24 Sep 5 Ways to Keep Your Indoor Air Quality Safe
Homeowners living in Northern Virginia need to care about indoor air quality. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) identifies numerous issues like local climate that affect what we breathe when we are at home, and the EPA has an entire site dedicated to indoor air quality. Both of these entities emphasize that there can be short and long-term health impacts from poor air quality in the home. In order to protect against these health issues and assure clean air inside the home, here are a few steps that you can take.
Take care of your HVAC
The HVAC system circulates the air around the house and keeping it in good condition is critical to indoor air quality. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) recommends servicing your system by a HVAC specialist once a year. In between, make sure to clean and replace the filters regularly. NACHI recommends changing the filters once every three months, and in homes with dogs, allergy sufferers or other potential issues, the filters should be checked monthly.
Air the house out.
The indoor air quality of your home will not improve if it isn’t replaced with fresh air. Depending on the weather, it is a good idea to open your windows daily to allow circulation. Do not do this if there are issues with the outdoor air quality, which can be checked on the Virginia DEQ daily. Opening doors and windows to allow for cross-currents to move through the home will help get the stale air out of the house.
Maintain the kitchen exhaust fan.
Every kitchen has an exhaust fan over the stove. It absorbs the smells, steam and smoke from cooking, so it gets dirty quickly. Regular cleaning will help clear the air in the kitchen and keep this workhorse functioning to clean the air in your kitchen.
Get your gas stove checked.
A gas stove works wonders when cooking, but it presents a potential hazard. There are numerous places where a gas stove can leak, and it may be slight enough that you can’t detect it from the smell. Getting a service provider to check the lines and functioning of the stove is an important step in indoor air quality safety.
Make sure the house is airtight.
In an area with a lot of moisture – and Northern Virginia definitely qualifies – it is important to make sure that your home is properly sealed to prevent the possibility of mold. You should inspect both doors and windows by looking for cracks from the indoors, checking for daylight that is visible around door frames and door thresholds. Add/adjust door weatherstrips to seal gaps that allow air penetration. Ensure windows can be locked to ensure a tight seal. From the outside, inspect the caulking at the windows and door frames to be sure that it is not cracked or deteriorated. If needed, repair caulking to ensure a weatherproof seal.
Lately, we have been spending a lot of time at home. Making sure that our environment is safe and clean to breath is all the more important with airborne pathogens at issue. With the wet summer we experienced, and chances of a rainy fall, mold may be a concern. Biller & Associates can collect air samples from your home to get lab tested to assure that your indoor air is not being polluted by this dangerous growth. For more information about our services, or to schedule a mold test, contact us today.