If you thought air pollution only pertained to the outdoors, consider yourself warned! The harsh reality is pollution exists around you, whether outside in the midst of traffic or relaxing in the comfort of your home.
It's only natural to not think about air quality in your residence as much; however, not thinking about indoor air pollution doesn't make it less apparent. Unfortunately, there are more air pollutants in your space than you think.
Luckily, you can mitigate the risks of air pollution by creating an indoor air quality checklist for your home. Below, you’ll notice our top pieces of advice to get you started.
While the objective is to ensure the entire property maintains healthy indoor air quality, it would help to break down your overall assessment by room since individual spaces are more susceptible to indoor air pollutants. Consider the following remedies to reinforce a proper pollutant combatant system.
Your kitchen is prone to unvented gas ranges and ovens that can emit carbon monoxide and other combustion byproducts. Ensure you have an exhaust fan installed in these areas that can remove emissions efficiently.
An exhaust fan is also be responsible for removing excess moisture from cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning with household cleaners that produce organic gases.
Refrigerator and Sink
Remove refrigerator drip pans and empty them. Regularly inspect the area underneath your kitchen sink. Doing so allows you to check for signs of moisture from defective draining systems and cleaning products. These units are prime real estate for mold and bacteria to thrive.
Similar to your kitchen, your bathroom can harbor significant mold and bacteria growth. Not all bathrooms have windows that serve as ventilation, so using an exhaust fan here is crucial to combat the development of spores in the area.
Inspect areas that encourage mildew growth by frequently cleaning sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Wipe shower walls after use to get a jump on moisture buildup. You may want to run your exhaust fan or open a window after using personal care products and cleaning supplies such as air fresheners.
While humidifiers are beneficial in regulating humidity in dry spaces, these units are potential breeding grounds for bacteria. Clean humidifiers frequently to avoid the buildup of microbes, and refill with clean water.
Wash bedding in hot water once a week to prevent dust mites and consider incorporating easy-to-clean furniture in bedrooms.
Other rooms and shared living spaces prone to high traffic may experience some of the following concerns and require immediate attention when combating indoor air pollution:
Animal dander isn’t an uncommon thing to come by in a home; however, it’s a significant allergen to many people. Consider keeping pets clean and cleaning your house regularly to remove as much hair from rooms as possible.
There are viable solutions to repair carpets based on the severity of the damage. You can clean and dry carpets with water damage; otherwise, consider a replacement. Keep rooms ventilated by opening a window during carpet installation, and vacuum regularly.
Secondhand smoke poses threats that accumulate in various ways throughout a home. To mitigate its detrimental effects on those living on the property and the indoor integrity, it’s best to avoid smoking in the house and request that others do so outside.
If smoking outside is not an option, consider installing an exhaust fan or opening a window to circulate the air.
Lead-based paint is still present in many homes nationwide, typically under coatings of new paint. If your paint is in good condition, it’s best to leave it alone.
Conversely, deteriorating lead-based paint showing signs of chipping, cracking, or chalking requires immediate attention.
Consider using a wet cloth or paper towel to clean up the dust from doors, door frames, windows and window sills, railings, and banisters.
Mold and mildew can develop anywhere, so you’ll want to take appropriate measures to combat their growth. Use dehumidifiers to maintain comfortable humidity levels, wipe the moisture off areas prone to collecting, open closet doors, and keep furniture away from walls to promote air circulation.
Unsurprisingly, basements and ground floor areas are prone to asbestos and radon exposure. Remember to inspect the space for damage or deterioration and contact an expert immediately upon noticing signs of asbestos products.
Your basement is typically the first area affected by radon since it sits atop your home’s foundation. To know whether you have a radon concern, use an at-home testing kit and consult professional expertise if levels are too high.
As for garages, avoid idling the car in the area to prevent carbon monoxide accumulation. Consider weather-stripping the door leading to your house from the garage to separate harmful fumes from living spaces.
Consider using painting products, hobby supplies, and pesticides in well-ventilated areas or outdoors, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe use.
Your attic is the ideal area for water vapor to collect and condense, damaging walls and ceilings. Seal plumbing and areas around light fixtures to avoid developing a humidity issue. Inspect ducts and vents for efficient air circulation and remove damp insulation.
Your HVAC is one of the most critical areas to routinely inspect and schedule service to promote healthy indoor air quality. Remember to change filters when necessary, empty air conditioner water trays often, and service your furnace yearly. Consider browsing our inventory for Flanders NaturalAire filters, and breathe easy knowing a high-quality air filter is doing its job.
Indoor Air Quality Testing
Lastly, invest in professional indoor air quality testing to assess pollutants that can affect your quality of life and the lives of those with health concerns, like respiratory illnesses.
Assessments will notify you of mold, allergenic particulate matters, fungi, viruses, bacteria, and volatile organic compounds.
As you can see, establishing an indoor air quality checklist for your home is crucial to combat allergens, molds, and other harmful airborne pollutants. Doing so will ensure your residence remains a haven for you, your family, and your guests.
Monitoring your property's indoor air quality can be challenging, but you can get the job done with the right air filter. On our Remember The Filter webpage, we offer a selection of filters suitable for your residential HVAC system. For more information on best fitting components, contact us today!