If you’re like most people, you probably dedicate some time to deep cleaning your home each spring. Giving all of the floors, surfaces and the rest of your home a good, deep clean is great. The problem is that most people ignore one important aspect, which is making sure that the air in their home is as clean as possible. Indoor air quality should be a major concern for any homeowner since indoor air tends to be three to five times worse than the air outside. To help you overcome this issue and improve the air quality in your home, here are important tips to keep in mind.

Keep the Allergens Out

Spring is a great time of the year since the weather is finally starting to warm up after the long winter and all of the plants begin budding and blooming. Unfortunately, spring can also be a nightmare for allergy sufferers since it is when the levels of pollen, mold spores and other allergens tend to be at their highest. You or someone in your household may suffer from allergies or any respiratory ailments like asthma. If so, it’s important that you take steps to minimize the amount of allergens that get into your house from outside.

One easy way to minimize allergens in your home is to simply keep your doors and windows shut as much as possible when pollen levels are at their highest. Taking off your shoes at the door before coming inside will also help since otherwise, you’ll end up tracking lots of pollen and allergens throughout your home. If you suffer from severe allergies, you may even want to change clothes after coming in from outside. You should bag up the clothes you were wearing since there is likely lots of pollen on them.

Avoid Chemical Cleaning Products Whenever Possible

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are one of the biggest sources of indoor air pollution. Most furniture and the materials a home is built with contain various VOCs that naturally “off gas” into the air. Laundry detergent and especially dryer sheets and fabric softeners also tend to give off a large amount of different VOCs. This means that there is really nothing you can ever do to fully prevent VOCs from being present in the air in your home. However, you can at least avoid increasing the amount of them that are present. You can do so by limiting your use of chemical cleaning products as much as possible since they also give off lots of VOCs.

When doing your annual spring cleaning, try to use natural cleaning products as much as possible. Products that contain the EPA’s Safer Choice label are a great choice since they have been certified to contain less harmful ingredients. You should also look for sanitizers and detergents that contain the EPA’s Design for the Environment or DfE label. White vinegar is also a great choice for cleaning countertops, floors, etc. and works just as well as many chemical cleaning agents.

Run Your HVAC Fan When Spring Cleaning

Doing a deep spring clean tends to stir up lots of dust, so we’d recommend turning the HVAC fan on when cleaning if your heating or AC isn’t already running. You can do this simply by switching the fan setting on your thermostat to “On” instead of “Auto.” Leaving the fan running will draw lots of the dust and debris that you stirred up into your HVAC system so that it gets trapped by the air filter. It will also help to circulate air around your home. This is helpful if you do end up using any chemical cleaning products since it will help to prevent the chemicals from building up in one area.

Control Your Home’s Humidity Level

Spring in Long Island tends to be fairly rainy, which can lead to a home becoming quite humid at times. Running your air conditioning always helps to control humidity since AC systems remove both heat and moisture from the air. The problem is that it spring weather usually isn’t warm enough that you’ll want to have your AC turned on. Nonetheless, there are other ways you can help reduce the humidity in your home without needing to have your AC on and making your home freezing cold.

One simple step is to make sure that you turn the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom on before cooking or taking a bath or shower. Cooking and especially bathing release lots of moisture into the air that can quickly make your home much more humid. Turning the exhaust fans on will draw all of the moisture directly outside and prevent this issue. After cooking or bathing, you should also leave the fan running for at least 20 minutes or so just to remove any residual moisture.

If you often have issues with your home being too humid in spring or summer, you should definitely consider investing in a whole-home dehumidifier. This type of unit connects to the existing ductwork and works alongside an HVAC system to remove lots of moisture from the air moving through the ductwork. These units are technically designed to work with an air conditioning system. However, you can also run the dehumidifier independently by just turning the HVAC fan on. Most models can also be controlled with a humidistat. That will automatically turn the fan and dehumidifier on and then off when the humidity level rises above and then drops below a set percentage.

Replace the Air Filter in Your HVAC System

Any time you’re running your heating, air conditioning or HVAC fan, air is constantly being drawn through the system’s air filter. The filter traps dust, hair, lint and other debris so that it can’t get inside the furnace and air handler. It also helps to trap allergens and some pollutants so that they don’t get circulated around the house when your HVAC system runs.

If you don’t regularly replace the air filter, it will get dirty enough that it restricts the airflow in your HVAC system and makes it much less effective. When the filter is too dirty, your HVAC system will also end up pulling in air from other places and start circulating much more pollen, dust mites and other allergens. Replacing the air filter at least every three months will help your HVAC system to work more effectively and energy efficiently. It can also make a big difference in terms of indoor air quality, especially if you choose a higher-rated filter that is more efficient.

Invest in a Quality Air Filtration or Purification System

By far the best thing you can do to greatly improve your home’s indoor air quality is to install a whole-home air filtration or purification system. There are a wide variety of different systems available that all work to remove the vast majority of allergens, airborne pollutants and other contaminants from a home’s air. These systems are designed to work when your HVAC system is running. However, you can also have the system run independently by turning the HVAC fan on just like you can with a dehumidifier.

Cool Power LLC has been helping residents in Ronkonkoma and throughout Long Island with their indoor air quality, heating and air conditioning needs since 1976. We install a range of indoor air quality equipment and can help you choose the best option for your specific needs. Contact us today for more information on our IAQ services or if you need any help with your heating or AC.

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