5 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
While the smog of rush hour traffic and pollen counts may be less on your mind as many of us are spending more time than ever indoors, you may be wondering how clean is the air you’re breathing inside your home. The EPA estimates that indoor air can contain two to five times more contaminants than outdoor air, making it a larger concern to the overall health of many indoor environments.
Here are some tips for identifying your indoor air quality issues, and five ways you can increase your indoor air quality, also known as IAQ, to improve the health of your family and home.
Signs of Poor IAQ
It is not always clear when the air in your home is affecting the health of your family members or the overall health of your home. There are some home (and health) symptoms to look out for that could indicate factors are affecting your IAQ:
- Musty, moldy smells
- Visible mold on insulation or drywall
- Health symptoms like headaches, sinus irritation, dizziness, fatigue, or dry and itchy eyes
- Excess dust buildup
The reason IAQ can be excessively contaminated is that pollutants outside will make their way into a home through open doors, windows, and cracks in a home’s construction. These particles then enter the ductwork of a heating and cooling system, where they are recirculated through your house and inhaled and exhaled over and over again.
Here are our top home improvements to relieve your IAQ issues so you can breathe easier:
1. Controlling Indoor Air Pollution with Air Sealing
Taking control of the air that moves in and out of your house is an effective way to reduce the contaminants that enter your home. Of course, you are going to need to open and close the windows and doors of your home all year long but locating and sealing up the hidden cracks and gaps in your home, from the bottom floor up to the attic, will go a long way toward reducing outdoor air infiltration, and thus reducing the pollutants in your air.
2. Humidity Control
One of the determining factors for indoor mold growth is moisture. Mold is a dangerous indoor air contaminant, and even if you have removed a previous mold problem, if you are still experiencing moisture and humidity issues, the mold will likely return.
For some, air sealing and insulation upgrades can get rid of moisture in the home. However, some homes that are prone to high humidity may require active dehumidification with the installation of a dehumidifier.
3. Replace Air Filters
The air filter of your heating and cooling system should be able to remove a large portion of the indoor contaminants that circulate in your breathing air. If it has been more than 30 days since you replaced your air filters, it can affect more than just your breathing air. A clogged filter will also force the intake of your furnace or air conditioner to work harder than it needs to pull in the pre-conditioned air, which can increase your energy bills.
4. HVAC Maintenance
Regularly maintaining your heating and cooling system can stop other IAQ issues before they start, as well as keep your furnace and air conditioner running at peak efficiency. The condenser coils of an air conditioner are like magnets for dust, mold, and dirt that can make their way into the central ductwork of your system. Installing high-efficiency HVAC systems and keeping up with regular maintenance can alert you to any future issues, so you can resolve them before you notice any drop in your IAQ.
5. Air Purification and Filtration
Homes that are particularly prone to indoor contaminants may require active air filtration and purification. If you know you experience high levels of the following pollutants:
- Volatile organic compounds
- Tobacco smoke
Then it may be most beneficial in the long run to install air filtration or whole-home ventilation, like a heat recovery or energy recovery ventilator (HRV or ERV), that can be integrated with your central heating and cooling system.
Upgrading Your IAQ with PACE
If you are looking for ways to improve your indoor air quality, many of these home improvements, like installing a new HVAC system, upgrading your insulation or adding a heat recovery ventilator, qualify for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. In addition to fixed low-interest rates and $0 upfront costs, PACE financing comes with many benefits:
- Safeguards to protect against unsatisfactory work
- Clear and constant communication throughout the process
If you are looking to breathe easier in your California or Florida home by improving your indoor air quality, ask Renew Financial how to utilize PACE for your home improvement project.
Wondering how you can take advantage of PACE financing to improve the air you breathe at home? Ask Renew Financial today at 844-736-3934.