Indoor Air Quality Tips for a More Efficient Home

More Efficient Home

Your Lubbock, Texas, home’s indoor air quality, or IAQ, is closely related to its efficiency. Getting rid of contaminants like smoke, dust, dirt, biological growth, pollen, and pet dander will improve your HVAC system’s airflow and prevent inconvenient, costly breakdowns. For a more efficient home, follow IAQ tips like cleaning regularly, using an air purifier, avoiding VOCs, and maintaining your HVAC system.

Cleaning Regularly

Keeping your home clean inside and out makes it more welcoming for guests. Vacuuming and dusting at least twice per week also removes pollutants, preventing asthma and allergy symptoms and unpleasant smells. You’ll also get rid of dirt and dust before it has a chance to clog your HVAC system’s air filter or reduce the airflow in your ductwork. Removing shoes before entering the house is another way to keep contaminants outside.

If you see debris like leaves or grass around your outdoor unit, remove it with a garden hose. You can also add an awning or terrace for extra protection and shade. Your heater and air conditioner won’t need to work as hard to keep you and your family comfortable, so you’ll save energy and extend your system’s life.

Using an Air Purifier

An air purifier or air cleaner will work in conjunction with your HVAC filter to capture contaminants before they can cause health problems like allergy or asthma symptoms, headaches, dizziness, or fatigue. Some models can even remove bacteria and viruses from your home’s air. You can choose a whole-home unit that’s connected to your home’s ductwork or a smaller portable version that works in one or two rooms at once. Just remember to change or clean the filter once per month when you change your HVAC system’s air filter.

You can eliminate additional viruses, bacteria, and even small pests like dust mites with a UV air purifier. A UVC lamp in your ductwork or evaporator coils will affect the genetic material of microorganisms, keeping them from reproducing. This light is stronger than the ultraviolet light that causes sunburns, and the atmosphere normally blocks it.

Avoiding VOCs

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and acetone evaporate at room temperature. They’re common in commercial fragrances, glues, paints, and cleaners, and they can easily end up in your home’s air. They’re even in some types of particle board and plastics. Air purifiers can’t remove them, but you can use ventilation to get rid of stale indoor air and filter fresh air before it comes in. Many types of ventilation can help you save energy, so a ventilation system is much more efficient than opening a door or window.

Whenever you can, use natural cleaners and air fresheners. Baking soda and water are great for removing stains, and you can make your own furniture polish with a little olive oil and lemon juice. You can use essential oils and potpourri to create a fragrant sachet. If you need to use products that contain VOCs, store them in a shed or storage building that’s separate from your home.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

You should have your HVAC system inspected by a professional at least once per year. Gaps in your home’s insulation or ductwork could let in contaminants and let conditioned air out. An expert like the professional technicians at Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning can catch problems like refrigerant leaks or malfunctioning thermostats before they become costly and inconvenient. You should also have your ductwork cleaned every few years to remove contaminants and any obstructions.

Check your ducts by removing one of your air registers and wiping your ductwork with a damp cloth. If you can wipe away dirt, dust, or other substances, you should have your ducts cleaned by a professional. You could cause damage or miss parts of your ductwork if you try to clean it yourself. Also, make sure that furniture or carpeting doesn’t block your air registers.

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning has more than 45 years of experience and a fleet of over 65 vehicles. For excellent service and help with improving your indoor air quality from our friendly, knowledgeable technicians, call us anytime at 806-589-1014.

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