Most of us think of our homes as safe refuges for clean air when compared to outside air, with its dust, allergens, and chemical vapors. But the fact is, new-home construction is much tighter than it used to be, and that means the air inside the home is staler than in the days when homes were full of minute cracks. Despite tight construction, pollutants can still get in your home and adversely affect your indoor air quality. So what kind of pollutants are we concerned with? Here are the main culprits:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Insect particles
For many homeowners, dust may be the most harmful indoor air pollutant they deal with. What is dust? It’s made principally of dirt from the outdoors, as well as hair and skin flakes from us and our pets. Many people are allergic to dust. The fine particles can irritate the nose and throat, causing allergic reactions and aggravating bronchial infections and asthma.
How to Control Dust and Improve Indoor Air Quality
You can vastly improve your IAQ by taking these steps:
- Wipe down surfaces often with a microfiber cloth. Be sure to go after hard-to-reach areas where dust can accumulate.
- Wash bedding once a week.
- Vacuum two or three times a week, as sweeping with a broom just pushes dust around. Clean or change the filter in your vacuum cleaner.
- Reduce clutter in your home so there are fewer surfaces to collect dust.
- Change the air filter in your HVAC system often. Your HVAC system filter traps dust as the air is pulled through the unit for conditioning. If you use a permanent filter, be sure to clean it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Add a portable air cleaner to your home. Some portable air cleaners come equipped with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters that can be effective in clearing out pollutants. Your HVAC consultant can make recommendations if you’re interested in a whole-home purification system to help with your home’s indoor air quality.
For more on improving indoor air quality in your home, contact Detmer and Sons. We serve Dayton and the surrounding area.