Basic Air Quality Facts & Indoor Air Quality Solutions

 

Air Quality

Air Quality Indexes (AQI) are numbers used by government agencies to help characterize the quality of air in different locations. I’m sure you have heard on your local news numerous times what the air quality will be for the day. When the AQI increases, you usually see or hear of people experiencing an increase of severe adverse health effects.

Air Quality Index

Image Credit: www.frames.gov

It’s hard to believe that outdoor air quality is better than what we are breathing in our homes (indoor air quality), but unfortunately it’s true. During the winter months, we stay closed up in our air tight homes and the indoor allergens and pollutants are at their peak. Don’t panic!  Here are some indoor air quality solutions for improving your home air quality.

Clean Regularly

I know and totally understand that it’s easy to put off the chore of cleaning. However, it is important to clean regularly to reduce the allergens and irritants. Dust with a damp cloth, as it grabs the dust much better than a feather duster. Don’t forget the ceiling fan blades and the tops of your appliances. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and avoid using cleaning products with harmful vapors. 

Pet Care

Bathing and grooming regularly will help keep fur and dander under control. Don’t forget to wash the bedding frequently in hot water.

Circulate The Air

During the winter months, we aren’t able to open the windows to let fresh air circulate throughout the house. Turn on your ceiling fans to help move the air around. Turn on the exhaust fan to keep vapors, grease, and smoke from lingering.

Air Filters

Replacing your heating/cooling system’s air filter on a regular basis helps to minimize contaminants in the air, and helps to reduce stress on your system.

Minimize Moisture

Keepings the humidity level below 50% will help with mold and mildew buildup. If you don’t own a dehumidifier, you might consider purchasing one. FiltersFast.com (www.filtersfast.com) offers a good variety of dehumidifiers at great prices!

Smoke

Burning fireplaces or the wonderful  scent of a candle gives a home a warm and cozy feeling. The down side is that they can release pollutants that worsen the air quality and even trigger health problems. The best candle to use is non-toxic unscented soy.  Consider natural alternatives such as diffusers and vaporizers that use pure essential oils instead of chemicals. Use cured or dry wood in your fireplace and remember to have it cleaned regularly.

Air Purifier

If you are thinking that you need an air purifier in your home, be sure to select one that is appropriate for your room sizes and the level of purification required. Models range from small to house-wide systems.

By following these suggestions, you can feel confident that you and your family are breathing healthier air in your home. Don’t forget to visit www.filtersfast.com for all of your air filtration needs!

Some Things You May Not Have Known About Your Air Filter

filters

Image Credit: www.thesilveredge.com/filters.shtml

Do you know if you are using the best air filter for your home’s heating/cooling system?  Most people don’t really understand the differences between the cheap air filters and the higher quality ones. The main purpose for a filter is to protect your HVAC equipment, while improving the indoor air quality in your home. The type of air filter you are using makes a big difference in the air quality you and your family continually breathe in every day, as well as how efficient your unit is working

Are you using those cheap blue air filters?

If you are using the less expensive blue fiberglass filters, chances are more dirt and dust is going into your system. Over time the duct and dust will either stay somewhere in your system or circulate right back into your home. Not only is it unhealthy, but can increase your maintenance bills and cause costly repair bills.

What is the best air filter I should be using?

The best air filter you should be using is one that offers the highest level of efficiency without damaging your HVAC system.  Just because you are using the most efficient filter out there, does not necessarily mean it is the right one for your home. The age of your HVAC system also needs to be considered when purchasing a filter with a MERV rating.

What are MERV ratings?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value. A MERV rating is a numerical value ranging from 1 (lowest efficiency) to 16 (highest efficiency). The number tells you how well the filter captures and holds dust and dirt of a specified sized range. If you have an older HVAC system, you should probably not be using a filter higher than a MERV 11. Most of the older systems should use a filter with a MERV rating of only 8 or lower. Always make sure to choose a filter rating that corresponds to the requirement of your HVAC system.

What are microns?

Airborne particles are described as microns. Particles that range from 0.3 to 0.9 microns present the most health concerns. This is because they are so small that they get past the tiny hairs in our breathing passages and are too large to be exhaled. Examples include dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, bacteria, and mold spores.

0.1 to 0.3 micron Dust mites and allergens
0.3 to 1 micron Tobacco smoke, metallic fumes and bacteria such as staphylococcus
1 to 5 microns Bacteria and small dust particles
5 to 10 microns Mold, pollen, medium dust particles
10 microns + Large dust particles

If you have decided that you may be using the wrong air filter for your home’s HVAC system, simply visit www.filtersfast.com to find the right filter!

Check out these related blogs!

What Happens If I Don’t Change My Air Filter?

The Differences Between MERV Ratings-MERV 11 Recommended

How To Change Your In-Home Furnace Air Filter?

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions. We’ll be more than happy to assist you!

The Filter Cheat Sheet

Ever wondered how often you should change your refrigerator water filter? How often you should change your furnace filter? Look no further!

Filter-Change-Graphic

Related articles:
How to Change Your Refrigerator Water Filter: Step-by-Step: Learn how to change your refrigerator filter based on type of fridge you own.

How to Change Your Furnace Filter: Find out the proper way to change your furnace filter, including finding out the direction in which the air filter arrows should point.

What Happens if I Don’t Change My Air Filter? Is changing your air filter really necessary? What happens if I don’t change it? You’ll find out.