7 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

7 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

What’s your I(A)Q? What we're referring to is the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in your home. Do you even know if you have good air, bad air, or something in between? And why is it a big deal, anyway? We’re taking a look at the impact bad air can have on your health, even your life expectancy, and counting down seven ways to breathe easy indoors.

In a 2020 report on the state of global air quality, air pollution in general reduces average life expectancy by almost as much as tobacco. The average U.S. lifespan before the COVID-19 pandemic was 79 years. “We spend 69 years inside buildings,” said Richard Corsi, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California, Davis in an article in Scientific American. Of that, Corsi says, “54 years are spent inside (our) homes.” You read that right: 54 years.

So, yes…breathing quality indoor air is a big honkin’ important deal. What, then, can we do to improve the air we’re breathing for most of our lives?

How's Your Indoor Air Quality?

Everyone is affected differently by their surroundings. There’s no need for a big scientific experiment to prove that. But you can take inventory of symptoms to know if you’ve got good air or not. It doesn’t mean you have a condemningly bad IAQ, but there’s always room for improvement. Are you experiencing:

  • Dust buildup
  • Coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Sneezing or allergic reactions
  • Dry or irritated skin
  • Lingering odors
  • Hot/cold spots
  • Headaches and nausea
  • Difficulty sleeping

How to Raise Your Indoor Air Quality

#7: Buy Some Plants

Add a little retro décor with houseplants. I know…it’s so simple. They’ll pump out some nice clean oxygen. Some plants are particularly good at eating carbon dioxide and are easy to care for, including Spider plants, Chrysanthemums, Aloe Vera and Philodendron. If you have pets, be sure to check toxicity to keep them safe.

#6: Take Control of Humidity

Indoor humidity should be around 30-50 percent. Lower humidity is more comfortable and less expensive to keep your house cool. Higher levels can promote mold and mildew, while dust mites and other microbials thrive in higher humidity.

#5: Turn on the Vent {for crying out lout}

Speaking of humidity, turn on the bathroom fan to suck the humid air out. A buildup of humidity in the bathroom can cause mildew on and in the walls and cake dust on everything. Always use a fan when cooking to control odors and smoke. Do you have an air exchanger? Turn it on. Its sole purpose is to bring fresh air into your house. ASHRAE (formerly called the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) says homes should get 0.35 air changes per hour. That means 35 percent of your air should be “new” every hour.

#4: Get Rid of Dust

Nobody likes to dust. Okay, maybe secretly I do, but the rest of us just reap the benefits of her hard work. Seriously, dusting more often helps limit clutter and will keep your air cleaner. If you have pets, dusting also clears away dander and pet hair – all stuff dust mites live to munch on. There’s another effortless way to cut down on dust, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

#3: Service Your HVAC Regularly

Have a professional do a maintenance check on your heating/ventilation and air conditioning system regularly. Usually on an annual basis. Every two to three years, have your ducts cleaned as well to get rid of dust buildup and let the air flow more freely. Regular maintenance will lengthen the life of your system and run more efficiently.

#2: Get the Crud Off Your Central A/C Unit

Air conditioning units aren’t glamorous and can be loud but we love ‘em all the same. Because of that they’re usually placed in an out-of-the-way place outside your home, so you may not look at it very often. AC units can build-up airborne outdoor stuff on the outside that will stop air flow and make your system work harder to cool your house. So, keep bushes and brush away from your air conditioner and hose it down to keep the outside clean. It will last longer and help with those utility bills.

#1: And Finally... Change Your Homes Air Filter!

It all comes down to this: Change your filter, damnit. We sell really good filters so you knew it was coming to this, but we’re serious when we say the number ONE thing you can do to improve and maintain indoor air quality is to change your filter regularly. How often depends on your lifestyle.

Clean filters help your whole system run more efficiently. Yoor Air filters also eliminate blow-by. The dirty air getting around cardboard-framed filters will gunk up your duct work and send dust back into your house. That’s right, using Yoor Air filters with their unique flange design and multi-layered filter material will cut down on dust (and dusting) because Yoor Air filters Traps All the Crap, forcing air through (not around) the filter before it goes into your furnace and finally your home.

You can’t buy our filters in stores. Lucky for you we have a Fit Guide that’ll make sure you have the right size filter for your HVAC system. We also have a subscription service, so you can sign up make sure yoor air filter arrives at your door just when you need it. It’s as easy as breathing... seriously!

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