There are many ways to improve the air quality in your home, with air filters being one of the primary methods. There are many others of course, but air filters are among the most efficient and the most cost-effective. They can help to keep the air in your home free from pathogens, allergens, and pollutants, which benefits everyone in the home, but especially anyone with severe allergies or a compromised immune system. Keep reading to learn the different ways that you can improve the air quality in your home.
A New Air Filter
The HVAC system in your home likely has an air filter already installed but if you want to improve the air quality of your home, then you can get a more efficient one. Basic air filters can remove dust from the air but a high-quality air filter can remove smaller particulate matter like pollen, bacteria, smoke, and droplet nuclei. The latter is what gets expelled when people cough or sneeze and they can carry infections, so if someone breathes in those droplets, then they could get infected too. An air filter that can trap those droplet nuclei and help stem the spread of infection in a home.
If you want an improved air filter, then you need to check out its MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) rating. The MERV rating shows you how efficient the air filter is at trapping particles, with the efficiency increasing as the number does. MERV ratings go from 1 to 20 and many homes use filters in the median 8 to 10 range. That is fine for most people, but if someone in a home needs more protection, then a filter in the 11 to 13 range is more appropriate. However, just as smaller particles find it more difficult to penetrate a high rated filter, so does the air. So make sure that your HVAC system can handle a high MERV rated filter before purchasing one for your home.
Make Sure the Air Ducts and Air Filters are Clean
An air filter is useful but it will not make much of a difference if the air ducts are dirty. Since the air ducts are the conduit for the air from the HVAC system, they can affect the air quality in the home if they are not clean. They will carry whatever dust and grime that has been collecting in them and distribute it throughout the home, thus negating the use of the air filter. If you install an air filter and do not notice an increase in the air quality in your home, then you may need to consider getting your home’s air ducts checked.
You should also regularly clean or change your air filter depending on whether it is disposable or not. Air filters can accumulate dirt over time and lose their effectiveness as a result. So clean or change them when the time comes. That time depends on the MERV rating of your filter; the average filter only needs to be changed or cleaned about every six months. However, higher rated filters trap more particles and therefore need to be cleaned more frequently, which is about every other month.
Use an Air Purifier and/or a Dehumidifier
An air purifier is a simple and effective way to purify the air in a single room of the home. An ionic air purifier can be a boon to anyone who suffers from serious allergies because it can greatly reduce the amount of allergens in the air. That means an air purifier can be of particular use to those who may be allergic to certain animals. The purifier can clear the air of any allergens to shed by the pets so that they don’t have to get kicked out of the house if someone in the home is allergic to them.
A dehumidifier can be useful in areas of the house that can get damp, such as the basement. That is because damp areas can foster the growth of mold, which can pollute the air and cause respiratory problems. A dehumidifier can prevent mold from forming and keep the air in the home clean.
Keep the Rugs and Carpets Clean
Carpets and rugs may add to the decor and comfort of the home but they can accumulate a lot of dust. That dust can get kicked up in the air whenever someone walks on the rug or carpet and since they are likely to be located in heavily trafficked areas, that can mean that dust will be in the air all the time even if everything else in the room is clean. So cleaning the rugs and carpet yourself, or getting a professional to clean them is a great way to ensure that the air in your home remains pure.
Keep Your Whole Home Clean
While rugs and carpets are big offenders when it comes to accumulating dust, the simple fact is that dust can accumulate on any surface and when it does, it can have a negative effect on the air quality in the home. That is why you should regularly clean hard surfaces like furniture, appliances, floors, and countertops, as well as soft surfaces like bedsheets and pillows. By reducing the level of dust in the house you will be improving the air quality as well.
Bring the Outdoors Inside
There are certain plants that can help to improve the air quality inside the home by removing toxins from the air. Not only will they make the air in your home cleaner, but they also add a nice touch of color to any room in which they are located. Some of the plants that provide these benefits include English Ivy, Bamboo Palm, Red Edged Dracaena, and other plants in the Dracaena family. They are an attractive and organic way of keeping the air in your home clean and pure.
A Clean Home Means Clean Air
You can see that a lot of the methods of keeping the air in your home clean involves keeping the home clean in general. That is because dust is responsible for a lot of the dirty air in the home and it can trigger allergic reactions in some people and make the air feel stuffy and uncomfortable for everyone else. An air filter can take care of any particles that are smaller than dust since cleaning alone will not be enough to get rid of them.
There are many different ways to increase the air quality in your home, but you do not need to use all of them; just focus on the most practical ones that you think will make the biggest difference and you will be well on your way to breathing easier in no time.