Simple Solutions for Cleaner Air Inside Your Home
We often think of the peak allergy season as spring and fall, but allergies can strike at any time of year. Summer allergies are a common problem and often the result of indoor air pollution.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks. The EPA advises that the best way to address indoor air pollution is “to control or eliminate the sources of pollutants and ventilate a home with clean outdoor air.”
Here is the South, however, where summer temperatures regularly hover in the 90s and humidity is high, what can a homeowner do to have cleaner air and stay comfortable? Consider these strategies from the EPA and FiltersUSA.
Source control eliminates individual sources of pollutants or reduces their emission. It is usually the most effective strategy for reducing pollutants. Sources of indoor air pollution might include new furniture, new carpet, gas appliances, or cigarette smoke. Try removing the offending source to a better-ventilated area or ventilating the area for a day or two to allow fumes to escape. Adjust combustion appliances to decrease emissions and consider buying solid wood furniture instead of pressed wood products. Finally, smoke only outdoors.
Ventilation exchanges air between the inside and outside of a building, which can improve the quality of indoor air. Today’s houses are built to be energy efficient. However, the drawback of efficiency is the elimination of cracks that allow a little natural ventilation. Since few residential air-conditioning systems bring outdoor air into the house, the use of localized ventilation, like exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, can help remove excess moisture and local pollutants and allow a little fresh air inside.
Improved Filtration is as simple as regularly changing the filters in your air conditioning system. During the summer, when the A/C is running more frequently, changing the filter becomes even more important. Remember, when the air conditioner runs, it also cleans the air. The general rule of thumb is the more your use the A/C, the more often you should change the filter. Clogged or inefficient filters do not clean the air effectively, and they cause added stress on your system. Replacing the filter is cheap and simple way to improve the air quality inside your home.
If summer allergies are affecting your family, try these simple steps and have a healthier, happier summer.
Source: EPA and FiltersUSA
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