Homeowners who blame our arid climate for poor indoor air quality may not realize that more than 90 percent of interior dust is comprised of miniscule fabric and skin particles. The slightest movement sends these tiny pollutants airborne. Because they waft about your home until they settle in secluded areas, your best defense is to allow your home’s forced-air cooling and heating system to catch them in the air.
Turn the system on while vacuuming to filter particles kicked up during cleaning, and let it run about 15 minutes afterwards. Unfortunately, if you use cheap fiberglass A/C and furnace filters, they’ll trap only large particles. Upgrading to a professionally installed electrostatic air filter, which must be connected with your ductwork, is an allergy sufferer’s best option. Less expensive, electrostatically charged pleated filters attract pollutants more effectively than basic filters, but require frequent inspection and replacement.
Besides upgrading your furnace filter, you can improve your indoor-air quality by making these changes:
- Clean smarter. Dry dusting only spreads particles, while waxes and oils leave a dust-attracting residue. Use a damp rag or electrostatically charged disposable cloth instead. Avoid vacuuming surfaces unless they’re too intricate to clean otherwise. Upgrade to a strong vacuum with a beater brush (agitator), and clean hard surface flooring with a canister vacuum.
- Clean more often. Change sheets and vacuum weekly, or even more frequently if your home has one or more allergy sufferers. Shake comforters, blankets and other dry-cleanable items outdoors. Wash pillows frequently. Beat cushions and rugs outdoors.
- Organize closets. Closets are pollutant distribution centers unless you store shelved items in plastic containers or bags, which trap particles and are easy to clean. Cover off-season clothing with garment bags or large trash bags. Store shoes on wire shelving and keep floor uncluttered.
- Replace and remodel. Use slipcovers or replace upholstered furnishings with vinyl or leather. Swap out carpeting for tile or other hard-surfaced flooring.
If you have any questions about improving your indoor air quality, please contact us. Wolff Mechanical has been serving the greater Phoenix area for over 20 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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