As the fall approaches, more and more people will spend time indoors. The nights will get longer and the air cooler as we all pay closer attention to those iconic suspenders for signs of bad weather. Indeed, strolling through downtown Birmingham or our new entertainment district right here in Trussville during the fall can be quite a pleasing and healthy experience. The air’s not so humid and stagnant as we get into early November, making time outdoors pleasant for most of us.
You may want that same quality of air in your home this fall, but what if someone in your home happens to deal with seasonal allergies this time of year? Opening windows will not only let in the cool dry air, but also many allergens that can lead to respiratory problems, itching skin, and watery eyes if you happen to suffer from fall allergies.
Opening windows might not always be the best option in this case, so you might want to skip past our third suggestion and focus on the rest.
There are several ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home this fall though, even without your windows open. So, let’s get started and take a look at our top 5 steps to better indoor air quality for your home this fall:
1. Go after the sources of pollution
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts the elimination of indoor air pollution at the top of its list of ways to improve indoor air quality. You should begin with appliances. If you have a fireplace, you will want to use it more often as temperatures steadily decrease. You should ensure that your chimney area is clear of all residual ash and debris, and you should regularly clean out the ashes of the fireplace.
If you use a gas stove and furnace, you must ensure that all the piping and conduits linked to them are properly sealed, and that the devices themselves function properly. Be sure that all the pollutants they produce are being vented outside of your home.
2. Controlling the air flow
Maintaining strict control of the air that comes into your home is a must. You should ensure that your home is tightly sealed. This is counter to the popular belief that air sealed inside a home becomes stale and unhealthy over time. This is not the case, as long as you have a functional, modern HVAC system maintaining your home’s air quality.
Properly sealing a home is not the same as keeping your windows closed all the time though. When you get to decide when and under what conditions you open windows, it’s not the same as having a draft in 20 degree weather! If your house is not properly sealed, it can even cause mold issues that contribute to the problem. So don’t hesitate to seal up cracks around your windows and doors thinking your home needs more fresh air. Consult with a pro instead and let them complete an energy efficiency audit and provide the best recommendations that are unique to your home.
Want to make sure the air you’re circulating is as clean as can be? You can have an air purification system installed with your HVAC unit to eliminate bacteria and allergens that may already be present inside your house. Consult with a local HVAC company like Service Tech, Inc. to learn more about such systems.
3. Open windows regularly
On good days—days on which the air quality is good—you should open your windows when possible. The fall season is the perfect time to do so. It is no longer hot and not yet too cold. Opening your windows regularly during the fall season will allow clean, fresh air to circulate throughout your house. It will help you get rid of old and stagnant air that may be filled with pollutants.
4. Use a humidifier
Dry air can make for discomfort and can make your allergies more severe. Using a humidifier will get just the right dose of moisture into the air.
5. Conduct maintenance on your HVAC unit
Leaves, twigs, and other debris can get inside your HVAC unit and degrade its performance. You should have it inspected and maintained every six months by a trained professional to ensure that it is ready to go for the winter.