According to the World Health Organization, about 4.3 million people around the globe die each year from exposure to air pollution inside a home. What’s more, the United States Environmental Protection Agency considers poor indoor air quality a top-five environmental risk to public health, with many homes being as much as five times more polluted than the air outside. Some homes have even recorded levels 100 times worse. To avoid the associated health risks that stem from living in an indoor environment that has poor IAQ, take the following five steps to improve it today in your Central Texas home.
Place These Houseplants Around Your Home
According to the NASA Clean Air Study, which was first published in 1989, there are certain indoor plants that can help remove common toxic household pollutants like formaldehyde from the air inside your home. The research suggests that you can clean your home’s polluted air with at least one plant per 100 square feet of space.
Some of the air-filtering plants recommended by NASA include the:
- Bamboo palm: Filters out formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
- Broadleaf lady palm: Filters out formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia.
- Florist’s Chrysanthemum*: Filters out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia.
- Lilyturf: Filters out formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia.
- Peace lily*: Filters out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia.
- Spider plant: Filters out formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
- Snake plant*: Filters out formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
*These plants are toxic to dogs and cats, so avoid them if you have furry friend living in your home.
Remember to Check and Change Your HVAC Filter
Routinely changing your HVAC filter is considered the most important maintenance task a homeowner can perform on their heating and cooling system. A dirty filter can block airflow and greatly reduce a system’s efficiency. Dirty air that bypasses a clogged filter can also impair your unit’s components, like the evaporator coil. If that isn’t enough to motivate you, replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your AC’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
Schedule Professional Air Duct Cleaning Annually
If you own a ductless system, you won’t have to worry about this step. But if you own a conventional HVAC system, you’ll need to schedule duct cleaning at least once per year to ensure your ducts haven’t turned into a safe haven for dust, dirt and even vermin. If you suffer from allergies, this is an especially important step in securing healthy IAQ.
Invest in These Indoor Air Quality Solutions
There are plenty of devices on the market today that help homeowners control every level of their indoor air environment, and Bryant manufactures many of these state-of-the-art products. Here’s how each of these IAQ solutions works to improve the quality of the air you breathe inside your home. Your respiratory system will thank you.
- Humidifiers and whole-home dehumidifiers help you control air moisture.
- Ventilators push dirty air out while bringing fresh air into your home.
- Ultraviolet lamps help keep evaporator coils cleaner.
- Carbon monoxide detectors measure CO levels in your home.
- HVAC filters clean air coming from your system before circulating it.
Avoid These Poor Indoor Air Quality Practices
While the aforementioned steps help you improve your indoor air quality, the worst thing you can do to deteriorate it on a daily basis is to practice these unhealthy habits. Once you eliminate them, your home will feel fresher instantly.
- Smoking indoors – it’s the number-one detriment to IAQ
- Keeping the windows closed all the time
- Not vacuuming your carpets on a regular basis
- Using toxic household cleaning products and pesticides
- Wearing your shoes inside the home
For more information about how poor indoor air quality can impact your health, or if you’d like a service technician certified by NATE to visit your home in Central Texas for an inspection, read on to learn how dirty ducts affect you or contact Woods Comfort Systems at (512) 842-5066. We look forward to helping your family breathe easier.