It's not just outdoor allergens like pollen you should be worried about. Your home can also play host to a multitude of allergens, including dust, pet dander and even clothing fibers. These allergens can easily circulate through your home's heating and cooling system and impact your comfort and health. If you want to avoid unnecessary misery this allergy season, then it's important to consider improvements to your home's indoor air quality.
Give Your HVAC System's Air Filter an Upgrade
Air filters are often the first and best line of defense against dust, pollen and other airborne pollutants. Upgrading your air filter can go a long way towards improving your home's indoor air quality.
Air filters are rated based on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale, with higher numbers representing better filtration performance. If your current air filter carries a MERV rating of 4, for instance, consider bumping that up to MERV 7 or 8. Air filters rated between MERV 7 and 13 typically offer the same performance as true HEPA filters, resulting in tremendous indoor air quality gains.
Take Your Rugs and Cushions Outside for a Good Beating
Your rugs and upholstery cushions can harbor lots of dust and debris. However, regular vacuuming isn't enough to dislodge them. To truly tackle dust, you'll have to take your rugs outside, drape them over a railing or clothesline and give them a good beating with a carpet beater or a broom. The rigorous beating will dislodge stubborn dust and debris trapped within the rug's fibers. You can also do the same for your cushions, pillows and other upholstery that can't be easily vacuumed.
Use the Best Available Vacuum for Your Home
Speaking of vacuums, you should choose one that offers the best performance features. Don't buy a vacuum adjust for its suction power alone - consider its effectiveness in agitating and lifting dirt from deep within carpet fibers. Choose a vacuum with an abundance of attachments that can clean within a variety of environments with relative ease.
Improve Your Home's Ventilation
With the proper ventilation, you can easily push airborne pollutants out of your home in exchange for fresh air. Your HVAC technician from a place like Mike Kearsley's All Service can help you assess your home's current ventilation effectiveness and develop a plan for making any needed improvements. In the meantime, open a few windows and turn on the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom areas to help move air throughout your home.
Choose the Least Toxic Products for Cleaning Your Home
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can do a number on your indoor air quality. Unfortunately, VOCs are a common fixture in many household cleaning products. You can easily substitute common aerosol cleaners that are high in VOCs for alternatives made from natural, non-toxic ingredients. For example, you can make your own household cleaner using vinegar and baking soda.
When you take the above steps to improve your home's indoor air quality, you'll be surprised with the amazing results.