of the air your AC unit circulates must pass through one of them. Just like with your ductwork, it’s inevitable that dust, pollen, dander, and other pollutant particles will accumulate inside of your air vents over time. If you don’t regularly clean them out, you can bet that many of them will end up contaminating the air you breathe. The simplest solution is to regularly clean each of them.
Each vent will have a protective cover panel, but you should be able to remove them easily with a screwdriver. Then, any vacuum cleaner with an extension hose should work perfectly for cleaning the interior chambers. Make a point to repeat this process at least a couple of times over the next few months to keep your air as fresh as possible.
Since 1984, Davis & Green Services has been a staple in the Richmond area. Residents of the region know that they can depend on us for top-notch work when it comes to HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and construction services. We’re a Christian-owned company, and our top priorities are honesty and incredible customer service in every job that we do. We will always do whatever we can to improve lives one household at a time. Over the years, we’ve become known as Richmond’s most trusted name in home comfort, and we look forward to building on that reputation for many years to come!
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with our skilled team, contact our offices at Davis & Green Services today.