3 Simple Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality

improve air qualityThe Greater Los Angeles area’s urban pollution means you have to be a little more conscientious about indoor air quality, but this doesn’t have to be hard. Some simple steps can make a big difference.

  1. Keep your surfaces sparkling – Use a doormat to reduce the amount of dust and debris you track into your entryway. Dust and vacuum at least once a week. To give debris particles fewer places to hide and to make dusting easier, clear away clutter and keep knick knacks to a minimum. Every week, clean your carpets and soft furniture with a vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter. For hard flooring, use a microfiber mop.
  2. Manage your humidity – High humidity, a common issue in our area, encourages dust mites, mold, and bacteria. If your humidity is above 50 percent, your indoor air quality will suffer and you’ll feel less comfortable. Control your humidity by using your bathroom and kitchen vent fans for 15 minutes after showering and cooking, taking cooler and shorter showers, and keeping pots covered while cooking. Make sure your appliances are vented outdoors, not into a room or the crawlspace. If you have a persistent humidity problem, talk with an HVAC technician about installing a whole-house dehumidifier.
  3. Pay attention to your air filter – A quality air conditioner filter is a valuable weapon in the battle against indoor air pollution. While the standard 1-inch fiberglass filters protect your HVAC system from dust buildup, they do almost nothing to clean your air. For cleaner air, choose a filter with a MERV of 5 to 8. These are usually pleated filters made of cotton-polyester blend or another synthetic media. If you have asthma or seasonal allergies, upgrade to a filter with a MERV of 10 or 11.

Beyond this, schedule annual professional maintenance for your A/C and furnace. Professional HVAC cleaning keeps debris out of your air and improves your system’s efficiency.

By finding the right cleaning schedule, keeping your humidity controlled, and upgrading your air filter, you can enjoy better indoor air quality without much extra effort.