You may not be thinking about the air you’re breathing as you live, play, and relax at home—but maybe you should. Despite the best efforts of air fresheners, your home is constantly circulating pollutants. In fact, studies from the Environmental Protection Agency have shown that levels of air pollutants indoors may be anywhere from 2 to 5 times greater than outdoors, and in some cases more than 100 times greater.
There are several factors that contribute to poor indoor air quality. Luckily, there are a few simple steps to combat this problem for healthier air at home.
What are some of the causes of poor air quality?
Understanding the sources of poor air quality is the first step in preventing it. The following list features just a few of these unfriendly culprits.
- Cleaning products and chemicals
- Insufficient circulation of fresh air
- Burnable items such as oil, gas, kerosene, wood, or candles
- Perfumed or aerosol products
- Smoke—from cigarettes, fireplace, or outside
- High moisture (this is especially hazardous in the PNW, as damp conditions can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew.)
How does it affect my family’s health?
Poor air quality can manifest in several health-related ways, including eye, nose and throat irritation, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. More seriously, asthma symptoms—particularly in children—can be worsened. In serious cases, homes with poor air quality can contribute to respiratory or cardiovascular disease or cancer. In short, poor air quality shouldn’t be ignored.
What can I do to prevent poor air quality in my home?
If you suspect poor air quality in your home, don’t panic. Here are two of the easiest, most effective ways to circulate cleaner air.
Get your air ducts cleaned.
You might be surprised by the amount of dirt, debris, and hair that can build up in your air ducts over time. Air duct cleaning helps produce healthier air flow and reduces allergens in your home. Washington Energy Services recommends getting your ducts cleaned at least every two years—more frequently if the home contains smokers, shedding pets, water contamination, damage to HVAC system, residents with allergies or asthma, recent home renovations, or remodeling. Book a duct cleaning here.
Change your air filters regularly.
This simple task can make a big difference in your home’s air quality. While it would be easy to make generalizations about how often you should change your air filters, it just isn’t that easy. The frequency depends on the size of the filters, your HVAC system specifications and usage, whether you have allergies, the presence of shedding pets, and more. Lean on our experts to help you determine the right filter and frequency. Then sign up for our Automatic Filter Replacement Program for complete ease and peace of mind.
We’ll send you fresh filters when it’s time to change them out, saving you time and money, extending the life if your furnace, reducing your energy bills, and most importantly, helping you create a healthy home.
Schedule a Home Energy Audit.
Controlling where and how fresh air enters your home is a major concern when it comes to air sealing and making your home more energy efficient. The energy auditor calculates the required air changes per hour based on a number of factors including the size of the home and number of occupants. The auditor makes sure that the home has the required fresh air for the occupants and for the combustion appliances before and after the weatherization air sealing has been performed.
Strategic air sealing is used to prevent the infiltration of “dirty” or “contaminated” air. Top priorities are the obvious areas; garages, crawl spaces, attics and even basements in some circumstances. Learn more about our Home Energy Audits.
Your home’s air quality is crucial to the health of your family. Washington Energy Services has the products and services to help you breathe a little easier—and cleaner.