Fall Indoor Air Quality
September 29, 2019
With fall now upon us in Lebanon, cooler temperatures are here to stay. This transition from one season to another most definitely affects your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). And your indoor air quality directly affects your comfort in your home. At The Tedder Company, we know in cooler weather people tend to spend more time indoors at home. Knowing this, it’s important to be sure your indoor air quality is protected, keeping both you and your home protected.
How Is Indoor Air Quality Affected in the Fall?Think about it. Your Tennessee home’s indoor air is a composite of many sources: the outdoor air that comes through your open windows, the dander from your pets, the air in your basement which flows through your furnace, the harsh chemicals you may use in your cleaning products, the mold spores existing in the crawl space beneath your house—just to name a few. In the warmer months, the open windows allow fresh air in on a regular basis, diluting the stale air in your home, and your air conditioner is keeping your home’s humidity in check. When the windows close and your air conditioner is turned off for the season, these good effects disappear until next year. Now, the air that’s in your home simply circulates, and all those composites and particles in the home stay there. The humidity decreases, causing your body’s membranes and nasal passages to dry out, inviting harmful bacteria and viruses in. Drier air also wreaks havoc on allergy and asthma sufferers. This is all a recipe for health issues.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality?In the cooler months with the windows continually closed and your furnace switched on, you need to take additional steps to protect the air you breathe in your home. You can prevent or lessen the possibility of some of the health concerns above by following these recommendations:
- Use a humidifier. It’s so important to keep your home’s humidity levels between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendation of 30 to 50 percent. Drier air causes nosebleeds, cracked skin, respiratory problems, sinus issues, static electricity, and many other negatives. The comfort in your home isn’t only determined by its inside temperature.
- Change your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters regularly, at least every three months. A good high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter will catch the particles before they reach your lungs. There’s just so much floating in the air our eyes can’t even see. Changing your filter makes such a difference. We at The Tedder Company suggest changing it monthly if someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, otherwise at least every three months. Regularly changing your filters also helps to increase your HVAC system’s life span by preventing those particles from running through the system.
- Clean regularly. Many health challenges are caused by dust, dirt, pests, bacteria, viruses, and mold. Regular house cleaning, especially vacuuming and dusting, helps to prevent these from building up and getting into the air. Also, when cleaning, switching to more natural cleaning products using essential oils instead of harsh chemicals can make a substantial difference in your home’s indoor air quality.
- Have your heating system cleaned and checked before turning it on. Be sure to schedule your annual heating system’s maintenance appointment before using your heat for the first time. A proper cleaning and tune-up allow your system to run properly, helping to improve the indoor air quality and increase your system’s life span.
- Open your windows daily. Even in the coldest temperatures, it’s a good idea to open a window in every room for at least a few minutes to invite some fresh air in. It helps to keep bacteria and viruses at bay.