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Clean Indoor Air is key to a healthy home

Guest contributor, Matt Lee, Owner of Innovative Building Materials offers these tips to improve your indoor air.

Whether due to increased hours working at home, the closure of bars and restaurants, or the shutdown of movie theaters, sports venues and concert halls, the Covid-19 pandemic has likely caused your amount of time at home to skyrocket over the past couple of months.  Even with the phased opening of businesses and return to work, good air quality in your home is key to a healthy home.

As indoor air quality was thought to be roughly two to five times worse than that of outdoor air before the pandemic, the increased use of cleaning products during the lockdown only intensified the concentration of pollutants in the air.  Poor air quality is detrimental to everyone, but especially the elderly, the very young and those with underlying health conditions.  Therefore, the following steps should be taken to improve air quality in your home.

#1 Make sure all Ducts, Windows and Doors are Sealed

Your HVAC system uses a series of ducts (passageways) to move warm and/or cool air to the requested location in your home. Over time, these ducts can crack or come loose, allowing dust and debris to enter the system and make their way into your living areas triggering allergies and other respiratory conditions.

If you notice any leaks in your HVAC ducts, make an effort to clean and vacuum the affected area as well as possible before reattaching. Once reattached, use a special duct sealant to secure any remaining leaks in the duct work.  If necessary, hire a professional to help you with this.  Our team at Balance Point Heating and Cooling is here to assist you as HVAC ducts can be difficult to navigate and sealing the duct and making repairs is our specialty.

In addition to the duct system, door and window frames are essential in keeping your home airtight.  Any cracks in the door and window sealing become exploited in windy conditions allowing dust, pollen and other allergens to enter and settle in your home.  

#2 Change your Filters

While air conditioning is wonderful for keeping your home cool in all climates, it inevitably accumulates pollutants as it circulates air, making a filter necessary to catch these particles before they enter your living space.

Over time, these filters become heavily soiled and lose their ability to perform their intended function and need to be regularly replaced to ensure optimal air quality.

While on the topic of A/C filters, it may be worthwhile for you to consider dampers for your HVAC system. These devices offer an advanced filtration system that uses adjustable blades to control airflow from one side of the damper to the other, regulating the flow of dirty or toxic air.

After changing your A/C filters, swaw any other filters on devices that circulate air to manage optimal air quality.  This would include filters on vacuum cleaners, dryers and kitchen vents.

#3 Use Cooking Vents

Indoor air pollutants come from the kitchen due to high concentration of appliances and frequent use of cleaning products required in conjunction with these appliances.

Both gas an electric stoves release carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in varying levels, while some cleaning products used on grease stains, such as ammonia-based products, can cause eye and nose irritation with excessive exposure.

As such, it is essential to not let these compounds sit in your kitchen air.  Turn on your cooking vents while working or cooking in your kitchen and open windows, if possible, to keep fresh air circulating.

#3 Add Plants for Natural Freshness

Not only can indoor plants serve a decorative function, but they are natural air filters.

Potted plants, such as ferns and lilies, are great to place on window sills, while small palm trees can tuck quietly into the corner of a living room, providing some of the most effective means of pulling contaminants from the indoor air.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

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Thanks Matt!  And remember, Balance Point is here to help you with all of your HVAC needs.

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- Julie S, Lee’s Summit, MO

Our primary reason for choosing Balance Point was the trustworthiness of the staff

- Tyler F, Raymore MO

Eric was very helpful, answered my questions and solved my problem quickly.

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