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Maintaining good indoor air quality at home is a worthwhile endeavor. Poor air quality can directly contribute to illness and long-term health concerns. This issue has become more notable since the pandemic, with many people spending their days at home.

Before you can improve your air quality, it’s essential to know what could be causing the issues. Here are six factors that negatively impact air quality.

Malfunctioning HVAC Systems

Your HVAC system is the respiratory system of your home. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning— all of which directly impact how air moves through your house. 

There’s a common misconception that as long as your systems are running smoothly, everything is fine. However, there are several subtle signs that something is amiss with your HVAC. According to Boise HVAC services professionals, dirty filters or connections can impact how air is filtered through your home. If you notice hot or cold spots or signs of excess humidity, it’s important to call an HVAC specialist right away.

Scheduling a seasonal tune-up appointment for preventative maintenance can also help maintain your air quality and prevent these issues.

Dirty Vents and Filters

In addition to ensuring the HVAC system is running efficiently, it’s also important to clean vents and filters in your home. Schedule time at least every two months to vacuum your vents and clean the vent covers. Change air filters in your air conditioner, furnace, or mini-split according to manufacturer instructions. It’s also beneficial to check them monthly to determine if there’s excess build-up.

If you’ve been in your home for a few years, consider having your vents professionally cleaned out to remove any debris and dust accumulating beyond where you can see.

Improper Attic Ventilation

Having a well-vented and insulated attic is a must for protecting the air quality of your home. Without proper ventilation and insulation, you’re more likely to experience mold growth in the attic. In addition to the adverse effects excess attic humidity can have on your health, the cost implications are also significant. In addition to professional mold removal services, poor attic ventilation can also cause your shingles and roofing to degrade faster. 

An often-overlooked concern, especially in older houses, is where bathroom fans vent to. Many older fans vent directly into the attic rather than into ductwork. Take a look and see if this is an issue in your home and have it corrected as soon as possible.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Fragrance

Many chemicals and cleaning products emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can have detrimental impacts on indoor air quality and our health. Many brands of wall paint also have VOCs, which emit low levels of chemicals into the air over the years. Artificial fragrances also have a negative impact on our health.

Consider purchasing VOC-free paint the next time you redecorate. Replace your chemical cleaning products with natural alternatives or make your own with vinegar and hot water. If you must use chemicals in the home, open your windows and allow for proper ventilation.

Textiles

Textiles have a way of holding onto allergens and pollutants. Your mattresses, rugs, blankets, curtains, and even books can exacerbate air quality issues in your home.

Try to purchase hypoallergenic materials when possible. Otherwise, schedule regular dusting, vacuuming, and washing to ensure your textiles stay allergen-free.

External and Environmental Factors

Unfortunately, we can’t control all of the things impacting the air quality in our homes. Changes in temperature and weather, outdoor pollutants, and road traffic can all impact the air at home. 

Consider having your air quality tested and keeping your windows closed during peak pollutant times. Invest in a few air purifiers to help offset the impacts of factors outside of your control.

Knowledge is power when combatting poor air quality. Take some time to go through your home and highlight potential issues. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional for additional testing and support. 

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