Tips For Better Indoor Air Quality in San Diego
It might be hard to believe,but according to the EPA, even in beautiful San Diego, we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors, where the concentrations of some air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. This is especially true in the colder months of the year.
Though San Diego will never hit arctic lows, there are still specific times of the year that your indoor air quality can take a nosedive — especially when it's time to close up the windows and turn on the heat.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take around your home to ensure that your air quality is the best it can be. From a cleaning checklist to keeping your system cleaned and regularly inspected, here’s how to get the best air quality in town:
Why Air Quality Matters
When your indoor air quality is low, your health could suffer. What might seem like allergies or the common cold, could be a sign that you have contaminants in the air. Dirty air ducts or neglected filters could be the reasoning, and for some households, the presence of mold could be a possibility, too. And when you turn on your heater (or AC) it circulates these pollutants throughout your home over and over again, day in and day out.
Another reason why indoor air quality is often worse than the outdoor air is due to the lack of ultraviolet light from the sun. The rays help cleanse the air, but in your home, these rays are often shut out, leading to stale, dry air. Now, add pets and dust into the mix, and you have poor air quality on your hands.
Make a Chores List
Dust and debris can build up quickly in the home, and if you can visibly see that dust on your furniture and floors, then it’s making its way into your air ducts and air vents, too. Not to mention, all the outdoor pollutants you could be tracking into your home every day. Some things to keep in mind to keep your home dust and allergen-free include, but are not limited to:
- Taking shoes off at the door
- Vacuuming and mopping about once (or twice) a week
- Cleaning bedding, drapes, and other materials that trap allergens
- Dusting during higher allergy months
- Switching from carpet to wood or laminate floors
Now we know a flooring change isn’t always cost-effective or in the budget for all homeowners, but plushy materials can hold onto more allergens and be a trigger for asthma. If you have carpet, and you don’t have any plans to remodel, consider upgrading your vacuum. Many now have HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which can trap tiny particles, compared to your average filters.
Though simplifying your home might be the latest trend in home organization, it can have some health benefits, too. Clutter can collect and trap dust, leading to poorer air quality and increasing allergy triggers.
Change Your Cleaning Products
While you begin to organize your home and keep it clean and tidy, don’t forget to review your home cleaning products, too. Though you might know the basics of what chemicals and cleaning products that shouldn’t be mixed with others, there are still some sneaky products that could be polluting your air quality.
For starters, some of that lemony scent we have grown to consider clean and fresh could contain Limonene and is often found in lemon candles and cleaners, which is regarded as a Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs).
Found in many everyday household items, VOCs can lower your air quality and be bad for your health. When picking out your cleaning products, opt for the natural ingredients, or consider creating your own; water, white vinegar, and baking soda can be a great natural alternative.
Let The Outside Air In
We mentioned before that outdoor air is probably better than your indoor air, so why not let it in? Cross ventilation is essential for air quality. When your windows stay shut, the poor air quality remains in. Opening them from time-to-time can reduce air pollutants, decrease any lingering smells, and overall lead to a better mood, too.
Spot The Signs
Another key thing to know are the signs to look for when your air quality has seen better days. Do you tend to notice that when you’re home you have a headache? Are you and your family members constantly coughing and sneezing? Does your home feel stuffy, or is there a stale smell when you walk in the door? It all could be due to poor air quality. If so, you’ll want to consider your air quality options.
Get Your Tune-up
We know this is something we preach often, but it’s only because it's essential to your system’s overall performance. In fact, when you opt-in for regular maintenance checks, everything will be inspected to spot any little issues that might be present. Beyond that, we will also ensure your filters are clean, and your air ducts are working as they should — two essential parts to the air quality equation.
Check Your Ducts: Cold spots in your home? Check. High energy bill? Check. A stale smell every time the air is on? Check. Your air ducts might need a cleaning or replacement. As the primary source of airflow in your home, inadequate air ducts say a lot about the air quality they produce.
Change Your Air Filter: Your filters work to block allergens and pollutants from being spread throughout your home. The higher the quality of the screen, the better it will protect your home. When an air filter is neglected or left dirty, it can no longer filter out your air, hurting the quality of it. Not only that, it makes your system work harder than it has to, while increasing your energy bill, too. If you’re not sure how to change your filter, our video series can help!
Consider Your Indoor Air Quality System Options
Now that you’ve taken care of the basics, the next step to perfect home air quality is by considering your indoor air quality home options. From preventing microorganism growth to removing unwanted odors, we have a variety of systems to cover all homeowners needs. Some of the most common options include:
- Air Filtration System: reduces allergy and asthma symptoms, decreases dust, and eliminates harmful second-hand smoke to improve the overall air quality in your home. One option, the Ultra Violet Purification Light, improves your air quality by preventing microorganism growth.
- Air Scrubber Purification System: Removes odor and dust, improves the health of your family, and reduces the chance of mold. Installing an air scrubber purification system could be an excellent investment — leaving you breathing easier and dusting less often; a win-win if you ask us.