Everyone’s familiar with air pollution, but it may come as a surprise that the air in your home could be far more contaminated than the air outside. Household chemicals, dust, dander and mold are just a few of the contaminants that can undermine the quality of your indoor air and make breathing harder for anyone with respiratory issues. This is why it’s a good idea to have a home-maintenance strategy aimed at cleaning up your indoor air.
Keeping after your housekeeping
- Regularly vacuum your carpet and your upholstered furniture to remove dust, dander, pollen and other particulates. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Dust all furniture, as well. Damp mop bare floors, using just water unless the floors are very dirty.
- Follow sanitary food-storage practices to discourage pests such as insects and rodents. Keep all food in tightly sealed containers, and regularly remove the garbage. Make sure your garbage containers outside have tight lids to keep small animals away from your home.
- Avoid using household cleaning products that give off chemical emissions. Instead, try green cleaning products. You can find them in most supermarkets. Alternatively, mix up some cleaners yourself, using products from your pantry such as vinegar and baking soda.
- Have your carpets steam-cleaned regularly.
Keeping your home dry
Excess moisture can damage your home and invite mold, which can jeopardize your health. Regularly inspect your home for any signs of moisture, and promptly attend to any problem.
- If your basement tends to get wet, consult your plumbing contractor to get to the root of the problem. Some issues are easily corrected. Others might require a sump pump and/or waterproofing.
- Mop up or dry out the moisture as soon as you find it. Remove and replace seriously water-damaged carpet.
- Upgrade the exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen if they aren’t doing a sufficient job of removing water vapor.
- Regularly check the hoses and the drain pan of your air conditioner during the cooling season. Make sure there aren’t any leaks, and dump out water from the drain pan.
- Regularly clean any cool-mist humidifiers that you use.
Keeping up your heating system
Fuel-burning heating systems release contaminants when they’re not maintained. Simple, regular measures can minimize this risk.
- Whether you’re using your furnace or your air conditioner, check the filter regularly, and change it as needed. The filter traps particulates and helps to remove them from your air stream. You might also want to consider a whole-house air cleaner.
- Have your heating system tuned up in the fall and the cooling system tuned up in the spring. Making sure your systems are properly maintained can significantly reduce the likelihood of carbon monoxide emissions.
- Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home.
For additional advice, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We serve homeowners in greater Cincinnati, and we’re happy to answer all of your questions.
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